Corona virus: What people with cancer need to know

Welcome To Radiation Oncology

Lawrence Marks, MD

Welcome Message From the Chair

Welcome to the UNC Department of Radiation Oncology. Our dedicated and hard-working faculty and staff strive to exemplify UNC Health Care’s motto “Leading, Teaching, Caring”.

We have a longstanding and strong tradition of leadership and innovation in the field of radiation oncology. In particular, we have pioneered the use of computer-assisted, image-guided therapy. This allows us to focus the radiation on the tumor, while minimizing the risks to the surrounding normal organs. We have an active research team and strive to translate advances from the laboratory to the clinic to benefit our patients.

This translational research focus reflects our continuing commitment to state of the art patient care and to the training of the next generation of radiation oncologists and other radiotherapy professionals.

In 2009, we moved into the North Carolina Cancer Hospital, where the Department offers the following services:

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy: Using state-of-the-art linear accelerators, X-rays or electrons are focused on the tumor while trying to avoid damage to surrounding normal tissues.
  • Intensity-Modulated and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy: External beam radiation therapy that allows radiation doses to be delivered to the tumor more accurately, while further minimizing damage to surrounding normal tissues.
  • TomoTherapy®: External beam radiation therapy in which the radiation is delivered to the tumor in a series of small slices, rather than irradiating the whole tumor at once. This improves accuracy even more and further minimizes damage to surrounding normal tissues.
  • CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery: External beam radiation therapy that allows physicians to irradiate small tumors virtually anywhere in the body with the highest level of precision. This is useful because some tumors can’t be removed by traditional surgery without involving significant risks.
  • Mobetron® Intraoperative Radiotherapy: Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) consists of a large single dose of electrons generated by a portable linear accelerator and delivered during cancer surgery through the surgical incision. The goal of IORT is to treat the “tumor bed” – the local area where the tumor used to be before it was surgically removed – which could still contain microscopic deposits of cancer. Normal tissue damage is minimized by either moving nearby organs out of the radiation field, or else shielding them from the radiation exposure.
  • Brachytherapy: The use of radioactive capsules, wires or “seeds” that are implanted in and around a patient’s tumor, either temporarily or permanently. Brachytherapy is commonly used for gynecological cancers and a few others. The brachytherapy room provides live imaging of the treatment area as the radioactive materials are implanted, allowing procedures to be completed more quickly and accurately.

We are proud to be part of this great university that provides excellent care and service to the citizens of North Carolina. As one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, we welcome patients from throughout the state and beyond.

We invite you to learn more about our Department and its clinical, research and education programs.

Lawrence B. Marks, M.D.

Latest News

🎉 Match Day 2020

The UNC Department of Radiation Oncology is pleased to announce that two new future radiation oncologists will be joining our medical residency program on July 1, 2021, Drs. Ethan Steele and Michael Young,     Dr. Ethan Steele is from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN. Dr. Steele earned a bachelor’s degree … Continued

Cox wins prestigious lifetime achievement award in student mentorship

We are very proud of our own Dr. Adrienne Cox, professor of radiation oncology and pharmacology and head of Radiation Oncology’s Division of Cancer Biology, for her receipt of a prestigious UNC Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement. This award is given to those who have devoted a significant part of their academic careers to mentoring, … Continued

World Cancer Day 2020

World Cancer Day takes place each year on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.  #WorldCancerDay  #IAmAndIWill In honor of this important occasion, here are some tips on how to not get cancer in the first place (click on the image for an expanded view):

Agarwal and Royce pen high profile publication in JAMA Oncology

  Third year radiation oncology resident Dr. Ankit Agarwal and assistant professor of radiation oncology Dr. Trevor Royce co-authored a high profile publication in the prestigious journal JAMA Oncology that was posted online on January 16, 2020. They compared costs associated with a standard course of radiation therapy for prostate cancer at 52 National Cancer … Continued