In the News
Penn Medicine Alliance with St. Mary Medical Center and Mercy Health
Penn Medicine has formed a new alliance with St. Mary Medical Center and Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, expanding Penn's ability to care for patients across Bucks, Delaware, and Pennsylvania counties. This new partnership will focus on developing joint clinical care programs and population health initiatives. Read more about the alliance in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal, and Philadelphia magazine.
CN Level Waiting Area Receiving Redesign
Beginning this summer, the CN Level waiting area will be renovated to include a multipurpose room and a redesign of the Reception desk and seating areas. The construction will be split into Phase 1 and Phase 2. The focus of Phase 1 will be building a multipurpose room that will serve as the home base for the department's patient engagement and quality of life programs, such as the Weekly Alumni Gathering, yoga and other exercise classes, and art therapy projects. Phase 2 of the project will focus on redesigning the Reception desk and seating areas to create more welcoming environment. This project is expected to be completed in the fall.
Now Scheduling Telemedicine Appointments!
Penn Radiation Oncology is excited to announce that Telemedicine appointments are now being offered to our patients. Patients will be able to use this service to schedule appointments with nurses, dietitians, and social workers. Many thanks to the faculty and staff who worked hard to make this offering possible to our patients: Robert Lustig, MD; Mary-Kate Cellmar, MBA; Audrey Caspar-Clark, MA, RD, CSO, LDN; Katrina Claghorn MS, RD, CSO, LDN; Lauren Clanet RD, CSO, LDN; Megan Lackaye, RN, BSN; Tracy Lautenbach-Hynes, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C; Doris Piccinin, MS, RD, CDE, LDN; Chiharu Sako, PhD; and Deirdre Whitsett.
Alumni Patient Ambassador Program
On June 7th, the Alumni Patient Ambassador Program officially launched in the CN waiting area! The goal of the program is to allow the alumni patient ambassador to inform patients and caregivers of various patient engagement and integrative health programs offered in the department; be a resource with way-finding; and share their patient experience as a way to engage and inspire current patients going through radiation treatment. While in the waiting area, the Ambassadors will wear large red buttons with "Ask Me!" written on them so current patients and staff can identify them. Thank you to all the Ambassadors for volunteering to be a part of this program, and to alumni patients Marvin Weizer and Kim Vernick for getting the program off to a great start!
Join the Rewards and Recognition Committee!
The Rewards and Recognition Committee is looking for new members, as well as two new co-chairs for the committee. This Committee is responsible for planning department events throughout the year, such as the annual holiday Basket Raffle, PI Day, the Ice Cream Social, department happy hours, and more. If you are interested in joining as a member or co-chair, or know a colleague who would be a great addition to the committee, please submit your name or your colleague's name to Edna Volz at Edna.Volz@uphs.upenn.edu
Save the Date - Annual Course on Proton Therapy
This year's Course on Proton Therapy will be held on November 16, 17, and 18, 2018, at the Jordan Medical Education Center Law Lobby. The course's theme this year is "Charting New Frontiers in Proton Therapy: The Penn Experience." More details to come!
Register Now for the 2018 Breakthrough Bike Challenge!
Join Radiation Oncology's Beam of Life Team at Oley Valley, Berks County to support innovative cancer research at the Abramson Cancer Center! The Breakthrough Bike Challenge is a non-profit foundation, donating 100% of the funds raised to support the physicians and staff that make breakthrough discoveries a reality. You can participate as a rider, a virtual rider, or as a volunteer! If you ride, you will have the option of choosing between a 12, 25, or 50 mile course. Registration is $75.00 for adults and $50 for students/youth. We are very lucky to have one of our devoted and grateful patients, Bill Barbour, as captain of our team. Bill is an avid cyclist and will be sharing information about the ride as well as cycling tips in a series of webinars throughout the summer. Co-Captains Fern Nibauer-Cohen and Steve Tuttle are also available to answer any questions you may have. You can also contact Carolyn Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-573-0550 for more information.
Meet the Newest Members of Our Team!
