Washington, DC -- Johns Hopkins Medicine has named Christina Tsien, M.D., the proton therapy medical director of the new JohnsHopkins National Proton Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Curtiland Deville, M.D., will serve as the associate proton therapy medical director, while retaining his role as the clinical director of radiation oncology at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Tsien, a highly regarded radiation oncologist, joined the proton therapy center October 1, 2019. In her new role, Tsien will oversee all medical aspects of the 80,000-square-foot proton center, one of the largest and most advanced such facilities in the nation. It’s also the only center of its kind in the region that will have a dedicated pediatrics care team and a dedicated gantry for proton research.
Deville is an expert in proton therapy and a leader in several institutional and national clinical trials. His research interests involve better targeting of tumors through proton and photon therapies and reducing radiation to healthy tissues.
“We are advancing proton therapy clinical care, research and education, bringing the benefits of this sophisticated, life-changing technology to adults and pediatric patients,” says Akila Viswanathan, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., interim director of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We are delighted that experts of as high caliber as Dr. Tsien and Dr. Deville will be joining us alongside some of the world’s leading cancer experts from the internationally renowned Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.”
Tsien comes to Johns Hopkins from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she was a professor of radiation oncology and an expert in the treatment of brain tumors using proton technology, Gamma Knife therapy and stereotactic body radiation.
“Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is renowned for its excellence in cancer care and precision medicine,” says Tsien. “The Johns Hopkins National Proton Center is part of a broad commitment to provide world-class cancer care to the Capital Region and to pursue innovative clinical research and education. We have acquired the most advanced proton technology including pencil beam scanning. We have invested in the many talented physicians, scientists and staff who are dedicated to making this facility a leading center in the fight against cancer.”
Tsien has performed extensive translational research on dose escalated radiation therapy to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive primary brain tumor. She has also conducted translational research on physiologic magnetic resonance (MR )and metabolic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging biomarkers to improve tumor response assessment and reduce normal tissue toxicity.
Tsien received her medical degree from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal. She trained at the McGill University Health Centre and completed a fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Tsien served as chief of the Central Nervous System Tumors (CNS) service and was promoted to professor at the University of Michigan in 2014.
The Johns Hopkins National Proton Center, now treating children and adults, is one of the largest and most advanced such facilities in the nation. Through a collaboration with Children’s National Hospital, which is rated by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 nationally for pediatric cancer care, the proton center is the only one in the Greater Washington, D.C., region that has a dedicated pediatric team. Children here will receive the most advanced proton therapy in the region, provided by some of the world’s leading experts.
One of the center’s four proton rooms will be dedicated for research to help chart the future of proton cancer treatment. The team of experts at the Johns Hopkins National Proton Center will lead efforts to study clinical outcomes, identify patients that benefit most from proton treatments, improve our understanding and calculation of its biologic effects, and improve proton delivery, especially for tumors affected by motion. In addition, the researchers will examine how to improve the delivery of proton therapy with systemic therapies including immunotherapy.
And, through a strategic partnership with Howard University, the proton center will serve as an educational and training site for students enrolled in Howard’s physics program.