A Message from Dr. Metz

Summer is always a time of transitions in our department with the combination of graduations and new team members joining Penn radiation oncology. Make sure to stop and introduce yourselves to new faces and make our new additions feel welcome. Also, during this time of transitions we need to be diligent in our quality and safety programs and educate our new team members of our approach, policies, and procedures. We will be increasing the frequency of this newsletter with the rapid pace of developments in the department. It is great to see our team embracing this platform and submitting updates and photos. We could not put this together without your engagement! Have a great rest of the Summer!!

Residents' Graduation 2019

Congratulations to all of the graduating residents:

  • Tris Arscott
  • George Chao
  • Scott Ingram
  • Kevin Nead
  • Irina Malajovich
  • Fionn O'Grady
  • Heather Petroccia
  • Sriram Venigalla

We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Ralph Muller's Retirement

Dr. Metz presented Ralph Muller with a framed image of Mr. Muller created by Dr. Levin & Dr. Lei Dong using Proton Dose Painting Technique (energy of 225 million volts) on behalf of the entire Radiation Oncology department.

In the News

Penn Receives $12 Million Grant to Study Connection between Radiation and Immunotherapies

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research has established the Mark Center for Immunotherapy, Immune Signaling, and Radiation at the University of Pennsylvania. Penn Medicine and the Mark Foundation signed the grant on Friday, May 31, 2019 and named Andy Minn, MD, PhD, associate professor of Radiation Oncology, the Director of the Center. Two of the five projects will bring together multidisciplinary teams involving FLASH radiation and will enable ground breaking work by many members of our Department. Please click on the links below to read press release of this announcement as well as an article about the announcement in the Philly Voice.

StoryCorps Features Penn Radiation Oncology

StoryCorps, a Peabody and MacArthur award winning non-profit dedicated to preserving and sharing humanity's stories, recently partnered with WHYY to bring its MobileBooth to Philadelphia to gather stories from local residents from May 28 to June 26. Penn Medicine was a proud sponsor of this event, and the Department of Radiation Oncology's William Levin, MD and alumni patient Arianne Missimer recorded a story together. Stories recorded during these sessions appear on NPR during Morning Edition Fridays at 8:20 am. A digital file of each recording is also stored in the Library of Congress. WHYY plans on airing a selection of local interviews and creating special programs around the project.



New Department Logo

As you know, our Department has been growing and evolving in many exciting directions and will continue to do so as we continue to transform the world of radiation oncology as leaders in our field. This new logo will differentiate our Department as a brand, the Penn brand of Radiation Oncology that will be recognized throughout the world in the work all of you do every day. This is a logo that represents the strength and leadership of our Department as a whole so be sure to share it with pride in all of your outreach. Thank you for all of the work you do to put Penn Radiation Oncology in such a strong position as we continue to stake our claim as leaders in our field. We have a very bright future ahead.

Save the Date: Department Holiday Party

We Need Your Photos!

This year's holiday party will feature a scrolling slide show that will include photos of RadOnc employees from the past year. These can be from conferences, department events, or casual get-togethers with colleagues. Please submit your photos to RadOncPhotoSharing@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Radiation Oncology New Hire Department Orientation

RadOnc department orientation takes place twice a year. If you are new to the Radiation Oncology department as of January 2019, you must attend (1) of the sessions listed below.

Please send your name or the name of your new hire, (If you are a manager), along with the preferred session to Renee Bates (Aretha.Bates2@pennmedicine.upenn.edu).

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:00 Noon – 4:00 PM - PCAM 12 South Room 12-166 - lunch will be provided

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:00 AM – 12:00 - PCAM 11 South Room 11-167 - breakfast will be provided

ASTRO Supplement Submissions

This year’s ASTRO 2019 will be held from September 15-18, in Chicago, IL. If you have not already done so, and you are planning to attend and will be featuring your poster at this event, please submit the information listed below pertaining to your presentation as soon as possible to Peri Niskey (Peri.Niskey@pennmedicine.upenn.edu) so it can be featured in our ASTRO 2019 Supplement.

