Skip Navigation

About the Department of Radiation Oncology

  • The Department of Radiation Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center plays a central role in treating adults and children with cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Children's Hospital. Our care providers work closely together to develop an individualized radiation therapy plan for each patient, and to provide supportive resources before and after treatment.

    Radiation Oncology clinician and patient

    As part of your cancer care plan, you may be referred for some form of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is a part of treatment for about two-thirds of patients with cancer.

    We understand that the prospect of radiation therapy may make you anxious, particularly with regard to side effects and safety concerns. We want to assure you that your treatment plan will be customized for you and carried out by a team that includes physicians, nurses, radiation therapists, medical physicists, and experts who calculate radiation doses. Learn more about radiation therapy safety.

    The Department of Radiation Oncology has two separate units, one at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the other at Dana-Farber, staffed by providers who work at both locations. Our 25 radiation oncologists treat about 2,700 patients annually, in collaboration with the 13 disease-specific treatment center specialists.

    In addition, we provide expert, community based radiation oncology services at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center at Milford Regional Medical Center and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital

    Radiation therapy is a fast-moving field that is continually bringing new advances to patients. Our specialists are committed to providing the latest developments that have proven both effective and safe.

    Diseases we treat

    Different types of cancer require different radiation therapy approaches. Our clinicians have specialized knowledge in treating each type of cancer for which radiation therapy is indicated, and you will be matched with the most knowledgeable team members for your specific case.

    Cancers treated in the Department of Radiation Oncology include breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers, head and neck cancers, sarcomas, thoracic cancer, lymphoma, and cancers of the central nervous system.

  • Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer: Deep Inspiration Breath-Hold
    Jay Harris, MD, who wrote the first research describing the "deep inspiration breath-hold" technique, discusses how it is used during radiation therapy to reduce the amount of radiation that reaches the patient's heart.