Brittany joins the department as a Medical Dosimetrist. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson University and Gwynedd Mercy College. Her hobbies include snowboarding, kiteboarding, and acro yoga. Contact Brittany at Brittany.Albertson@uphs.upenn.edu
Justin joins the department as a Patient Services Coordinator, where he will function as the Scheduling Center Supervisor. He previously worked as a Patient Services Associate. Justin's hobbies include playing basketball, cooking, and spending time with his family. Contact Justin at Justin.Garrison@uphs.upenn.edu
Jackie joins the department as an Administrative Coordinator. Prior to working at Penn, she was a Department Manager at Sephora. Jackie received her Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication from Penn State University. She enjoys knitting and physical fitness, especially weight lifting. Contact Jackie at Jacqueline.Hall2@uphs.upenn.edu
Jeremy joins the department as a Financial Analyst. Previously, he was a Health Benefits Analyst and also worked as an Accounts Receivable Representative for CCA's Family Medicine practice in University City. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration and a Minor in Sociology from Penn State University. His hobbies include running, outdoor sports and activities, watching movies, and traveling. Contact Jeremy at Jeremy.Jordan2@uphs.upenn.edu
Anna joins the department as a Financial Services Representative. Previously, she was a Patient Access Registrar IV. Anna has earned an Associates degree and enjoys writing, baking, and crafting in her spare time. Contact Anna at Anna.Maddox@uphs.upenn.edu
Reception Celebrating the Establishment of the Eli Glatstein, MD Endowed Professorship and the Appointment of Edgar Ben-Josef, MD as the Inaugural Chairholder - June 26, 2018
The Perelman School of Medicine and the Department of Radiation Oncology celebrated the establishment of the Eli Glatstein, MD Endowed Professorship, and the appointment of Edgar Ben-Josef, MD as the inaugural chairholder. J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD; John H. Glick, MD; and James M. Metz, MD; and Ralph Mueller, CEO all spoke at the event. A short video about the legacy of Dr. Glatstein was shown during the event as well. It was a great night to celebrate the accomplishments of both men!
Peter Gabriel, MD has been promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology (Associated Faculty-Academic Clinician). He joined the Department in July 2010 from the Department of Medicine. He is also the Chief Oncology Informatics for Penn Medicine Abramson Cancer Center as well as the Director of Informatics for Radiation Oncology. In this unique role, he has made extensive progress in creating an informatics infrastructure and services that benefit the entire oncology community at Penn. Dr. Gabriel is nationally known for his contributions to health informatics in the field of oncology, and his significant accomplishments in the area of informatics have had a direct and positive impact on patients as well as faculty and staff.
Alireza Fotouhi-Ghiam, MD, MS is now an Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology (Associated Faculty-Academic Clinician track). He joined the Department as an Instructor in 2017. Dr. Ghiam will continue to treat patients on the palliative service at PCAM as well as treating head and neck patients a PAH.
Suneel Nagda, MD has been promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology (Associated Faculty-Academic Clinician). He joined the department in 2012; previously he was an Assistant Professor at Loyola University Medical Center. He treats patients at Pennsylvania Hospital where his clinical focus is breast cancer and stereotactic radiosurgery. There, Dr. Nagda is the Site Director for the Department's Medical Residency Program. On a Department level, he is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and is the Director of Network Quality and Safety. One direct result of his work in this regard is the recognition of multiple RadOnc practice locations as APEx Accredited Facilities - facilities that set the standard for high-quality patient care.
Jacob Shabason, MD is now an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at HUP in the Standing Faculty-Clinician Educator Track. He joined the Department as an Instructor in 2016. Dr. Shabason will see sarcoma patients in addition to supporting the CNS service as he joins the CNS site-specific team.
Kevin Teo, PhD has been promoted to Associated Professor of Radiation Oncology at HUP in the Standing Faculty-Clinician Educator track. He joined the Department in 2009 after completing the medical physics residency program at Stanford University. His research is focused on imaging, specifically the development of quantitative tools in the analysis of CBCT in proton therapy. Dr. Tao's work on prompt gamma imaging was the first in the world to demonstrate the feasibility of in vivo range verification for pencil beam scanning proton therapy, and won the Michael Goitein best abstract award at the 2017 PTCOG annual meeting. In addition to his clinical and research efforts, Dr. Teo is the Director of the Medical Physics Residency Program.
James Metz, MD - Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award
Take Your Kids to Work Day - April 26, 2018
This year, nearly 40 children visited the department for the day! They had busy schedule of activities that highlighted all areas of the department. In the morning, they met pet therapy dogs Fred and Papagana, made hand castings with Photon Acuity, and did experiments in the Research Lab. In the afternoon, they decorated cards for the non-profit Hearts United Against Cancer, learned about medical physics, and had a demonstration on taking vital signs. Take Your Child To Work Day would not have been possible without the staff who volunteered to chaperone or lead the activities for the day. Thank you for making this a special day for the kids!
Around the Network
Chestnut Hill Receives Perfect Score
Chestnut Hill had zero findings during a recent visit from CPUP's Regulatory and Infection Control Rounds. In an email to Terri Snyder, Director of Network Operations, the practice was given the following review. Great job to the faculty and staff at Chestnut Hill!