This year we want to see you at ASTRO! For the first time, please submit a photo of yourself giving a talk or presenting your poster to be included in an upcoming edition of Spotlight. Send your photos to RadOncSpotlight@uphs.upenn.edu

RadOnc Research Speaker Seminar Series 2019-2020

Upcoming Department Art Exhibit

Earlier this year we had a very successful art show where medical physics brought their artistic talent into the spotlight. The result of this exhibit is now beautifully displayed in the hallways of our department. Many of the artists from our department expressed interest in participating in a future show, so this year a new exhibit is being organized by Andrea Dimofte that will be open to physics, physicians and dosimetrists. Everyone is invited to send up to 5 art pieces (in the form of photography or paintings) by August 24th, 2019. The best 35 submissions will be part of the new annual RadOnc show (a juried exhibit), at the Burrison Gallery. The exhibit dates will be September 28th through November 6th, culminating with a reception on October 4th, 2019. Please send the pictures to andrea.dimofte@uphs.upenn.edu by August 24th, 2019.

Save the Date: 6th Penn Proton Course

Breakthrough Bike Challenge

100% of dollars raised benefits cancer research at the Abramson Cancer Center. Be sure to select Penn Medicine Radiation Oncology Beam of Life Team when you register!

Join the Beam of Life Team for a Social Ride!

Sunday, August 4 and Sunday, August 25 at 8:00 am

Trek Bikes - 47 W Lancaster Ave, Ardmore PA 19003

These rides are open to family and friends as well as Beam of Life team riders. You do not have to be an experienced cyclist to join the ride. You just have to know how to ride a bike, and more importantly, how to have fun! Don’t have a bike? Trek Bikes can supply you with a rental bike. To confirm your attendance, please email william.barbour@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or christina.marchesani@pennmedicine.upenn.edu. Hope to see you there!

Light the Night Fundraising Walk - October 26, 2019

We're forming a Light The Night fundraising team and we hope you'll join us. Light The Night is an evening walk and fundraising event supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission to find cures for blood cancers. It is our communities' night to bring light to the darkness of cancer by celebrating those who are fighting the disease and to honor those we have lost. By joining our team and raising funds for this important cause, you'll be making a real impact on the fight against cancer. Walk night is a light filled evening where we come together as a community to honor survivors, raise awareness of blood cancers and remember those who have lost their battle.

Visit our Team page at https://pages.lightthenight.org/epa/Phi19/PennRadiationOncology and join our efforts today! Click the 'Join' button next to our team at the bottom of the page and follow the prompts to register.

Once you've joined the team, we'll need your help to reach our team fundraising goal. Don't worry - fundraising is easier than you think. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society provides all the tools you need, including your own personal fundraising page. Plus, I'll be here to support and encourage you along the way. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. To learn more about the lifesaving research and programs of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit their website at LLS.org

Thank you,

Tina Markley, Janet Grant, and Tara Ryan

ACES Committee

From now until Labor Day, we are encouraging our Department to enjoy some summer fun outside of the office. Groups of 2 or more employees can play at any mini-golf, and ACES will reimburse your putt-putt costs up to $12/ person (food/drink not included). Simply submit your scorecards with participant’s full names, a photo of your group playing, and a receipt for reimbursement to Mary Callahan or Andrea Rycroft. Groups can include non-RadOnc Employees, but their scores and costs will not be eligible for consideration.

Group scores will be averaged, and prizes will be awarded after the Labor Day Holiday. Don’t be afraid to get creative! We will be looking for interesting team names, memorable photos, and the best scores. All participants will receive a token of appreciation. We hope this challenge will encourage you to improve peer relationships and have a little fun. Please read the below flyer carefully.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Andrea Rycroft (Andrea.Rycroft@pennmedicine.upenn.edu) or Mary Callahan (mary.callahan@pennmedicine.upenn.edu) with any questions. We look forward to your participation!

DON'T FORGET: You can recognize a colleague at any time by submitting the recognition form found at https://redcap.med.upenn.edu/surveys/?s=HPKUea (direct link is below). We recommend bookmarking this web page for easy access in the future!

Meet the Newest Members of Our Team!

