Wilmot Cancer Center Radiation Oncologist Gets Research Grant

January 28, 2004

Paul Okunieff, M.D., chief of radiation oncology at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, received a $35,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.  Okunieff will study ways to use cutting-edge, shaped-beam radiosurgery to improve the treatment of breast cancer.

Okunieff is chair of the Radiation Oncology Department at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and was the first in the country to use shaped-beam radiosurgery, which delivers radiation therapy with pinpoint precision, for tumors throughout the body.  This technology, which shapes the radiation beams to match the shape of the tumor, was originally designed to treat brain tumors.

The Wilmot Cancer Center is home to the Robert J. Flavin Shaped Beam Surgery Center, where this innovative treatment is offered.  Okunieff is currently studying using this technology to treat liver cancer and breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, which can often be fatal.

A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and fellowship at Harvard Medical School.  He joined the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1997.

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