"Thank you so much for your very informative and impressive tour of the Radiation Oncology Unit. It was pristine and your staff was extremely engaging and knowledgeable. I really appreciated the positive feedback on the Engage to Sustain Program. I had no findings during the rounds. The patients at Chestnut Hill are very lucky to have your team caring for them."
Disaster Relief Training in Puerto Rico
This past spring, faculty and staff from the Department had the opportunity to attend disaster relief and recovery training in Puerto Rico. While there, they also participated in a day of service through an organization called All Hands, All Hearts and assisted with repairing homes damaged during Hurricane Maria.
“Excellence is Standard” is our mission and we mean it. Rad Onc stands behind this mission and has invested in several excellence models to help us assess where we are and improve.
- APEx Accreditation through Feb 2021 covering Chestnut Hill, Doylestown, PCAM, Pennsy, and Valley Forge.
- ACRO Accreditation through Nov 2020 covering Cherry Hill.
- ACR Accreditation through July 2020 covering The VA.
- ACR Accreditation through Feb 2020 covering Virtua.
- Baldrige Regional Submission for Level 2 Award was submitted March 2018 and findings will be received July 2018. We were recognized with the Level 1 award July 2016.
- QUEST – this is our internal assessment that we want to tell you more about today.
QUEST stands for Quality and Excellence through Standardization. It is our internal assessment approach to ensure consistent adherence to standards across all Penn Rad Onc locations. The approach was defined by a cross-functional team of Physicians, Physicists, Dosimetrists, Therapists, Nurses, Quality Managers, and Practice Administrators; and, based on our knowledge and experience with the excellence models listed above, and based on the mission and vision of our department. We defined the Charter Nov-Dec 2017, and developed the approach and criteria Dec through April. Our colleagues at Chester Co stepped up to be our pilot in May. The assessment consists of multiple parts: (1) Pre-review of reports and charts, (2) onsite observations, interviews and chart reviews, (3) report-out of strengths and opportunities. The onsite visit was conducted 5/24/18. Many thanks to the entire care team at Chester Co. Step 3 – the report-out is being compiled now and will be delivered to Chester Co care team in July. The approach will be refined based on our learning from the pilot. Who’s next?!
Congratulations to Elizabeth Garver, M.S., for being appointed as the Chief of Clinical Medical Physics: Proton, effective May 1, 2018. Elizabeth received her MMP in 2005 from University of Pennsylvania. She has been working at Penn Medicine since 2008, mostly in the proton therapy physics team. She is an active member of our proton therapy education programs and has been a physics lead since 2016.
Please welcome two new physicists joining the PCAM photon physics team: Pierre E. Charpentier, M.S. and Shannon E. O'Reilly, Ph.D. Pierre joined the department on May 8, 2018 as a Staff Medical Physicist at PCAM. Shannon joined us on July 1, 2018 as a Staff Medical Physicist at PCAM, after completing her medical physics residency here at Penn.
Our Medical Residency Program was ranked #4 in the U.S. among other Radiation Oncology Residency Programs by Doximity/US News World Report for 2017-2018. The program will be expanding its total number of Residents to 17 beginning in July 2020 (recruitment 2018-2019). Graduating Residents continue to experience top quality job placement after their residencies at Penn, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, and Washington University.
Our Medical Physics Residency Program is now in its 11th year! Admittance to the program remains highly competitive - 146 applications for four positions. The program is undergoing the process of CAMPEP re-certification this year. Some planned program changes include converting one position from two years to three years, with the added year dedicated to research.
Welcome New Residents!
Medical Residents Starting on July 1, 2018
- Timothy Kegelman, M.D., PhD
- Shwetha Manunath, M.D.
- Graeme Williams, M.D.
- Christopher Wright, M.D.
Medical Physics Residents Starting on July 1, 2018
- Chingyun Cheng, PhD
- Wendy Harris, PhD
- Peyton Irmen, MMP
- Michelle Kim, PhD
17th Annual Morton M. Kligerman Lecture - April 6, 2018
Speaker: Paul M. Harari, MD
Jack Fowler Professor and Chairman, Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin
Dr. Harari's lecture was called "Radiation Oncology at a Crossroads: Harmonizing Biology and Technology. An award and reception ceremony for Dr. Harari immediately followed the lecture.