(Left to Right) David Farraday, Stephanie Ganley, Marc Haines

David Farraday

David joins our department as a Clinical Research Coordinator at PCAM. In his prior role, he was a Manager for Scheduling, and he has completed his Bachelor's of Science degree. In his spare time, David enjoys board games and stained glass. Contact David at dfarraday@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Stephanie Ganley

Stephanie joins our department as a Radiation Therapist in Doylestown. In her prior role, she was working part time at Valley Forge and has a bachelors degree in Radiation Therapy from Gwynedd Mercy University. Contact Stephanie at Stephanie.ganley@uphs.upenn.edu

Marc Haines

Marc joins our department as a Financial Analyst at PCAM. In his prior role, he was at Dechert LLP and has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. In his spare time, Marc enjoys travelling, reading, and photography. Contact Marc at marc.haines@pennmedicine.edu.

(Left to Right) Jessica Hayes, Scott Ingram, Amanda Kalher

Jessica Hayes

Jessica joins our department as a Patient Service Coordinator at CCH. In her prior role, she was a Patient Services Associate in Valley Forge and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Drexel. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys painting in oil, playing with her husky/pitbull puppy, and travelling. Contact Jessica at jessica.hayes2@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Scott Ingram

Scott joins our department as a Physicist at PCAM. In his prior role, he was a pedical physics resident in our department and has his PhD in Medical Physics, MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Contact Scott at williamscott.ingram@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Amanda Kahler

Amanda joins our department as a social worker at PCAM. In her prior role, she worked as an oncology social worker at the Tate Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center. Contact Amanda at Amanda.kahler@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

(Left to Right) TyZhay Mitchell-Scott, Christina Morath, Samantha Okoorian, Shelley Saunders

TyZhay Mitchell-Scott

TyZhay joins our department as an Accountant at PCAM. In his previous role, he was a temporary accountant within our department and has a degree in accounting from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. In his spare time, TyZhay enjoys basketball and photography. Contact TyZhay at Tyzhay.Scott@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Christina Morath

Christina joins our department as a Lead Radiation Therapist at Doylestown. In her prior role, she was a Radiation Therapist at Chester County and has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from Gwynedd Mercy University/ARRT. Contact Christina at Christina.morath@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Samantha Okoorian

Samantha joins our department as a Financial Service Representative at CCH. In her prior role, she worked as a Quality Care Coordinator and has a degree in Heath Care Management. Contact Sammy at Samantha.Okoorian@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Shelley Saunders

Shelley joins our department as a staff assistant at PCAM. In her prior role, she worked in development at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. In her spare time, she teaches yoga and enjoys baking. Contact Shelley at shelley.saunders@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

(Left to Right) Ngoc Thai, Curtis Wright, Carly Zambino

Ngoc Thai

Ngoc joins our department as a Dosimetrist at the VA Medical Center. In her prior role, she worked as a dosimetrist at Hahnemann and has studied at Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University. Contact Ngoc at Ngoc.Thai@uphs.upenn.edu

Curtis Wright

Curtis joins our department as a Financial Analyst at PCAM. In his prior role, he worked as an analyst at BlackRock and has a BS in Finance from Delaware State University. Contact Curtis at Curtis.Wright@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Carly Zambino

Carly joins our department as an Associate Practice Manager at PCAM. In her prior role, she was the Director of Operations at EBS Children’s Therapy and has a BS in Special and Elementary Education from Gwynedd-Mercy College and pursuing an MS in Organizational Development and Leadership from Purdue Global. In her spare time, Carly likes to do anything creative and has a custom cake business as a side gig, has two young daughters who keep her pretty busy, and when she has a free minute to herself, she likes to indulge in reality TV shows and Netflix series. Contact Carly at carly.zambino@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Employee Recognition

Congratulations to our colleagues on their achievements!


Neha Vapiwala, MD has been named Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Admissions at the Perelman School of Medicine. It is fantastic to have Dr. Vapiwala leading admissions in the medical school and a great reflection on the department. Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine has ranked in the top ten medical schools for research for the past 22 years, most recently #3 in 2020, tied with Stanford University. She will continue seeing patients on the GU service at PCAM. Congratulations Dr. Vapiwala!

Brian Lally, MD has been named Medical Director, Doylestown, effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Bill Rate, Doylestown’s current medical director, retired at the end of the fiscal year. Dr. Lally has been practicing at our Doylestown Hospital location where he has developed a robust community outreach program. He is also the current co-chair of the Scientific Planning Committee for the 2020 American College of Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting. Dr. Lally received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a member of both the Varsity Football team and the coaching staff during this time, including the 1993 and 1994 Ivy League Champion teams. Dr. Lally received his Medical Degree from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He completed his residency in radiation oncology at Yale University and fellowship in translational radiation oncology at Wake Forest University under Dr. Costas Koumenis. Congratulations Dr. Lally!

