Message From the Chair

The mission of our department is: “To bring the most advanced care to our patients by being at the cutting edge of research and technology.” To achieve this, our top priority is to rapidly implement our breakthrough research discoveries to improve clinical outcomes for our patients. Our outstanding basic science research programs in radiation biology and medical physics, combined with exceptional patient care, has led to a world-class program in translational research. Presently, we have several active clinical trials translating our laboratory discoveries into novel therapeutic approaches.

“To bring the most advanced care to our patients by being at the cutting edge of research and technology.

Technologically, we have the most advanced “state-of-the-art” imaging systems and radiation delivery platforms in the world. We have been involved in the development of linear accelerators since their infancy with Dr. Henry Kaplan, the founding Chair of our department, credited with developing the first high energy linear accelerator for therapeutic use in the 1950’s. This machine, known as Linear Accelerator 1 (LA1) has been decommissioned and is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. More than a decade ago, several Stanford faculty members were responsible for conceiving of and developing the CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System, which was the first radiosurgical system capable of treating tumors outside of the brain. The first extra-cranial stereotactic radiosurgery treatment with CyberKnife was performed at Stanford University Hospital in 1996. The CyberKnife system was considered to be one of the first image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) machines in the field and the basic principles behind these techniques have been widely adopted by the radiation oncology community. More recently, we performed the first stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)/stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) treatment in the world using the TrueBeam linear accelerator.

Intensive research and development efforts continue between the Stanford Radiation Oncology Department, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and the Stanford School of Engineering, to make particle beam treatment a reality.

Our faculty members are nationally and internationally renowned for their research and clinical care. Our residency training programs in both radiation therapy and medical physics are thriving. In addition, we are highly integrated with the Cancer Biology Graduate and Post-Graduate Training Program at Stanford. We continue to attract the top candidates from around the country to these programs. We are training the future leaders in radiation oncology, radiation biology and medical physics who will ultimately advance and improve cancer therapy for our patients. All of these technologically advanced therapies for our patients are delivered by a highly integrated team of physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, nurses, and radiation therapists. We all share a commitment to deliver the highest quality care in the most compassionate manner to our patients.