Three Leaders in Radiation Oncology Awarded the ASTRO Gold Medal


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Three leaders in radiation oncology have been named recipients of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Gold Medal. Benedick A. Fraass, PhD, FASTRO; ­Christopher G. Willett, MD, FASTRO; and ­Anthony L. Zietman, MD, FASTRO; will be recognized at an awards ceremony during ­ASTRO’s 58th Annual Meeting, to be held September 25–28, 2016, in Boston.

Bruce D. Minsky, MD, FASTRO

Bruce D. Minsky, MD, FASTRO

“Drs. Fraass, Willett and Zietman, both as a cohort and as individual trailblazers in the field, represent the highest echelon of cutting-edge oncology research, of success training future generations of radiation oncologists and medical physicists, and of devoted and impactful service to their colleagues and patients,” said ASTRO Chair Bruce D. Minsky, MD, FASTRO.

Benedick A. Fraass, PhD, FASTRO

Dr. Fraass currently serves as Vice Chair for Research as well as Professor and Director of Medical Physics in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He also holds an appointment as Health Sciences Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Benedick A. Fraass, PhD, FASTRO

Benedick A. Fraass, PhD, FASTRO

Dr. Fraass’ work has enhanced the accuracy and effectiveness of radiation therapy for scores of patients facing a number of cancer types, including diseases in sites such as the liver and lung that may be difficult to treat. He and his group led efforts in the 1980s to understand and implement three-dimensional planning for radiation treatment and pioneered the introduction and validation of computer-controlled radiation delivery systems in the 1990s.

Dr. Fraass earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He also completed a fellowship in radiation oncology at the National Institutes of Health prior to joining the Michigan faculty, where he spent 27 years practicing and teaching.

Christopher G. Willett, MD, FASTRO

Dr. Willett is the current Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology for the Duke University Medical Center. Under his leadership at Duke, the department’s clinical and physics faculty has doubled; he has developed a comprehensive division of medical physics, including a graduate program; and the clinical services have expanded to seven facilities in North Carolina and Virginia. Dr. Willett also established a department-supported clinical trial recruitment program that accrues 150 to 180 patients each year to investigator-initiated trials.

Christopher G. Willett, MD, FASTRO

Christopher G. Willett, MD, FASTRO

Dr. Willett’s contributions to clinical and translational research are many, whether pioneering intraoperative radiation therapy to treat rectal and pancreatic cancers, or demonstrating the potential of radiation therapy combined with antiangiogenic therapy to fight a range of malignancies.

Dr. Willett received his medical degree from Tufts University and completed his residency and clinical research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He spent a year as a surgical intern at Vanderbilt University.

Anthony L. Zietman, MD, FASTRO

Dr. Zietman is the Jenot and William Shipley Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard, and Director of the school’s Radiation Oncology Residency Program. Dr. Zietman has also treated patients as a radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital since 1991.

Anthony L. Zietman, MD, FASTRO

Anthony L. Zietman, MD, FASTRO

His past work looked to clarify whether or not proton therapy fosters superior outcomes compared to other therapies for localized prostate cancer. He has strongly advocated that those with the lowest risk form of this disease be spared from treatment altogether.

Dr. Zietman has led multiple clinical trials examining the efficacy of therapy in genitourinary cancers, including the use of androgen deprivation or radiation dose escalation for localized prostate cancer and chemoradiation in bladder cancer.

Dr. Zietman earned his medical degree from the University of London. He completed multiple residencies and fellowships, including internal medicine at the Middlesex and Westminster Hospitals in London, radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and clinical oncology at the Middlesex and Mount Vernon Hospitals back in London. ■



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