Michael Bieda, MS has been promoted to Assistant Chief of Network Physics - White Region, effective July 1, 2019. Mike will manage the physics activities within the newly created White Region, which includes Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Medicine Radnor, the Philadelphia Veterans Administration, and Penn Medicine Valley Forge. His team will also partially support the Penn Medicine Vet School in collaboration with the PCAM physics team. He will report to Dr. David Carlson, Director of Clinical Operations - Physics. Mike received his Master’s Degree in Medical Physics from MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1999. Since then he spent most of his professional career at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Mike is an excellent medical physicist and well supported by the network physics team. He is a strong promoter of safety and quality and has served as a member of QUEST representing the physics team. Congratulations Mike!

Christine Hill-Kayser, MD has been promoted to Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at HUP in the Standing Faculty-Clinician Educator track, effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Hill-Kayser joined the faculty in 2010, after completing both her MD and her residency at Penn. Dr. Hill-Kayser is the Chief of the RadOnc pediatric service and is an expert in the treatment of pediatric patients with solid, liquid and central nervous system (CNS) tumors. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Hill-Kayser is Editor-in-Chief of OncoLink and a member of the department’s Senior Leadership Team. Her research expertise is in pediatric radiation oncology with a focus on global cancer survivorship and on minimizing late effects and long-term toxicities. She maintains leadership roles in the Children’s Oncology Group and Pediatric Proton Cooperative Registry, collaborating in research efforts at the national level. Congratulations Dr. Hill-Kayser!

Andrea Facciabene, PhD has been promoted to Research Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Facciabene joined the department in 2016 after spending 6 years on the faculty of obstetrics and gynecology at Penn. He received his undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Science from the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy in 2000 and his doctoral degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Perugia, Italy (in a joint collaboration with the UCSD) in 2006, and subsequently completed two postdoctoral research fellowships, at UCSD’s Department of Cancer Research and at Penn’s Ovarian Cancer Research Center (OCRC). Dr. Facciabene’s research focuses on the development of novel therapeutic strategies in the areas of Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy. He is studying how the gut microbiome plays a role in cancer development and treatments. He has also developed two new vaccination strategies. One uses mitochondria isolated from tumors and the other employs a new tumor vasculature antigen that targets the blood vessels tumors need to survive. He is a multi-R01-funded researcher whose research has been published in journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, JCI and JCI Insight. Congratulations Dr. Facciabene!


Kurt Morath, Director of Clinical Operations, will be leaving our team in August to join the Concord Equity Group. Kurt has been with the department nearly 26 years, having joined the department in 1993, and he has been instrumental in our success and our growth. Kurt has had a number of roles in the Department and has managed practices and teams from Phoenixville Hospital to Ground Dulles to our PCAM practice. Kurt's unique expertise has contributed greatly to the development of new practices, including planning for 2 single room proton centers, development of the research room, and deployment of new technology across our sites. Under Kurt's guidance we have built the project management team and remain one of the few departments with this special resource. Kurt has been an excellent representative of the department with our industry partners and he has built deep relationships with his colleague at Penn, supporting our ability to innovate. We are grateful for Kurt's many contributions!

2019 American Association of Medical Dosimetrists Annual Conference

Ontida Apinorasethkul and Akhil Tiwari presented their posters at the 2019 AAMD Conference held in Anaheim, CA from June 16 - June 20, 2019. Their poster titles were the following:

  • Skin dose of vulvar carcinoma treatment without tissue compensator on flattening filter free photon beams; O. Apinorasethkul, N. Taunk
  • Multi-isocenter breast planning on Halcyon treatment system; A. Tiwari, O. Apinorasethkul, N. Taunk, R. Scheuermann, C. Kennedy, T. Li.
(Left to Right) Tran Do, Ontida Apinorasethkul, Matt Rajotte, Akhil Tiwari

Certificate Ceremony for Advanced Certificate in Oncology Social Work - July 20, 2019

(Left to Right) Nicole Ellis and Brittany Fols

Social Workers Nicole Ellis, MSW, LSW, OSW-C and Brittany Fols, MSW, LCSW completed their Advanced Certificate in Oncology Social Work. They were part of the first cohort of the year-long program through Penn Social Policy and Practice. This is the only post-masters certificate program in Oncology Social Work in the world! Christina Bach (OncoLink) is the program’s Associate Director and Neal Niznan (Rad-Onc social worker) served as a section instructor in the program.

