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Promise and Progress - Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences

Promise & Progress - A Spectrum of Achievements

Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences

Date: January 15, 2015

Past, Present and Promise

Theodore DeWeese, M.D.
Theodore DeWeese, M.D., Director and Kimmel Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
Flynn Larsen

Radiation oncology has come a long way since its origins as an offshoot of the department of radiology and later as a program of the department of oncology.  Although, we only recently celebrated the 10th year as our own department, our history of excellence in cancer research and patient care and the integral role it has played in the management of cancer are not new. 

What started more than four decades ago as a program built around the cancer fighting power of targeted X-ray beams has evolved significantly.  These healing rays are still essential to the care we provide, but we have grown into so much more. Molecular radiation sciences, knifeless radiosurgery, proton beams, radiosensitizers, nanoparticles, radiolabeled drugs, targeted and immune-stimulating therapies, informatics systems, efficiencies models, and inventions that propel research and make the clinic safer are now part of our  21st century science and medicine.

We have built upon the strengths and the work of early pioneers to create a program of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences that is second to none.  Our experts have earned recognition as world leaders in developing transformational concepts and translating  basic developments into novel therapies that have changed the standard of care and improved the lives of patients with cancer.  You will read about many of the advances in this special issue of Promise & Progress.

The ingenuity of our clinicians and scientists and the progress we have made in the last ten years has exceeded my expectations, and it points to the boundless possibilities before us.  I marvel at the talent we have amassed here. Our physicians, scientists, physicists, nurses, technologists, residents and students, and administrative staff have collectively and collaboratively pointed us toward the future.

Of course, none of our success would be possible without the support of the many gracious donors who provided a fertile foundation for novel ideas to flourish. The growth in science, talent, and equipment that allows us to meet increasing patient demands and to continuously innovate safer and more effective treatments is made possible through their generous commitment.

I am honored and humbled to lead a department so steeped in talent and promise. As we mark this milestone and reflect on our rich history, the unprecedented progress of the last decade, and the breakthroughs on the horizon, the future looks bright.  I can only imagine what the next ten years will bring.


Theodore DeWeese, M.D.,

Director and Kimmel Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins


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