News Archive

DHO Celebrates Residency Program Graduates, Fellow and Educators

The Department of Human Oncology (DHO) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison recently celebrated the graduation of two radiation oncology residents, two radiation oncology physics residents and a Bentson Translational Research Fellow and honored two educators.  Read more.

Concert for a Cause: Local Dance School Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Research

Midwest Performing Arts, a dance school in Waunakee, raised nearly $5,000 from its recent Concert for a Cause to support the cancer research efforts of Dr. Bethany Anderson, an associate professor in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin. Read more.

2019 Head and Neck Cancer SPORE teamHead and Neck SPORE Team Highlights Progress, Looks Toward 2020 Grant Renewal

The UW HN SPORE team recently hosted its third annual retreat and external advisory board (EAB) meeting. During this one-and-a-half-day event, team members highlighted the progress of SPORE projects and core support programs while soliciting feedback from the EAB as the team begins to focus on renewal themes for this five-year NIH grant.

Jessie Huang-VredevoogdDr. Jessie Huang-Vredevoogd Evaluates Clinical Capabilities of Dose Calculation Algorithm

Dr. Jessie Huang-Vredevoogd, assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology, evaluated the capabilities of the RayStation’s Monte Carlo dose calculation algorithm for electron planning. This research, co-authored with with Dr. David Dunkerley, UW radiation oncology physics resident, and Dr. Jennifer Smilowitz, DHO professor, appears in the June issue of the Journal of Applied Medical Physics. Read more.

Grace Blitzer, MDDr. Grace Blitzer Earns RSNA Grant for Research on Salivary Function in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Dr. Grace Blitzer, a UW radiation oncology resident, recently earned a Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Resident Research Grant. This $30,000 award supports a project that will generate preliminary data on the use of stem cell therapy for radiation-induced xerostomia, or dry mouth, in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. Read more.

Jessica Schuster, MDDr. Jessica Schuster Wins UW Health Regional Services Excellence Award

Dr. Jessica Schuster, assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology and radiation oncologist at UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek, recently received a UW Health Regional Services Excellence Award. Read more.

Rupak Das, PhDDr. Rupak Das Retires After 22 Years in DHO

Dr. Rupak Das, professor in the Department of Human Oncology, retired from active clinical service on May 30 after 22 years. During his time in the department, Das made significant contributions, most notably in brachytherapy and resident education. In a recent interview, he shared thoughts on his career. Read more.

Zachary Morris headshotDr. Zachary Morris Receives Shaw Scientist Award

Dr. Zachary Morris, assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology, received the 2019 Shaw Scientist Award from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The award, which comes with $200,000 in seed funding, will support Morris’ research on how different doses of radiation therapy may impact the ability of a patient’s immune system to recognize their cancer and how radiation dose may affect the susceptibility of cancer cells to that immune response. Read more.

Dr. Pippa Cosper Earns ASCO Young Investigator Award and RSNA Research Fellow Grant

Dr. Pippa Cosper, a Bentson Translational Research Fellow in the Department of Human Oncology, recently received two grants to support her study of the role of chromosomal instability as a potential mechanism and marker of radiation sensitivity in head and neck and cervical cancer: an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award and a Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research Fellow Grant. Read more.

Howard Bailey, director of UW Carbone Cancer Research Center with Kristine Donahue, biology graduate student, Jacob Witt, UW radiation oncology resident and SMPH Dean Robert GoldenDr. Jacob Witt Earns 2nd Place at UWCCC Research Retreat for Presentation on MRI-Guided SBRT 

Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)—a  technique for delivering precise high dose external beam radiation—can be used to target metastatic lesions in the spine. But treating certain spinal lesions can be challenging given their proximity to the spinal cord and nerve roots. In a presentation that won second place for trainee oral presentations at the recent UW Carbone Cancer Center Research Retreat, Dr. Jacob Witt, a UW radiation oncology resident, outlined a new MRI-guided SBRT approach for spine metastases that potentially offers “higher confidence in terms of what we’re treating and, importantly, what we’re not treating.” Read more.

