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SISTA Colloquium

DateMonday, January 23, 2012
Time12:00 pm
Concludes1:30 pm
LocationGould-Simpson 906
SpeakerRussell Hamilton, PhD, DABMP
School/Dept.Professor, Head of Physics, Radiation Oncology
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona Cancer Center

Radiation therapy: State of the art and a glimpse into the future.

High energy x-rays have been used for cancer therapy since their discovery in 1895. Major technological advances in radiation physics and radiobiological discoveries have greatly increased the accuracy of radiation. Today, approximately one third of patients diagnosed with cancer receive radiotherapy. The recent integration of radiation therapy devices and imaging systems provides radiation oncologists with sophisticated dose delivery capability allowing continued improvements in the control of loco-regional and metastatic disease while decreasing toxicity. Key technical aspects of current radiation therapy are described with examples extending to several clinical areas.


Dr. Hamilton earned his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Illinois. He then earned his graduate and doctorate degrees in physics at Stanford University. He completed a fellowship in radiation and cellular oncology at the University of Chicago in 1994, where he served as assistant professor of radiation and cellular oncology, becoming director of physics in 2002.

Dr. Hamilton was appointed associate professor and head of the Department of Radiation Oncology physics section at the University of Arizona in October of 2002. Dr. Hamilton's objective is excellence in clinical service, education and research. His clinical focus is in improving patient care by incorporating technological innovations into routine radiation therapy clinical practice. Dr. Hamilton considers the education of future generations to be of paramount importance. He provides classroom instruction at undergraduate, graduate and medical resident levels, and practical clinical training for physicists and medical dosimetrists. Undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral students have participated in his research projects.

Dr. Hamilton's general research is in the application of mathematical methods to problems in radiation therapy. He is currently investigating phenomenological modeling of radiotherapy toxicity, iterative reconstruction algorithms for optimizing intensity modulated radiation therapy treatment (IMRT), using functional imaging (PET or SPECT) data in radiotherapy planning, incorporating biologically based objectives in IMRT optimization and exploring methods to monitor and control patient motion during radiotherapy delivery.