Our Research

Our Research

Massey Cancer Center, which provides patients the most advanced radiotherapy services in Central Virginia, has become a major site for cutting-edge clinical research, and the Department of Radiation Oncology is a crucial contributor to its success.  


Information about the research in the Department of Radiation Oncology

Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology includes innovative basic science, translational and clinical studies that result in the best treatment options for our patients and contribute to the overall success and progression of the field. 

Radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiobiologists all conduct research projects from bench to bedside, and we encourage residents to apply for outside funding and submit their findings to peer-reviewed journals during their time at VCU.  

Areas of Research

Physicians, faculty, residents and postdocs engage in extensive studies to improve the quality of care available for patients.

Areas of research include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Long-term side effects of radiation treatment 
  • Image-based determinants for tumor control 
  • Radiation and chemotherapy in combination 
  • Impact of immune status on pre-cancerous disease in HIV-positive patients 
  • Use of MRI before and after stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) 

Other areas of research include the laboratory-based work by the department’s talented radiobiologists and medical physicists, who collaborate across multiple disciplines to conduct translational studies with clinical applications that benefit our patients receiving radiation treatment.

Read more about their research efforts:  

Molecular Radiobiology and Targeted Imaging

Medical Physics

Clinical Trials

Researchers in the Department of Radiation Oncology regularly engage in clinical trials spanning a broad spectrum of disciplines and subspecialties. Ongoing trials include the following:

  • Total skin electron beam (TSEB) and brentuximab vedotin for treatment of mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome (Shiyu Song, M.D). 
  • Permanently implantable low-dose-rate (LDR) CivaSheet®, in combination with external beam therapy (EBT) in treatment of pancreatic cancer (Emma Fields, M.D.) 
  • Hypofractionated regional nodal irradiation for treatment of breast cancer (Douglas Arthur, M.D.) 
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy and PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibiting therapy for treatment of advanced solid tumors after disease control on PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibiting therapy (Alfredo Urdaneta, M.D.) 
  • Radiation treatment and TMZ chemotherapy vs. radiation treatment and PCV chemotherapy for newly diagnosed anaplastic gliomas or low-grade gliomas (Timothy James Harris, M.D.) 
  • Observation vs. irradiation for a gross total resection (GTR) grade II meningioma (Timothy James Harris, M.D.) 
  • Serum cytokine and gene expression profiles as predictors of radiation treatment-induced normal tissue complications (Shiyu song, M.D.) 
  • Development of clinical MRI procedure and application for precise liver cancer SBRT (Tae Ho Kim)  
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