Department of Radiation Oncology

Department News Archive

Two Ways Cancer Resists Treatment Are Actually Connected, with One Activating the Other

(December 18, 2019) Penn study identifies chain reaction in cells that helps cancer survive treatments that target BRAF mutations. Researchers published their findings in Cancer Discovery 

Additional Inhibitor Can Help Anti-VEGF Therapy Overcome Resistance in Deadly Brain Cancer

(August 27, 2018) A team led by senior author Yi Fan, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn, analyzed human glioblastoma specimens and found VEGF receptor expression was reduced in tumor-associated endothelial cells – the cells that line the interior surface of the blood vessels

From Mindfulness to Medical Education: Penn Radiation Oncology Explores the Potential of VR

(August 21, 2018) Just about everyone would rather be sitting on that dock than waiting in a doctor’s office. Now, thanks to virtual reality, it’s at least somewhat possible. Penn’s Radiation Oncology department has recently added this VR mindfulness experience to its waiting room in the Roberts Proton Therapy Center. Click here to read on.

Conflicting Guidance on Opioid Prescribing Can Jeopardize Pain Management for Patients with Cancer

(6/12/2018)  In an upcoming article in JAMA Oncology, lead-author Salimah H. Meghani, PhD, MBE, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor of Nursing and Term Chair of Palliative Care at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), and co-author, Neha Vapiwala, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Vice Chair for Education in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (PSOM), call for key agencies (CDC, NCCN, American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology) and other organizations to collaborate and resolve these inconsistencies. The article, Bridging the Critical Divide in Pain Management Guidelines From the CDC, NCCN, and ASCO for Cancer Survivors, is available online first and will be published in the October 2018 issue of the journal. 

Penn Study Maps Potential of Manipulating Gut Microbiome to Boost Efficacy of Cancer Immunotherapies

(4/2/2018) Reporting in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insights, a team led by senior author Andrea Facciabene, PhD, a research assistant professor of Radiation Oncology and Obstetrics/Gynecology, found that the effectiveness of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) in mice with cancer is significantly affected by differences in the natural makeup of gut bacteria and treatment with antibiotics.

Varian Partners with Penn Medicine for Proton Therapy Training and Education Program

(11/28/2017) Varian announced it is partnering with Penn Medicine to develop and launch a comprehensive proton therapy training and education program. Comprised of both online and in-person training sessions, participants will have the opportunity to learn key clinical concepts firsthand from proton therapy experts at Penn Medicine. 

Penn Medicine Radiation Oncology Delivers First Treatment in the World with Halcyon 

(9/21/2017) Penn Medicine Radiation Oncology successfully delivered the
first treatment in the world with the new Halcyon Linear Accelerator technology on 09/13/2017. The department spent the past 2 years developing this unique cancer treatment with Varian. It is an incredibly proud moment that was preceded with extensive efforts and coordination to get everything in order. This is an important step for the department and Penn Medicine as we continue to lead the world in next generation treatment for cancer patients. 

Protons with a Purpose

(8/4/2017)The Roberts Proton Therapy Center at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center houses a full research beamline for protons and a personal patient care facility. “We offer access to the most unique clinical environment of proton and photon therapy capabilities, all integrated under one roof,” Neha Vapiwala, MD of the Perelman School of Medicine said. (Videos in link)

(7/13/2017) Cancer Cells Force Normal Cells to Mimic Viruses to Help Tumors Spread, Resist Treatment
Associate Professor, Andy Minn, MD, PhD and lab member Barzin Nabet, PhD have identified how cancer cells corrupt normal cells. They force the cells into mimicking a virus, which leads to more aggressive cancer and resistance to treatment. The team now looks to potential therapeutic targets to respond to the interference.

2017 John Yuhas Memorial Lecture and Award Ceremony

(6/27/2017) An award lecture was given by the recipient, Dr. Peter M. Glazer, Robert E. Hunter Professor and Chair of Department of Therapeutic Radiology. and Professor of Genetics, Yale University. The title of his talk was "Oncometabolities, DNA repair, and cancer therapy".



(3/17/2017) From the Room Next Door to the Next Planet Over: New Proton Center Research Room Will Have an Impact Near and Far

Proton Research Room openingProton and SARRP Research Room Grand Opening

(3/15/2017) A ceremony was held to celebrate the grand opening of the newly renovated Albert Chadwick Research Room, and to thank all who were involved in the project. Tours were given to view the facility and the SARRP. The Albert Chadwick Research Room is located in the CN level of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.


Dr. Ann R. Kennedy Symposiumkennedy sympsium

(11/3/2016) The Symposium was held to recognize the many contributions that Dr. Kennedy has made in the study of space radiation medicine and radioprotection during her illustrious 28 year research career here at Penn. The symposium was opened by Dr. Metz, followed by a keynote presentation by NASA Astronaut Serena M. Aunon-Chancellor, MD, MPH, who spoke on the Medical Challenges of Working in Low Earth Orbit.  Presentations from former collaborators and lab members of Dr. Kennedy served to highlight the broad impact of their research over the span of Dr. Kennedy’s career. The evening culminated with a reception in Dr. Kennedy’s honor.

2016 AACR Judah Folkman Career Development Award

(10/18/2016) Congratulations to Assistant Professor, Yi Fan, MD, PhD, who was honored as the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Judah Folkman Career Development Award for Angiogenesis Research

2016 John Yuhas Memorial Lecture and Award Ceremony

(3/2/2016) An award lecture was given by the recipient, Dr. Ruth J. Muschel, MRC/CRUK Professor of Molecular Pathology,University of Oxford.

2015 John Yuhas Memorial Lecture and Award Ceremony

(6/18/2015) An award lecture was given by the recipient, Dr. Mark W. Dewhirst, Professor of Radiation Oncology, Vice Director for Basic Science of Duke Cancer Institute, Associate Dean for Faculty Mentoring at Duke University Medical Center.Yuhas 2015



2014 John Yuhas Memorial Lecture and Award Ceremony

(3/20/2014) An award lecture was given by the recipient, Dr. Jacqueline Williams, Professor of Environmental Medicine and Radiation Oncology, at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Yuhas 2014

2014 Morton M. Kligerman Lecture and Award Ceremony

(3/25/2014) An award lecture was given by the recipient, Dr. Margaret Foti, Cheif Executive Officer of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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