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Radiation Oncology Clinical Research

The pursuit and discovery of basic, translational, clinical, medical physics, and radiobiological knowledge that advances the field and practice of radiation oncology is fundamental to all missions. Our departmental research efforts remain focused on clinical and translational physics research related to our original work in image guided and online adaptive radiation therapy. A new departmental focus is the use of radiogenomics, delta-radiomics, and molecular phenotyping to develop normal tissue and tumor response biomarkers linked where possible to imaging biomarkers of tumor and normal tissue response, respectively. Our long-standing interest and expertise in mitigation of normal tissue radiation injury will continue to be relevant and complimentary to this new focus. The recent launch of the of the Radiation Oncology Committee to Advance Knowledge and Education through Clinical Trials or “ROCKET” clinical trial framework provides a pathway to move radiation oncology discovery into multidisciplinary clinical practice.

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Clinical Research

The Radiation Oncology Committee to Advance Knowledge and Education Through Clinical Trials (ROCKET) Program, facilitates the design of prospective clinical trials and composed of several elements that include idea sharing, infrastructure assessment, concept development, opportunistic translational research and protocol development, statistical support, and regulatory and clinical trial management protocols. 

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Medical Physics Research

The medical physics research team consists of physics faculty, residents, postdoctoral fellows, and data specialists conducting research to develop innovative methods and technologies to improve accuracy, effectiveness, and safety of radiation therapy planning and delivery. Major areas of research are adaptive radiation therapy (ART), quantitative imaging for ART, delta-Radiomics, machine learning, treatment response prediction, biomarker discovery, iterative image reconstruction, toxicity assessment, advancement in MR imaging technology, radiation beam modeling, image guided high dose rate brachytherapy, deep learning-based auto segmentation, automatic contour quality assurance, motion management, and outcome modeling for treatment planning.
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Radiobiology Research

Investigators in the Department are leading multiple basic and translational radiobiology projects aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying acute and long-term effects of radiation injury to multiple-organ systems. The long-term goals of our research are to uncover targetable pathways, develop therapeutics to mitigate radiation damage to radiosensitive organs, and identify risk factors that can be used to individualize radiotherapy. In addition to normal tissue injury, a second focus of research in the Department is discovery of mechanisms which promote tumor resistance to radiotherapy and the identification of novel radiotherapy treatment regimens to overcome radioresistance.