2017-2018 Residency Program
Residents' Graduation Reception - June 8, 2018
Congratulations to our graduating Residents: Pamela Boimel, MD; David Guttmann, MD; Shannon O'Reilly, PhD; Caitlin Schonewolf, MD, MS; Ching-Ling Teng, PhD; Jennifer Vogel, MD; and Yunhe Xie, PhD! Their achievements were celebrated at a reception on June 8. Best of luck in your future endeavors!
Research welcomes Adam Kazimierczak, Post baccalaureate, and Serguei Castaneda, Visiting Scholar, to Amit Maity's lab; Tianqi Sheng, Postdoctoral Fellow, to Tim Zhu's lab; and Rong-xin Zhang, Visiting Scholar, to Yi Fan's lab.
Research also welcomes the SUPERS Students to Radiation Oncology! This is the 9th year running of the Summer Undergraduate Program for Educating Radiation Scientists (SUPERS). The 14 stellar students arrived on June 4th and will be working with their mentors for 10 weeks while they develop their lab skills, attend lectures, and work diligently on their individual thesis projects.
Arscott WT, Doucette A, Kumar P, Plastaras J P, Maity A, and Jones J. Tolerability of sequential immune therapy and palliative radiotherapy to the cervical and thoracic spine. Journal of Radiation Oncology. May 2018. Doi:10.1007/s13566-018-0352-9
Arscott WT, Priti L, Mamtani R, O’Quinn R, Deo R, and Jones J. Long-term Survival After Treating Cardiac Metastasis With Radiation and Immune Therapy: A Case Report. Cureus 10(5): e2607. May 2018. doi:10.7759/cureus.2607
Chancellor JC, Blue RS, Cengel KA, Auñón-Chancellor SM, Rubins KH, Katzgraber HG, Kennedy AR. Limitations in predicting the space radiation health risk for exploration astronauts. NPJ Microgravity. 2018 Apr 3;4:8. PMID: 29644336
Davis RW 4th, Papasavvas E, Klampatsa A, Putt M, Montaner LJ, Culligan MJ, McNulty S, Friedberg JS, Simone CB 2nd, Singhal S, Albelda SM, Cengel KA, Busch TM. A preclinical model to investigate the role of surgically-induced inflammation in tumor responses to intraoperative photodynamic therapy. Lasers Surg Med. 2018 May 25. PMID: 29799130
De Sanctis F, Ugel S, Facciponte J, Facciabene A. The dark side of tumor-associated endothelial cells. Semin Immunol. 2018 Feb 26. PMID: 29490888
Dimofte A, Finlay J, Ong YH, Zhu TC. A quality assurance program for clinical PDT. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2018 Mar;10476. PMID: 29861532
Ding GX, Alaei P, Curran B, Flynn R, Gossman M, Mackie TR, Miften M, Morin R, Xu XG, Zhu TC. Image Guidance Doses Delivered During Radiotherapy: Quantification, Management, and Reduction: Report of the AAPM Therapy Physics Committee Task Group 180. Med Phys. 2018 Feb 22. PMID: 29468678
Dinh KT, Yang DD, Nead KT, Reznor G, Trinh QD, Nguyen PL. Association between androgen deprivation therapy and anxiety among 78,000 patients with localized prostate cancer. Int J Urol 2017; 24:743-8.
Hoppe BS, Hill-Kayser CE, Tseng YD, Flampouri S, Elmongy HM, Cahlon O, Mendenhall NP, Maity A, McGee LA, Plastaras JP. Consolidative proton therapy after chemotherapy for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma. Ann Oncol. 2017 Sep 1;28(9):2179-2184. PMID: 28911093
Koch CJ. A Two-Component Assay for Hypoxia Incorporating Long-Term Nitroreduction and Short-Term DNA-Damage Allows Differentiation of the Three Hypoxia Sub-types. Radiat Res. 2018 May 10. PMID: 29746214
Koch CJ. Invited editorial for the paper by Silvoniemi et al. "Repeatability of tumor hypoxia imaging using [<sup>18</sup>F]EF5 PET/CT in head and neck cancer." in this issue of EJNMMI. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2018 Feb;45(2):159-160. PMID: 29177538
LaRiviere, M.J., Pinnix, C.C., Plastaras, J.P. Immune therapies for lymphomas: a disruptive technology with opportunities for radiation. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics. Accepted for publication.
Nead KT. Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Dementia: New Opportunities and Challenges in the Big-Data Era. Journal of clinical oncology 2017; 35: 3380-1.
Nead KT, Boldbaatar N, Yang DD, Sinha S, Nguyen PL. Association of Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Thromboembolic Events: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Urology 2018.
Nead KT, Sinha S, Nguyen PL. Androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer and dementia risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2017; 20:259-64.
