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Welcome to the website for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado Denver, affiliated with the University of Colorado Hospital.

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Radiation Oncology

Quality, Performance, and Innovation in Cancer Care

Welcome to the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Our mission is to provide the highest quality care to patients with all types of cancers and certain benign tumors. The department aims to achieve excellence in professionalism and performance of our services. We seek to create a climate that fosters innovation and allows patients access to the newest cutting edge treatments.

The Department of Radiation Oncology is a clinical section within the award-winning, nationally celebrated University of Colorado Hospital, within the larger University of Colorado Health system. The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Rocky Mountain Region.

 – Brian D. Kavanagh, MD, MPH, FASTRO​, Professor and Interim Chair ​​​​​

In The News...

6/30/15- Follweiler wins First Annual Schuchman Professionalism Award
FullSizeRender.jpgChristina (Tina) Follweiler, B.S. R. T. (R) (T), was recently presented with the inaugural Annual Terri Schuchman Professionalism Award in the University of Colorado Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology. The award honors Terri Schuchman, who retired last year after an exemplary career at UCH, during which time she consistently exemplified a compassionate approach to patient care alongside attention to detail and an impeccable work ethic and sense of responsibility. The award was chosen by members of the Radiation Oncology Department Based Council and was presented to Tina on June 11, 2015, at the annual department awards and graduation ceremony, by David Westerly, Chair of the DBC. Terri was also on hand to assist with the presentation.
3/20/15- Fisher and Koo receive funding to study new therapy in metastatic breast cancer patient

Description: KooDr. Christine M. Fisher, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Residency Program Director, and Dr. Philip Koo, Section Chief for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, were recently awarded a $500,000 grant from Bayer to support a research study investigating a novel treatment for breast cancer patients with disease that has metastasized to bone. 

The major focus of the project will be to refine treatment methods for metastatic breast cancer patients that may have a higher burden of bony disease. These tumors can act very aggressively and grow to invade surrounding normal structures in the spine, causing neurological dysfunction, pain, fractures, and other problems. In such cases, it is necessary to use local therapy such as high doses of radiation or orthopedic surgery as possible in an effort to stop debilitating local progression of the disease. However, it is difficult to treat many sites at once while protecting the bone marrow, which is a potential major advantage of Radium 223 being studied. 

In this trial, the goal will be to treat the bony disease while maintaining high quality of life for our metastatic breast cancer patients.  Outcomes studied will include not only time until new bony events, but also patient-centered metrics such as pain and need for narcotic pain medicine.  This will offer another tool in the armamentarium of treatment options for our patients at the University of Colorado Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center.  

2/2/2015 - Moyed Miften and Bernard Jones: Awarded research funding for treating pancreas cancer:
Moyed Miften, PhD, Professor and Chief of Medical Physics (left), and Bernard Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor (right), recently were awarded a $194,000 contract from Varian Medical Systems. The money will support their research project entitled, “Patient-Specific Tumor Motion and Respiratory Gated Radiation Delivery for Pancreatic SBRT.”  It is to study new, aggressive techniques for pancreatic cancer radiotherapy. Continue reading...​

Rachel Rabinovitch, MD, professor of Radiation Oncology, CU School of Medicine, has been invited to serve as a visiting professor and expert consultant in breast cancer diagnosis and management at several medical centers in Israel during December and January. Rabinovitch will represent the CU Cancer Center in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, delivering lectures to students and trainees and collaborating on research projects with scientists and clinicians who have expertise with the BRCA+ (genetic mutation) population. Israel’s population has the highest BRCA+ prevalence of any nation in the world. Continue reading...​

Great strides have been made in reducing patient wait times by improving patient flow into the clinic and removing bottlenecks in the process. These small changes resulted in significant improvement in patient flow. The average time from referral to first contact fell dramatically within weeks of the change, from 2.4 days to 1 day. Likewise, the average time from referral to appointment made dropped from 4.4 days to 2.5 days. Continue reading...