Stephen Avery, PhD, FAAPM has received the 2019 Harvard Global Health Catalyst Ambassador Award.

Sharon Civa, MBA received a Penn CARES Grant for Hearts United Against Cancer. A past recipient and current volunteer with Hearts United Against Cancer, Sharon is directing her grant to pay for supplies used in making homemade cards and comfort bundles for cancer patients at cancer centers in the Philadelphia area. The cards are also used in personalized bundle requests that are delivered and shipped across the United States. HUAC uses about 7,000 cards per year.

Yi Fan, MD PhD received the following awards:

  • Research Excellence Award from the American Heart Association
  • Sharpe Award from the National Brain Tumor Society

Michele Kim, PhD was selected as one of three recipients for the 2019 AAPM Research Seed Funding Grant for her proposal entitled “Investigation of Spot Scanning Flash Radiation Using a Clinical Proton Beam”. Dr Kim will receive a grant of $25,000 from the AAPM Education & Research Fund and will be recognized at the awards ceremony at the 2019 AAPM annual meeting. Dr Kim is a second year medical physics resident and has performed extraordinarily well in her residency training and is actively participating in several important projects related to Flash proton therapy, the small animal photon/proton irradiator in the research room and the new Halcyon system.

Michael LaRiviere, MD has received the following grants and awards:

  • Grant: Custom Patient-specific 3D-printed Models for Radiation Oncology Education. RSNA Radiology Education Research Development Grant. PI: Michael LaRiviere. Advisor: Neha Vapiwala.
  • Award: Fellow, 21st EORTC-ESMO-ECCO-AACR Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research, Zeist, Netherlands. Clinical trial: Radiation-Based Lymphodepletion and Cytoreduction with Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy for Relapsed/Refractory Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Phase II Single-Arm Trial. Fellow: Michael LaRiviere. Advisor: John Plastaras.
  • Abstract: LaRiviere, M.J., Wright, C., Arscott, W.T., Miller, D., Weber, E., Landsburg, D., Svoboda, J., Nasta, S., Gerson, J., Chong, E., Schuster, S., Maity, A., Plastaras, J. Induction Radiation Prior to Commercial Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy for Relapsed/Refractory Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting, 2019. Accepted for oral presentation. Awarded Resident Clinical/Basic Science 2019 Annual Meeting Abstract Award.

William Levin, MD will be presenting an oral abstract at the International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology on "Changes in Measures of Stress, Affect, Anxiety, Self-Efficacy and IL-6 as a Result of Therapeutic Artmaking in Patients Undergoing Radiation Oncology Treatment: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study".

Feven Tameire, a graduate student in the Koumenis Lab, received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from University of Pennsylvania and the research discussed as part of her dissertation was published in Nature Cell Biology.

Neha Vapiwala, MD has been awarded the following distinctions:

  • She was named a 2019 Fellow by the American College of Radiology on May 19, 2019. Fellowship is awarded to members who are in good standing with the College and have evidenced significant accomplishments in scientific or clinical research in the field of radiology, significant contributions to its literature, and/or performance of outstanding service as teachers of radiology. Fewer than 10 percent of College members have been awarded this honor. Fellowship is awarded to diagnostic radiologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists at the Convocation, which is held during the ACR Annual Meeting.
  • She was elected to the ASTRO Board of Directors as Secretary/Treasurer. The new officers' terms will begin at the Annual Business Meeting during ASTRO's 61st Annual Meeting in Chicago, September 15 - 18, 2019.
Dr. Vapiwala at the ACR Annual Meeting Fellowship Convocation

Social Scene

Chester County Hospital Polo Club Event - June 9, 2019

Left to right – Rosanne Scamuffa, Rodel Hidalgo, Brigette Esposito, Nicole Marchesani, Eileen McDevitt, Kathy Masterstefone

RadOnc CCH supported this event benefitting the Ob/Gyn Clinic at Chester County Hospital and The Women's Auxiliary's Heart to Heart pledge to support the advancement of the Heart and Vascular Program at Chester County Hospital.

