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Radiation Oncology Program

Our Medical Physics Expertise

Our radiologic physics group

Our Department of Radiation Oncology boasts one of the strongest physics departments of any cancer center in the U.S., with nine full-time medical physicists on staff. This allows us to take full advantage of powerful new technologies to provide the most advanced treatment options for our patients.

Safely increasing the dose of radiation, while limiting the exposure to healthy tissue, is the key to better control of tumors with the fewest possible side effects. Our physicists work side-by-side with physicians in each patient's treatment.

Physicists meet weekly with clinical faculty to share ideas about how emerging technologies can be used to deliver better care to patients. In addition, they hold biweekly research conferences to share innovations and foster collaboration.

Bringing Research Discoveries to Patients

UMGCC's strong commitment to translating research into new treatments has yielded some important innovations. UMGCC researchers developed Direct Aperture Optimization (DAO), a treatment planning tool to enhance IMRT treatment plans. Other research initiatives currently underway include 4D CT imaging for treatment planning, synchronizing treatment with the respiratory cycle, and intensity-modulated arc therapy (IMAT) planning.

This emphasis on translational research in radiation therapy has led to UMGCC being among a select group of only four centers in the country to have a Master Research Agreement with Varian Medical Systems, the market leader in the development of radiation therapy technology.

Medical Dosimetry

Calculating the dose of each radiation treatment is the job of the medical dosimetrist. These specially-trained professionals are involved in treatment planning, dose measurement, dose calculations and quality assurance for radiotherapy treatments designed to treat cancer. The medical dosimetrist is an integral member of the treatment team, which includes radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiation therapists and nurses.

Under the direction of the medical physicist and/or radiation oncologist, the dosimetrist determines the beam arrangements, beam shapes, beam weights and beam energies that provide the highest quality treatment plan. The dosimetrist is also responsible for maintaining continuing quality assurance and for the construction of special treatment devices.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s dosimetrist training program is one of only eight programs in the U.S. accredited by the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board. Our one-year program combines extensive curriculum with hands-on training to prepare our students for a career in medical dosimetry.

Our Radiologic Physics Team


This page was last updated on: August 16, 2012.


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