Nead KT, Sinha S, Yang DD, Nguyen PL. Association of androgen deprivation therapy and depression in the treatment of prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Urol Oncol 2017; 20: 259-64.
Nguyen HG, Conn CS, Kye Y, Xue L, Forester CM, Cowan JE, Hsieh AC, Cunningham JT, Truillet C, Tameire F, Evans MJ, Evans CP, Yang JC, Hann B, Koumenis C, Walter P, Carroll PR, Ruggero D. Development of a stress response therapy targeting aggressive prostate cancer. Sci Transl Med. 2018 May 2;10(439). PMID: 29720449
Ong YH, Finlay JC, Zhu TC. Monte Carlo modelling of fluorescence in semi-infinite turbid media. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2018 Jan-Feb;10492. PMID: 29853731
Ong YH, Kim MM, Huang Z, Zhu TC. Reactive Oxygen Species Explicit Dosimetry (ROSED) of a Type 1 Photosensitizer. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2018 Feb;10476. PMID: 29861531
Ong YH, Padawer-Curry J, Finlay JC, Kim MM, Dimofte A, Cengel K, Zhu TC. Determination of optical properties, drug concentration, and tissue oxygenation in human pleural tissue before and after Photofrin-mediated photodynamic therapy. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2018 Mar;10476. PMID: 29805193
Patel SA, Minn AJ. Combination Cancer Therapy with Immune Checkpoint Blockade: Mechanisms and Strategies. Immunity. 2018 Mar 20;48(3):417-433. PMID: 29562193
Pogue BW, Zhu TC, Ntziachristos V, Paulsen KD, Wilson BC, Pfefer J, Nordstrom RJ, Litorja M, Wabnitz H, Chen Y, Gioux S, Tromberg BJ, Yodh AG. Fluorescence-Guided Surgery and Intervention - An AAPM Emerging Technology Blue Paper. Med Phys. 2018 Apr 10. PMID: 29633297
Rech AJ, Dada H, Kotzin JJ, Henao-Mejia J, Minn AJ, Twyman-Saint Victor C, Vonderheide RH. Radiotherapy and CD40 activation separately augment immunity to checkpoint blockade in cancer. Cancer Res. 2018 May 29. PMID: 29844122
Uribe-Herranz M, Bittinger K, Rafail S, Guedan S, Pierini S, Tanes C, Ganetsky A, Morgan MA, Gill S, Tanyi JL, Bushman FD, June CH, Facciabene A. Gut microbiota modulates adoptive cell therapy via CD8α dendritic cells and IL-12. JCI Insight. 2018 Feb 22;3(4). PMID: 29467322
Walton ZE, Patel CH, Brooks RC, Yu Y, Ibrahim-Hashim A, Riddle M, Porcu A, Jiang T, Ecker BL, Tameire F, Koumenis C, Weeraratna AT, Welsh DK, Gillies R, Alwine JC, Zhang L, Powell JD, Dang CV. Acid Suspends the Circadian Clock in Hypoxia through Inhibition of mTOR. Cell. 2018 May 23. PMID: 29861175
Wang Q, He Z, Huang M, Liu T, Wang Y, Xu H, Duan H, Ma P, Zhang L, Zamvil SS, Hidalgo J, Zhang Z, O'Rourke DM, Dahmane N, Brem S, Mou Y, Gong Y, Fan Y. Vascular niche IL-6 induces alternative macrophage activation in glioblastoma through HIF-2α. Nat Commun. 2018 Feb 8;9(1):559. PMID: 29422647
Wang Y, Xu H, Liu T, Huang M, Butter PP, Li C, Zhang L, Kao GD, Gong Y, Maity A, Koumenis C, Fan Y. Temporal DNA-PK activation drives genomic instability and therapy resistance in glioma stem cells. JCI Insight. 2018 Feb 8;3(3). PMID: 29415883
Wehner MR, Nead KT. Can Google help us fight cancer? User-generated data and global oncology. Lancet Oncology.
Yang Z, Zhang J, Jiang D, Khatri P, Solow-Cordero DE, Toesca DAS, Koumenis C, Denko NC, Giaccia AJ, Le QT, Koong AC. A Human Genome-wide RNAi Screen Reveals Diverse Modulators that Mediate IRE1α-XBP1 Activation. Mol Cancer Res. 2018 Feb 9. PMID: 29440447
Zhu TC, Kim MM, Padawer J, Dimofte A, Potasek M, Beeson K, Parilov E. Light Fluence Dosimetry in Lung-simulating Cavities. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2018 Jan-Feb;10476. PMID: 29780196