Welcome to the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to compassionate service to our patients, the translation of new discoveries into the clinic, and the education of future radiation oncology physicians, physicists, and biologists.
Our charge is to take individualized treatment, or “precision radiotherapy,” to the next level. To accomplish this, we offer our patients in South Florida unparalleled disease site expertise. We have experts for most types of cancer, including skin, brain, breast, genitorurinary (prostate, bladder, testis, kidney), gynecologic, lymphoma, lung, esophagus, and gastrointestinal (anal, liver, pancreas, gastric, rectal). We offer some of the latest national clinical trials, as well as several investigator-initiated clinical trials developed by our faculty. Some of these trials have been or are currently funded by the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Defense, the State of Florida Department of Health, Sylvester grants and/or philanthropic support.
Radiation oncology is an imaging intense specialty. We have recruited faculty with a background in imaging research and have purchased and developed our own software to better incorporate the latest imaging methods to plan treatment and monitor response. Within the department there is a PET/CT and 3.0T MRI, which support these efforts. As part of our precision radiotherapy initiative, we are developing quantitative imaging tools that have the potential to revolutionize how patients are managed. These tools are being linked to tumor molecular characteristics (genomics and transcriptomics) for some cancers. Research retreats are held regularly to foster the translation of these methods and others, and to build teams that draw on expertise within and outside the department. These efforts, in combination with being part of Sylvester, the only NCI designated cancer center in South Florida, places us in the distinctive position of giving patients a chance to benefit from advances more rapidly.
The department faculty cover five sites of service, including Sylvester main, Sylvester West at UHealth Tower, Lennar in Coral Gables, Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, and Jackson Memorial Hospital. The Sylvester Cancer Center has invested heavily in radiation oncology to afford our faculty the technology to push the field forward.
Our disease site specialists have expertise in proton therapy, MRI-guided radiotherapy, Gamma Knife radiosurgery, HyperArc stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy, adaptive radiotherapy, and brachytherapy, to highlight some of the tools available. Most importantly, our team has depth in expertise at every level, from the therapists who deliver the treatments; to the nurses who are well-versed in the side effects and care of patients before, during, and after treatment; to dosimetrists with planning acumen to funnel doses away from normal tissues and focus the radiation on the cancer; to medical physicists who check the quality of the plans, monitor the function of our machines, and who as faculty contribute to our drive to excel in our research and education missions; and to our clinical faculty who coordinate with other specialists in the cancer center to develop and implement the best individualized therapeutic approach, research trajectory, and training of future physicians.
The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center offers a unique clinical, academic, and training environment in South Florida, with close collaboration between disease site specialists that include radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, and radiologists. This team approach is critical to our mission to offer the most advanced precision radiotherapy methods to minimize toxicity and maximize tumor cure.Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman of Radiation Oncology