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Søren M. Bentzen

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Søren M. Bentzen

Joint appointments

Professor of Human Oncology, UWSMPH
Professor of Medical Physics, UWSMPH
Professor of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, UWSMPH
Adjunct Professor of Radiobiology and Medical Physics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Varian Visiting Professor to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)


  • B.Sc. in Physics & Mathematics, University of Aarhus, Denmark, 1978.
  • M.Sc. in Physics, University of Aarhus, Denmark, 1981.
  • Ph.D. in Medical Physics, University of Aarhus, Denmark, 1986.
  • D.Sc. ( in Medicine/Clinical Radiobiology, University of Aarhus, Denmark, 1994.
  • Postdoctoral scientist, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Biomathematics, 1987-1988


My research focuses on evidence based radiation oncology and the development of novel strategies for optimizing radiation therapy outcome through personalized prescriptions of the 4D dose distribution using molecular risk profiling and functional imaging, so-called theragnostic radiation oncology. Theragnostic radiation oncology is the theme for a NIH PO1 program project grant under development that I am coordinating. The aim is to provide the clinico-biological basis for rational prescription of non-uniform dose distributions in individual patients. The UW provides an exceptional environment for pursuing this research line, with strong functional and molecular imaging groups - expected to be further enhanced when the Interdisciplinary Research Center (IRC) comes on line.

Molecular risk profiling is directly linked with outcomes research, mainly based on data from clinical trials and we have pioneered the use of hierarchical clustering and competing risks analysis in this context. Most of our work so far, has been based on immunohistochemical markers or DNA gene expression arrays, but we are actively pursuing collaborations and seeking funding for expanding these approaches into proteomics and metabolomics together with the Biotech Center at UW.

My third major research area is bioeffect modeling and outcomes research. Bioeffect modeling includes the modeling of dose-response relationships, linear-quadratic time-dose-frationation models and NTCP/TCP models. I am also involved in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of several randomized controlled trials and have a long-standing research interest in long-term side-effects, health-related quality of life and functional outcomes. Active research lines also include surrogate endpoint in clinical trials and normal tissue radiobiology. Much of this research is pursued with a large network of national and international collaborators.

Fields of Interest

  • Theragnostic radiation oncology
  • Translational radiation oncology
  • Side effects of therapy
  • Clinical outcomes studies
  • Evidence based oncology
  • Iintegration of data from genomics, proteomics and functional imaging into novel strategies for radiation therapy
  • Bio-effect modeling


  • 2011 1st James R Oleson Visiting Professorship, Duke Medical School, Durham
  • 2011 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Keynote Lecturer, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  • 2011 Douglas Lea Lecture, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, UK
  • 2009 Honorary Life Member, Belgian Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
  • 2009 Varian Lectureship, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2009 Alan C Burton Lecturer, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
  • 2009 Vaeth Lectureship, San Francisco Radiation Oncology Conference
  • 2008 Dr. Solomon Padam Singh Oration, Association of Radiation Oncologists of India, Mumbai, India
  • 2008 Honorary Life Member, Association of Radiation Oncologists of India
  • 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • 2007 Elis Berven Lecture, Swedish Society of Oncology
  • 2006 Rolf Wideroe Award, Radiumhospitalet, Oslo, Norway
  • 2006 ESTRO-ICTR Translational Research Award, Int. Conf. on Translational Research and Pre-Clinical Strategies in Radio-Oncology, Lugano, Switzerland
  • 2003 Acta Oncologica Lectureship, Norwegian Society for Oncology
  • 2003 Gold Medal (The Klaas Breur Medal) of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO)
  • 2003 Emmanuel van der Schueren Award Lecturer, European School of Oncology
  • 2003 Institute of Cancer Research Distinguished Lecturer, Sutton, Surrey, UK
  • 2001 Allen S. Lichter Lectureship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2001 Varian Lectureship, Harvard Medical School, Boston
  • 1999 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Annual Lecturer, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • 1998 The Clinical Oncology Award, Danish Society for Oncology
  • 1998 L.H.Gray Memorial Trust Lecture, Association for Radiation Research, UK

Membership of scientific societies: ASTRO, AACR, ESTRO, AROI

Positions and Employment (selected)

1981-1987: Medical Physicist / Research Fellow, University Hospital of Aarhus, Denmark

1987-1988: Visiting Scientist, Dept. of Biomathematics, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

