Department Firsts

Firsts for the Department of Radiation Medicine: 2005-2021

RadMed staff with patient

The Department of Radiation Medicine serves patients from the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Hospital and OHSU clinics, the Knight Cancer Institute, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the Portland Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Beaverton Knight Cancer Institute, Columbia Memorial Hospital (Astoria), Community Cancer Center (Roseburg), Mid-Columbia Medical Center (The Dalles), and Bay Area Hospital (Coos Bay). Below are some of the department's firsts:

  • Fully one-half of the total MD-PhD graduates from OHSU’s medical school in 2010 elected to undertake training in radiation oncology as their career choice. This is unprecedented in our ability to attract the best and brightest from the entire medical school class. Over the past decade eight graduates of the MD-PhD program have pursued postgraduate training in radiation oncology, including several at OHSU, one at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, and two at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • The department is the first in Oregon to offer a dedicated Palliative Radiation Medicine service.
  • The department is the first and only healthcare provider in the Pacific Northwest to offer the Intrabeam intraoperative radiotherapy device for breast cancer. Intraoperative Radiotherapy permits breast cancer surgery and radiotherapy to be given on a single day, instead of the usual practice of administering radiotherapy over 6-7 weeks after surgery.
  • The department is the first in the western U.S. to offer a dedicated workshop on methods in radiation oncology clinical trial design.
  • The department is the first in Oregon to have a radiation oncologist certified by the American Board of Medical Quality.
  • The department is the first and only healthcare provider in Oregon and the greater Portland area to offer an intraoperative electron beam radiotherapy device, the Mobetron, for treatment of locally advanced and recurrent solid tumors.
  • The department was the first and only program in the western half of the U.S. to have an in-room CT scanner with a fully-equipped linear accelerator, in our state-of-the-art stereotactic treatment suite.
  • The department was also the first in Oregon to offer Calypso, a GPS system for the body, image-guided-based radiation therapy for men with prostate cancer and a fully operational and dedicated stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) program. Without this treatment option, Oregonians would have to leave the state for necessary care.
  • The department is the first in the western half of the U.S. to simultaneously have two resident physicians approved and participating in the prestigious Holman Research Track. Pathway of the American Board of Radiology. Over the past 14 years, six residents have successfully completed the Holman Research Track Pathway.
  • The department  is the first and only program in the U.S. to have 100% of its resident physicians secure competitive extramural research grant funding from 2007 - 2010. In the 2017 ASTRO Resident Seed grant application process, the two OHSU grants were scored in the top four of the 23 total nationwide applications. So far, a total of five ASCO Young Investigator Awards have been obtained from department-affiliated house staff.
  • The department  is the first and only program in the state of Oregon and greater Portland area to establish a CAMPEP (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Program) accredited medical physics residency training program.
  • The department  was the first program in the western half of the U.S. to establish a Division of Computational Biology & Informatics
  • The department is recognized nationally for contributions to radiation medicine. Since 2006, a double-digit number of abstracts submitted by department members to the Annual ASTRO (American Society of Radiation and Oncology) meeting each fall have been selected for presentation. This is a strong testament to the research prowess of the department’s faculty members.
  • Over the past decade, 6 residents and 1 faculty have been accepted to attend the highly competitive AACR/ASCO/ECCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshops (Flims, Zeist, or Vail).
  • The department was the first in Oregon to offer the Novocure (Optune) TTF (Tumor Treating Fields) therapy option for patients w/de-novo or recurrent GBM.
  • The department  was the first in Oregon to implement a regular multidisciplinary brain tumor clinic & a bladder preservation approach for invasive bladder cancer.
  • The department was the first in the US to implement a 3D virtual simulation/flight simulator module (VERT, Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Training) for patients to experience prior to starting a course of radiotherapy.