Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
Associate Professor of Oncology
Over two decades ago, when she was still in medical school, Dr. Frassica decided which medical specialty she would pursue.
“Working with cancer patients was the thing I found most gratifying and challenging. Radiation oncology offered what I thought was an excellent opportunity to interact with patients, and to provide treatment that I felt was generally well-tolerated and able to provide relief for their disease,” says Dr. Frassica, of radiation oncology.
To this day, she has no regrets.
Having served as the Radiation Oncology Residency Program Director for nine years, Dr. Frassica instilled that same level of interest in the profession to medical residents. Continuing to work one-on-one with trainees in the clinic, she remains pleased to share with physicians-in-training the explosive growth that has taken place in the field during her career.
“In radiation oncology, there have been tremendous technical advances to allow us to deliver radiation in a much better fashion, with greater homogeneity of dose,” Dr. Frassica says, noting that these improvements have opened up better and often less invasive treatment options for breast cancer patients. For instance, many patients who once had no choice but to undergo a mastectomy can now undergo a combination of lumpectomy and radiation instead.
Dr. Frassica considers herself fortunate to be a part of Johns Hopkins, whose patients are often among the first to benefit from technological breakthroughs made by the institution’s scientists. “The research base here is tremendous,” she says.
While she acknowledges that the pace of research for those awaiting treatment advances can seem slow, Dr. Frassica is confident that strides will continue to be made, as they have during her tenure as a radiation oncologist. “The volume of research will gradually move from the lab into the clinic, and we will continue to find better and better treatments,” she says.