1988-1989: Senior Medical Physicist, University Hospital of Aarhus, Denmark

1990-1997: Senior Scientist / Associate Professor, University of Aarhus and Danish Cancer Society, Department of Experimental Clinical Oncology in Aarhus, Denmark

1998-2004: Head, Human Cancer Biology & Informatics, Gray Laboratory, Mt Vernon Hospital, Northwood, United Kingdom

2000-2005: Honorary Professor, Department of Oncology, University College London, United Kingdom

2004-2005: Visiting Professor of Human Oncology and of Medical Physics, UW Medical School, Madison, WI

2004-present: Director of Research and Education, Department of Human Oncology, UW Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, WI

2005-present: Professor of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

2005-present: Professor of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

2006-2011 Co-Leader (2006-2010) and Leader (2010-2011) of the Imaging and Radiation Science Program, University of Wisconsin Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, WI

2006-present: Member, Imaging and Radiation Science Program, University of Wisconsin Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, WI

2007-present: Adjunct Professor of Radiation Biology and Medical Physics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2008-present: Varian Visiting Professor to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)

2008-present: Professor of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

Committee Memberships etc. (selected)

2010-present: Member, International Committee on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU), Main Committee

2010-present: Chair, ICRU Report Committee on Bioeffect modeling

2007-present: Member, Previously-untreated Locally Advanced Disease Task Force of the Head and Neck Cancer Steering Committee of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

2009-2010: Member, ASTRO Task Force on Whole Breast Radiation Therapy

2008-present: Member, Research Strategy Committee, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)

2008-present: Member, Translational Research Program Committee, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)

2006-2010: Member, QUANTEC Steering Committee

2005-present: Member of the Danish National Light-ion Therapy (DANLITE) Steering Committee

2005-2008: Member, International Scientific Advisory Committee, Academic Clinical Oncology and Radiobiology Research Network, UK

2002-2005: Member, EORTC Translational Research Advisory Committee

2000-2004: Member of the Examining Board for the First Examination for the Fellowship in Clinical Oncology, Royal College of Radiologists, London, UK

1999-2005: External Examiner in Therapeutic Radiography (Chairman of Examination Committee, 2002-2004), Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

1998-2003: member of the Local Research Ethics Committee for West Hertfordshire National Health Service Trust, UK

1998-2002: Head of Information Technology, Gray Laboratory, Northwood UK.

1997-2002: Chairman of the ESTRO Radiobiology Committee

1993-1996: Board member, Danish Cancer Society

1990-1997: Member of the ESTRO Radiobiology Committee

+ numerous Trial Management Groups, Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Committees, Trial Steering Committees

Editorial Service

1991-present: Editorial Board, Radiotherapy & Oncology

2009-present: Consulting Editor, Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics - JCRT

2008-present: Editorial Board, Journal of Oncology

2007-present: Editorial Board, The Open Clinical Cancer Journal

2001-present: Editorial Board, Nowotwory, Journal of the Polish Society of Oncology

2003-2011: Editorial Board, International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics

1998-2010: Editorial Board, Acta Oncologica

1991-2009: Editorial Board, International Journal of Radiation Biology

2004-2005: Associate Editor, British Journal of Radiology

+Ad hoc peer reviewer for 28 international journals

Selected Publications & Citation Metrics

SM Bentzen: Theragnostic imaging for radiation oncology: dose painting by numbers. Lancet Oncology 6: 112-117 (2005).

SM Bentzen: Preventing or reducing late side effects of radiation therapy: radiobiology meets molecular pathology. Nature Reviews Cancer 6: 702–713, (2006).

SM Bentzen, PM Harari & J Bernier: Exploitable mechanisms for combining drugs with radiation: concepts, achievements and future directions. Nature Clinical Practice Oncology 4: 172–180, (2007).

SM Bentzen & A Trotti: Evaluation of early and late toxicities in chemoradiation trials. Journal of Clinical Oncology 25: 4096–4103, (2007).

SM Bentzen: From cellular to high-throughput predictive assays in radiation oncology: Challenges and opportunities. Seminars in Radiation Oncology 18: 75–88, (2008).