21st Annual Challenge for Cancer Bike Tour - June 23, 2019

Presented by Brandywine Valley Heat and Air Conditioning, this annual event benefits the Abramson Cancer Center at Chester County Hospital. Radiation Oncology was represented by Roseann Scamuffa, Marcella Kubovsak, and Eileen McDevitt at the event.

(Left to Right) Roseann Scamuffa, Marcella Kubovsak, Eileen McDevitt

ACES Presents: Ice Cream PHILL Up - July 18, 2019

Just in time for the hottest week of the summer! Senior Managers and ACES Committee members at PCAM scooped up some ice cream for all faculty, staff, and students to enjoy while catching an inning or two of the Phillies game versus the Dodgers. We like to think that RadOnc's team spirit was felt all the way to Citizens Bank Park and helped lift the Phillies to a 7-6 win over the Dodgers!

Many thanks to our Senior Managers and ACES Committee members who helped scoop: Susan Popp, Michelle Sparrow, Edna Volz, Debra Stephen, Danielle Solano, Ryan Kemp, Sarah Lowitz, Carly Zambino, Kelly Farraday, Ana Rodriguez, Hien Lu, and Jackie Hall!

Around the Network

Welcome Lancaster General RadOnc to Enterprise Aria System

On Monday, June 16 we welcomed LG Radiation Oncology to the enterprise Aria system with successful delivery of radiation treatment to the first patients! Congratulations to the team on achieving this major project milestone.

PAH Survivors Day

On May 31, PAH celebrated Survivors Day. Survivors Day was a day to celebrate our patients and show our support of them in ways other than giving them treatments. We provided gifts, games, refreshments and a time for our patients to get to know one another and show them how they support each other.

Picture with therapists From L-R: Lead Therapist Dionne Graves, Tamar Smith, Kelly Cosgrove, Gwen Gardner, Barb Granese, Danielle Bove, Marshall McMain
Words of Encouragement Wall: Over this past year, patients wrote words of encouragement and sent them to each other to help support their cancer journey. We placed these patient notes on the wall to display for all of our patients to read. Our staff received a great deal of positive feedback as many patients enjoyed being able to read these encouraging notes.

Where in the World Is Penn Radiation Oncology?

Funded by the University of Pennsylvania Global Education Fund (PI. Stephen Avery), the Global Health Catalyst Summit Tanzania was a resounding success with one outcome being increased support for GO-University. The summit also provided training to medical physicists, radiation oncologists and radiation therapists.

Global Health Catalyst Summit - Tanzania

Funded by the University of Pennsylvania Global Education Fund (PI. Stephen Avery), the Global Health Catalyst Summit Tanzania was a resounding success with one outcome being increased support for GO-University. Cordelia Baffic assisted the program administration for this international event. The summit also provided training to medical physicists, radiation oncologists and radiation therapists. Partners for this summit included UPENN, Harvard, University of Heidelberg, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science, Ocean Road Cancer Institute, the Federation of African Medical Physicists, AORTIC, amongst others. The Summit occurred from April 1st - April 4th, 2019.

British Ambassador's Visit to Philadelphia

Sir Nigel Kim Darroch spoke on the important trade relationship between our region and the United Kingdom, as well as the current political and economic climate during a lunch on May 20, 2019.

His Excellency Sir Nigel Kim Darroch greets Debra Stephen during his visit to Philadelphia.

Mexican Ambassador's Visit to Philadelphia

Panel Discussion and meetings with community leaders and strategic allies hosted by the Philadelphia Consulate of Mexico during a Topical Exchange with Ambassador from Mexico, Martha Barcena-Coqui on March 8, 2019.

Left to Right: Debra Stephen, Ambassador Martha Barcena-Coqui, Mayra Belen with Penn Global Medicine, Alicia Kerber Palma, Head Consul, Philadelphia Consulate of Mexico

Here at Home: Global Education Program

Left-Global Education visitor, Krisha Verma, joined our Alumni Patient Gathering, Right- Dr. Andy Gaya with Richard Maughn & Dr. Steven Feigenberg, both were visiting from Rutherford Cancer Center in the United Kingdom.

