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 Healthcare’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 2019!

Match Day – the annual event during which senior medical students learn where they will be doing their internship and residency training in their chosen specialty – was held on Friday, March 15, 2019.  The UNC Department of Radiation Oncology is excited to announce that we matched two outstanding medical students, who will be joining … Continued

World Cancer Day 2019

UNC Radiation Oncology supports the World Cancer Day effort, held each year on February 4. World Cancer Day raises awareness and seeks to empower all of us worldwide to show support, raise our voices, take personal action and press our governments to do more to fight cancer. The World Cancer Day website contains cancer-related educational materials, … Continued

Dr. Bhisham Chera

Chera and Gupta presentation on HPV-linked cancer featured at ASTRO

UNC radiation oncologists Drs. Bhisham Chera and Gaorav Gupta presented early results of a clinical trial at this week’s American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting in San Antonio, TX evaluating a blood test for HPV-linked oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer of the back of the throat. Their findings suggest that a simple … Continued

Pearlstein wins 2018 Cefalo house officer award

Congratulations to fourth year radiation oncology resident Dr. Kevin Pearlstein for his receipt of a prestigious 2018 Cefalo house officer award. Cefalo awardees are selected annually by a committee of physicians, nurses, and other clinical and administrative staff, and honor medical residents who exemplify dedication to patients, their families and caregivers, as well as demonstrate excellence … Continued