Matthew Witek, MDDr. Matthew Witek Featured in Story about UW Health’s Free Head and Neck Cancer Screening

Dr. Matthew Witek, assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology, was featured in a Spectrum News story about UW Health’s recent free head and neck cancer screening. The screening, which took place on April 12, is an annual event intended to detect head and neck cancer in its early stages. Early detection can increase a patient’s likelihood of survival and reduce treatment side effects.

Tera Kruser, UW Health dosimetrist , and Dr. Kate Mittauer, DHO staff physicist
Tera Kruser and Dr. Kate Mittauer
DHO Excels in MR-Guided Pancreas Competition

Congratulations to Tera Kruser, UW Health dosimetrist, and Dr. Kate Mittauer, DHO staff physicist, for their excellent showing in the recent MR-guided pancreas ProKnow Plan Study. Each participant in this competition, which was open to all ViewRay Users, created a pancreas stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) plan for the same case study. Kruser’s plan came in fourth place and Mittauer’s ranked fifth. Their performance is a testament to the success of the department’s MR-guided radiation therapy program, and their plans will serve as a resource for others to improve their radiation treatment planning techniques.

Dr. Jessica Schuster and patient Brad Glassel in front of the Varian TrueBeam Radiotherapy System at UW Cancer Clinic Johnson CreekUW Cancer Center Johnson Creek Begins Treatment with New State-of-the-Art Radiation Therapy Technology

On Jan. 14, the UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek commenced cancer patient treatments in a freshly upgraded radiation oncology clinic. At the heart of this upgrade is a highly sophisticated and newly commissioned Varian TrueBeam Radiotherapy System. This state-of-the-art linear accelerator will enable the clinic to provide cancer patients in Southeastern Wisconsin convenient access to many high-precision radiation treatments available at the UW Carbone Cancer Center in Madison. Read more.

Janet Nanni, Denise Wright, Dr. Paul Harari and Peter Nanni display a couple of quilts donated to UW Radiation Oncology ClinicHandmade Quilts of Compassion

Denise Wright recently delivered 27 handmade quilts to the Radiation Oncology Clinic at University of Wisconsin Hospital, where her brother completed treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer eight years ago and remains cancer-free. The quilts—and others she will make in the future—are intended for patients who are having a particularly difficult treatment experience or whose family is struggling emotionally or financially. Read more.

Zachary Morris headshotDr. Zachary Morris and Colleagues Earn NIH Cancer Moonshot Grant

Dr. Zachary Morris, assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin Department of Human Oncology, Dr. Jamey Weichert, associate professor in the Department of Radiology, and their team of collaborators have earned a five-year, $2.5 million National Institutes of Health Cancer Moonshot grant for research aimed at improving cancer immunotherapy. Read more.

Drs. Michael Bassetti and Matthew Witek holding trophy cup.Hockey Champs

When not caring for cancer patients at UW, Radiation Oncologists Michael Bassetti and Matthew Witek are leading Team World Domination to a Sun Prairie Hockey League Championship and bringing the “Stanley” cup home to the Department of Human Oncology. Beautifully done, Mike and Matt.

woman wears plastic mask used for stereotactic radiosurgeryNew Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery Technique Improves Patient Experience

The Radiation Oncology Clinic at University of Wisconsin Hospital recently implemented a new method of performing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)—a single high dose of radiation to precisely treat small primary or metastatic brain tumors and other intracranial conditions. Read more.

DHO Chairman Dr. Paul Harari talks with U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan.U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan Visits DHO Labs and Clinic

On August 27, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan visited the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. There he met with radiation oncologists and medical physicists to learn about the department’s cancer research and latest treatment advances. Read more.

Margaret Straub receives 2017 UW Health Provider Champion AwardDHO Physician Assistant Margaret Straub Earns UW Health Provider Champion Award

Margaret Straub, a physician assistant in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, recently received a 2017 UW Health Provider Champion Award. Read more. 

Dr. Jennifer Smilowitz, headshotJennifer Smilowitz Elected Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Smilowitz, clinical professor in the Department of Human Oncology (DHO) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). Read more.