START Trialists’ Group, SM Bentzen, RK Agrawal, EG Aird, JM Barrett, PJ Barrett-Lee, JM Bliss, J Brown, JA Dewar, HJ Dobbs, JS Haviland, PJ Hoskin, P Hopwood, PA Lawton, BJ Magee, J Mills, D Morgan, JR Owen, S Simmons, G Sumo, MA Sydenham, K Venables & JR Yarnold: The UK Standardisation of Breast Radiotherapy (START) Trial B of radiotherapy hypofractionation for treatment of early breast cancer: a randomised trial. The Lancet 371: 1098–1107, (2008).

SM Bentzen, LS Constine, JO Deasy, A Eisbruch, A Jackson, LB Marks, RK Ten Haken & ED Yorke: Quantitative Analyses of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic (QUANTEC): An introduction to the scientific issues. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 76, Suppl.1: S3-S9 (2010).

JS Haviland, JR Yarnold & SM Bentzen: Hypofractionated radiotherapy for breast cancer. New England Journal of Medicine 362: 1843-1843 (2010).

Total number of scientific citations (ISI Web of Science): >11,000. h-index: 61

Link to Thomson-Reuters RESEARCHER ID - Citation metrics

10 Most Recent Publications

Daniel G Petereit, L Jennifer Hahn, Shalini Kanekar, Amy Boylan, Søren M Bentzen, Mark Ritter, Amy R Moser
Prevalence of ATM Sequence Variants in Northern Plains American Indian Cancer Patients.
Front Oncol: 2013, 3();318

N Patrik Brodin, Per Munck Af Rosenschöld, Malin Blomstrand, Anne Kiil-Berthlesen, Christian Hollensen, Ivan R Vogelius, Birgitta Lannering, Søren M Bentzen, Thomas Björk-Eriksson
Hippocampal sparing radiotherapy for pediatric medulloblastoma: impact of treatment margins and treatment technique.
Neuro-oncology: 2013;

N Patrik Brodin, Maja V Maraldo, Marianne C Aznar, Ivan R Vogelius, Peter M Petersen, Søren M Bentzen, Lena Specht
Interactive Decision-Support Tool for Risk-Based Radiation Therapy Plan Comparison for Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys.: 2013;

Iwona Wzietek, Rafal Suwinski, Elzbieta Nowara, Marcin Bialas, Soren Bentzen, Andrzej Tukiendorf
Does Routine Clinical Practice Reproduce the Outcome of Large Prospective Trials? The Analysis of Institutional Database on Patients with Limited-Disease Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
Cancer Invest.: 2013;

N Patrik Brodin, Ivan R Vogelius, Thomas Björk-Eriksson, Per Munck Af Rosenschöld, Maja V Maraldo, Marianne C Aznar, Lena Specht, Søren M Bentzen
Optimizing the radiation therapy dose prescription for pediatric medulloblastoma: Minimizing the life years lost attributable to failure to control the disease and late complication risk.
Acta Oncol: 2013;

Donald M Cannon, Minesh P Mehta, Jarrod B Adkison, Deepak Khuntia, Anne M Traynor, Wolfgang A Tomé, Richard J Chappell, Ranjini Tolakanahalli, Pranshu Mohindra, Søren M Bentzen, George M Cannon
Dose-Limiting Toxicity After Hypofractionated Dose-Escalated Radiotherapy in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
J. Clin. Oncol.: 2013;

Bethany M Anderson, Deepak Khuntia, Søren M Bentzen, Heather M Geye, Lori L Hayes, John S Kuo, Mustafa K Baskaya, Behnam Badie, Amar Basavatia, G Mark Pyle, Wolfgang A Tomé, Minesh P Mehta
Single institution experience treating 104 vestibular schwannomas with fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy or stereotactic radiosurgery.
J. Neurooncol.: 2013;

Uffe Bernchou, Tine Schytte, Anders Bertelsen, Søren M Bentzen, Olfred Hansen, Carsten Brink
Time evolution of regional CT density changes in normal lung after IMRT for NSCLC.
Radiother Oncol: 2013;

Søren M Bentzen
Equieffective dose and bioeffect modeling - In reply to Dr. Fowler.
Radiother Oncol: 2013;

Sarah L Kerns, Dirk de Ruysscher, Christian N Andreassen, David Azria, Gillian C Barnett, Jenny Chang-Claude, Susan Davidson, Joseph O Deasy, Alison M Dunning, Harry Ostrer, Barry S Rosenstein, Catharine M L West, Søren M Bentzen
STROGAR - STrengthening the Reporting Of Genetic Association studies in Radiogenomics.
Radiother Oncol: 2013;