In partnership with IBA and OncoLink, Radiation Oncology has been hosting Global Education visitors over the past several weeks from the United Kingdom and will be expecting visitors from Inova (Northern Virginia) for proton training.


SUPERS Class of 2019


Amirshaghaghi A, Yan L, Miller J, Daniel Y, Stein JM, Busch TM, Cheng Z, Tsourkas A. Chlorin e6-Coated Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle (SPION) Nanoclusters as a Theranostic Agent for Dual-Mode Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy. Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 22;9(1):2613 PMID: 30796251

Baumann BC, Lustig RA, Mazzoni S, Grady SM, O'Malley BW, Lee JYK, Newman JG, Schuster JM, Both S, Lin A, Dorsey JF, Alonso-Basanta M. A prospective clinical trial of proton therapy for chordoma and chondrosarcoma: Feasibility assessment. J Surg Oncol. 2019 May 20. PMID: 31111502

Bedognetti D, Ceccarelli M, Galluzzi L, Lu R, Palucka K, Samayoa J, Spranger S, Warren S, Wong KK, Ziv E, Chowell D, Coussens LM, De Carvalho DD, DeNardo DG, Galon J, Kaufman HL, Kirchhoff T, Lotze MT, Luke JJ, Minn AJ, Politi K, Shultz LD, Simon R, Thórsson V, Weidhaas JB, Ascierto ML, Ascierto PA, Barnes JM, Barsan V, Bommareddy PK, Bot A, Church SE, Ciliberto G, De Maria A, Draganov D, Ho WS, McGee HM, Monette A, Murphy JF, Nisticò P, Park W, Patel M, Quigley M, Radvanyi L, Raftopoulos H, Rudqvist NP, Snyder A, Sweis RF, Valpione S, Butterfield LH, Disis ML, Fox BA, Cesano A, Marincola FM; Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Cancer Immune Responsiveness Task Force and Working Groups. Toward a comprehensive view of cancer immune responsiveness: a synopsis from the SITC workshop. J Immunother Cancer. 2019 May 22;7(1):131. PMID: 31113486

Berger I, Cengel KA, Simone CB 2nd, Alley EW, Roshkovan L, Haas AR, Patel AM, Khalid U, Culligan MJ, McNulty S, Singhal S, Friedberg JS, Katz SI. Lymphangitic carcinomatosis: A common radiographic manifestation of local failure following extended pleurectomy/decortication in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Lung Cancer. 2019 Jun;132:94-98. PMID: 31097101

Dreyfuss AD, Bravo P, Koumenis C, Ky B. State of the Art: Precision Cardio-Oncology. J Nucl Med. 2019 Jan 17. PMID: 30655328

Olivia M Giza, Daniel Sánchez-Parcerisa, Víctor Sánchez-Tembleque, Joaquin L Herraiz, Jorge Camacho, Stephen Avery and José Manuel Udías: Photoacoustic dose monitoring in clinical high-energy photon beams. Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express 5(3), April 2019

Grewal AS, Schonewolf C, Min EJ, Chao HH, Both S, Lam S, Mazzoni S, Bekelman J, Christodouleas J, Vapiwala N. Four-Year Outcomes From a Prospective Phase II Clinical Trial of Moderately Hypofractionated Proton Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 Jun 11.[Epub ahead of print]

Hu Z, Zhou J, Jiang J, Yuan J, Zhang Y, Wei X, Loo N, Wang Y, Pan Y, Zhang T, Zhong X, Long M, Montone KT, Tanyi JL, Fan Y, Wang TL, Shih IM, Hu X, Zhang L. Genomic characterization of genes encoding histone acetylation modulator proteins identifies therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Nat Commun. 2019 Feb 13;10(1):733 PMID: 30760718

Khatri, U., Waldner, A., LaRiviere, M.J., Weaver, M., Lynn, J., Sanchez, S., Shofer, F., Todd, B., Aysola, J. An Evaluation of Implicit Bias Training in Graduate Medical Education. MedEdPublish. 8(2):39.

Kim M, Irmen P, Shoniyozov K, Verginadis II, Cengel KA, Koumenis C, Metz JM, Dong L, Diffenderfer E. Design and commissioning of an image-guided small animal radiation platform and quality assurance protocol for integrated proton and x-ray radiobiology research. Phys Med Biol. 2019 May 10. PMID: 31075786

LaRiviere, M.J., Zhu, T.C., Christodouleas, J.P. Important technical considerations for implementing the ASTRO/ASCO/AUA prostate cancer hypofractionated radiation guideline. Practical Radiation Oncology. 2019 Jul - Aug;9(4):197-199.