Bucky Golfing

Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Share their Stories at 2018 Heads Up! Golf Outing

This year’s Heads Up! outing raised $30,000 to support advances in H&N cancer research and clinical care. Click here to read more and view photos from this event.

Mark Ritter, MDDr. Mark Ritter Retires after 30 Years in DHO

Dr. Mark Ritter, professor in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, retired from active clinical service on June 30. In a recent interview, he shared thoughts on his career, the department, the field of radiation oncology and his retirement. Read more.

Zac Labby, Abigail Besemer, Craig Hullett, Stephen Rosenberg, Kristin Bradley, Paul HarariDHO Celebrates Residency Program Graduates 

The Department of Human Oncology (DHO) recently celebrated the graduation of three talented residents—Drs. Stephen Rosenberg, Craig Hullett and Abigail Besemer. Read more.

Dr. Michael Bassetti Receives UW Health Rising Star Award

Dr. Michael Bassetti, assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, recently received a UW Health Rising Star Clinical Excellence Award. Read more.

Next Generation Cancer Trials Should Combine Radiation Therapy With Promising New Cancer Drugs

Patients could see powerful benefits if cancer research included more clinical trials that combined radiation with new targeted therapies and immunotherapy drugs, according to a white paper authored by leading University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center researcher Dr. Paul Harari.
Read more.

Ravi Patel, MD
Dr. Ravi Patel Earns ASCO Young Investigator Award

Dr. Ravi Patel, a Bentson Translational Research Fellow in the Department of Human Oncology, recently received an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award in support of his research aimed at improving cancer immunotherapies. Read more.

 

Randall Kimple, MD, PhDDr. Randy Kimple Named Co-Leader of UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Imaging and Radiation Sciences Program

Dr. Randy Kimple, radiation oncology faculty member in the Department of Human Oncology (DHO), has been named co-leader of the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Imaging and Radiation Sciences (IR) Program. Read more.

MRIdian linac system by ViewRay. Image courtesy of ViewRay Inc.
MRIdian linac system by ViewRay. Image courtesy of ViewRay Inc.
DHO Implements the latest MRI-Guided Radiotherapy Technology

In 2014, the radiation oncology clinic at the University of Wisconsin Hospital became one of the first sites in the world to begin treating patients using ViewRay MRIdian, an MRI-guided radiation therapy system. This system enables clinicians to monitor tumors and surrounding tissues during treatment to ensure accurate delivery of radiation. The department continues to lead in this area with its upgrade to a ViewRay MRIdian Linac, the only FDA-cleared radiation therapy system to combine MRI guidance with a linear accelerator (linac). Read more.

 

Dr. Andrew Baschnagel, DHO assistant professor, receives ARRO Educator of the Year award from Dr. Stephen Rosenberg, DHO chief radiation oncology resident. Dr. Andrew Baschnagel Honored with ARRO Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Andrew Baschnagel, assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology, recently received the 2017-2018 Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) Educator of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding teaching and mentoring of residents in the department. Read more.

SpaceOAR separates prostate and rectumReducing Side Effects During Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer

Radiation is a very effective treatment for prostate cancer, but in a small percentage of patients it also can cause toxicities to nearby organs, particularly the rectum. To reduce complications for these patients, Dr. Greg Cooley, Department of Human Oncology (DHO) clinical associate professor and radiation oncologist at UW Health East, uses an injectable hydrogel to separate the prostate from the rectum during treatment. Read more.

Kathryn Mittauer, PhDDr. Kathryn Mittauer Receives Early Career Medical Physicist Scholarship Award

Dr. Kathryn Mittauer, Department of Human Oncology Bentson Clinical Research Fellow/staff medical physicist, received an Early Career Medical Physicist Scholarship Award at the Winter Institute of Medical Physics. At the meeting, Mittauer gave a presentation about her work on commissioning the department’s ViewRay MRIdian Linac, an MRI-guided radiation therapy system that enables high-precision motion management and on-table adaptive radiotherapy. Congratulations, Dr. Mittauer!

Dr. Zachary Morris in lab Dr. Zachary Morris Featured in UW Carbone Cancer Center Advances Newsletter

The April issue of Advances, the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s newsletter, includes an article about Human Oncology Assistant Professor Dr. Zachary Morris’ research on combining radiation therapy and immunotherapies to teach the immune system to fight cancer. Read more.

Zachary Morris on stairsDr. Zachary Morris’ Research Featured on NIH Director’s Blog

Dr. Zachary Morris, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology (DHO) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, studies the combined use of radiation therapy and immunotherapy to treat cancer. His work was recently featured on NIH Director Francis Collins’ blog. Read more.

George Jirousek
George Jirousek one month after treatment
Patient Benefits from Specialized Use of Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a technique in which radioactive seeds are inserted directly into the tumor bed to deliver a precise localized dose of radiation. It is most commonly used to treat cancers of the breast, prostate and gynecological tract. In some instances, it also offers an excellent option for other disease sites when typical treatment methods are not possible. Read more.

 

Brad Glassel rings end-of-treatment bell at UW Cancer Center–Johnson CreekGrateful Patient Donates Bell to UW Cancer Center–Johnson Creek

One year after completing treatment for prostate cancer, Brad Glassel donated a bell to UW Cancer Center–Johnson Creek for patients to ring to celebrate the end of their treatment. Read more.

 

UW Radiation Oncology staff dressed for HalloweenRadiation Oncology Shows Its Halloween Spirit

Radiation Oncology personnel show Department Chairman Dr. Paul Harari why the UW Radiation Oncology Clinic is a perennial leader in patient satisfaction every year. Halloween is just one of the many holidays where creative fun and team spirit can help our patients and families through the challenges of cancer treatments. Read more.

Stephen Rosenberg, Post Grad Trainee
Radiation Oncology Resident Dr. Stephen Rosenberg’s Book Clarifies Cancer Concepts for Patients

Dr. Stephen Rosenberg, a UW radiation oncology chief resident, is hoping to help patients and their loved ones understand the complex information that comes with a cancer diagnosis with his book “Cancer: What You Need to Know.” Read more.

Visiting Professor Thomas Pugh with DHO residents and chairDr. Thomas J. Pugh, Visiting Professor

On Oct. 20, the University of Wisconsin Department of Human Oncology (DHO) had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Thomas J. Pugh, associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Pugh, a talented clinician and researcher with special expertise in genitourinary cancer, served as a visiting professor and shared his perspectives with DHO residents and fellows. Read more.

Dr. Zachary Morris in the labDr. Zachary Morris Wins Prestigious NIH Director’s Early Independence Award

Dr. Zachary Morris, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Oncology (DHO) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, has won a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Early Independence Award. Read more.

Alan Rapraeger, PhDDr. Alan Rapraeger Awarded NCI Funding to Study Myeloma Cell Signaling

Dr. Alan Rapraeger, professor of human oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, has been awarded a five-year, $1.9 million R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute to investigate signaling mechanisms that drive myeloma cell proliferation, survival and invasion. Read more.

11th Annual Heads Up! Golf Outing (2017)
11th Annual Heads Up! Golf Outing (2017)
11th Annual Heads Up! Golf Outing More Than $20,000 for Head and Neck Cancer

The 11th Annual Heads Up! Golf Outing, a fundraiser for head and neck cancer research and treatment at the University of Wisconsin, brought together 130 golfers and more than 180 dinner guests at University Ridge Golf Course on July 24. This year’s outing raised more than $20,000. Read more.


Andrew Baschnagel, MDDr. Andrew Baschnagel Earns Carbone Young Investigator Award

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a difficult disease to treat and cure. The prognosis is particularly poor if it spreads to the brain, which can occur in 20 to 30 percent of patients with this disease. Read more.

DHO Explores New Technique to Improve the Daily Precision of Radiation Therapy

Faculty and staff in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health are investigating a new way to adjust radiation treatment plans rapidly to account for subtle anatomical changes that may occur daily during the course of treatment. Read More.