LaRiviere, M.J., Baumann, B., Christodouleas, J. Bladder Cancer. Gunderson & Tepper: Clinical Radiation Oncology, 5e. Elsevier. Accepted.

Michael J. LaRiviere, Robert A. Avery, J. Gregory Dolan, Peter C. Adamson, Deborah M. Zarnow, Yunhe Xie, Stephen M. Avery, Goldie A. Kurtz, Christine E. Hill-Kayser, Robert A. Lustig, J. Nicholas Lukens: Emergent radiation for leukemic optic nerve infiltration in a child receiving intrathecal methotrexate. Practical Radiation Oncology In Press, April 2019.

LaRiviere, M.J., Santos, P.M.G., Hill-Kayser, C.E., Metz, J.M. Proton Therapy. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. Peer-reviewed review. Accepted.

Mahmoudi K, Garvey KL, Bouras A, Cramer G, Stepp H, Jesu Raj JG, Bozec D, Busch TM, Hadjipanayis CG. 5-aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy for the treatment of high-grade gliomas. J Neurooncol. 2019 Jan 18. PMID: 30659522

R L Maughan, S Avery, E S Diffenderfer, D Dolney and B-K K Teo : Recent developments at the University of Pennsylvania's Roberts Proton Therapy Center. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1154, May 2019

Ortiz A, Gui J, Zahedi F, Yu P, Cho C, Bhattacharya S, Carbone CJ, Yu Q, Katlinski KV, Katlinskaya YV, Handa S, Haas V, Volk SW, Brice AK, Wals K, Matheson NJ, Antrobus R, Ludwig S, Whiteside TL, Sander C, Tarhini AA, Kirkwood JM, Lehner PJ, Guo W, Rui H, Minn AJ, Koumenis C, Diehl JA, Fuchs SY. An Interferon-Driven Oxysterol-Based Defense against Tumor-Derived Extracellular Vesicles. Cancer Cell. 2019 Jan 14;35(1):33-45. PMID: 30645975

Russell KL, Gorgulho CM, Allen A, Vakaki M, Wang Y, Facciabene A, Lee D, Roy P, Buchser WJ, Appleman LJ, Maranchie J, Storkus WJ, Lotze MT. Inhibiting Autophagy in Renal Cell Cancer and the Associated Tumor Endothelium. Cancer J. 2019 May/Jun;25(3):165-177. PMID: 31135523

Sheikh S, Saxena D, Tian X, Amirshaghaghi A, Tsourkas A, Brem S, Dorsey JF. An integrated stress response agent that modulates DR5 dependent TRAIL synergy reduces patient derived glioma stem cell viability. Mol Cancer Res. 2019 Jan 14. PMID: 30642878

Tameire, Feven & Verginadis, Ioannis & Maria Leli, Nektaria & Polte, Christine & Conn, Crystal & Ojha, Rani & Salas Salinas, Carlo & Chinga, Frank & M. Monroy, Alexandra & Fu, Weixuan & Wang, Paul & Kossenkov, Andrew & Ye, Jiangbin & K. Amaravadi, Ravi & Ignatova, Zoya & Fuchs, Serge & Diehl, John & Ruggero, Davide & Koumenis, Constantinos. (2019). ATF4 couples MYC-dependent translational activity to bioenergetic demands during tumour progression. Nature Cell Biology. 1. 10.1038/s41556-019-0370-x

Vapiwala N, Thomas CR Jr, Grover S, Yap ML, Mitin T, Shulman LN, Gospodarowicz MK, Longo J, Petereit DG, Ennis RD, Hayman JA, Rodin D, Buchsbaum JC, Vikram B, Abdel-Wahab M, Epstein AH, Okunieff P, Goldwein J, Kupelian P, Weidhaas JB, Tucker MA, Boice JD Jr, Fuller CD, Thompson RF, Trister AD, Formenti SC, Barcellos-Hoff MH, Jones J, Dharmarajan KV, Zietman AL, Coleman CN. Enhancing Career Paths for Tomorrow's Radiation Oncologists. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 May 22


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