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PROTON THERAPY

One of the biggest breakthroughs in cancer treatment is here.

Proton Therapy with HYPERSCANTM at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is the first and only hospital in the world to offer proton therapy with HYPERSCANTM, the most advanced form of radiation treatment. Highly effective on tumors anywhere in the body, it conforms to the exact shape of the tumor. It’s noninvasive and precise, and there is no exit dose, which spares surrounding healthy tissue and vital organs. With fewer side effects and less radiation, proton therapy is effective in treating both adults and children.

Proton therapy can treat tumors anywhere in the body including:

Brain tumors

Gastrointestinal cancers

Gynecologic cancers

Head and neck tumors

Lung and chest cancers

Lymphomas

Pediatric tumors

Prostate cancer

Recurrent, previously irradiated tumors

Sarcoma and soft tissue

Spinal cord tumors

Request a Consultation

For more information about proton therapy or to schedule a tour, contact Cheryl Savage, Administrator, Department of Radiation Medicine at (855) 213-9410, or submit your request online.

Benefits of Proton Therapy With HYPERSCAN™ Technology

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital uses a unique technology, with the following advantages for your patients:

Greater precision - HYPERSCAN’S specialized adaptive aperture design produces a beam that is sharper than that of other systems, reducing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Its layer-by-layer administration also allows for more precise sculpting, further protecting normal tissue and customizing the beam to mold to the exact size and shape of the tumor.

Speed - Faster than other proton pencil beam scanning (PBS) systems, HYPERSCAN can reduce the margin of error in treating tumors that are affected by breathing or organ motion, improving both treatment accuracy and patient comfort as patients need to spend less time lying still.

Better performance - With pinpoint accuracy, HYPERSCAN can deposit its cancer-fighting dose directly into the tumor and then stop, leaving no exit dose. This allows for better dose distribution so your patient experiences fewer side-effects and less risk of radiation-induced secondary cancers.

Proton therapy with HYPERSCAN is now available at MedStar Georgetown

Proton Therapy

Conventional Radiation

Proton therapy with HYPERSCAN targets the tumor leaving virtually no exit dose as compared to conventional radiation.

Request a Consultation

For more information about proton therapy or to schedule a tour, contact Cheryl Savage, Administrator, Department of Radiation Medicine at (855) 213-9410, or submit your request online.

Have questions?

Download this infographic or flyer to learn more about proton therapy.

Meet the Radiation Medicine Team

Our team of physicians at MedStar Georgetown is made up of the D.C. area’s leading experts, who have specialized knowledge in numerous cancer types and are at the forefront of the latest advances in treatment. We take a compassionate approach to cancer therapy, guided by the principle cura personalis, which means “care for the whole person.” Our specialists include oncologists, surgeons, and cancer specialists who utilize the latest radiation technology, tailored to meet your individual needs. With multiple advanced cancer treatment options available under one roof, MedStar Georgetown is a leader in Radiation Medicine.

Anatoly Dritschilo, MD, was appointed professor and chairman, Department of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and chief of service, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, in 2010. Previously, Dr. Dritschilo served as interim chair of the Department of Oncology and as interim director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center.

In the course of his clinical career, Dr. Dritschilo has treated more than 5,000 patients with cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, gastrointestinal tract, brain tumors and pediatric cancers. He has been instrumental in bringing state-of-the-art therapies and technologies to MedStar Georgetown, including proton therapy with HYPERSCAN™, and CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). MedStar Georgetown was one of the first CyberKnife sites on the East Coast, leading to its current position as a national leader in volume, experience and expertise. MedStar Georgetown is the first hospital in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to offer proton therapy and the first in the world to offer proton therapy with HYPERSCAN™.

Dr. Dritschilo is a prolific researcher, with a cumulative total of more than $20 million in NIH awards and nearly 250 peer-reviewed, published articles. He is a regular reviewer and editor for prominent scientific and medical publications, a sought-after presenter at national and international meetings, and a frequent guest lecturer at medical schools around the county. He is the holder of a dozen U.S. patents and serves as a diplomat of the American College of Radiology.

Dr. Dritschilo received his medical degree from the College of Medicine of New Jersey. He completed a residency in radiation therapy and a fellowship in radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School. After a brief stint at Tufts University-New England Medical Center, Dr. Dritschilo joined Georgetown in 1979.

Philosophy of Care: Each patient presents with a unique set of cancer-related and personal circumstances that are best evaluated and treated by a multidisciplinary team for optimal outcomes.

Brian T. Collins, MD, is the medical director of the Department of Radiation Medicine at the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital as well as associate professor within the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Collins joined the staff in 2001 after completing his residency at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He received his medical degree from SUNY-Stony Brook and completed his internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City.

Dr. Collins is a board-certified radiation oncologist with a particular interest in treating CNS tumors and has led the Department’s CNS program for the last 15 years. In addition, he has significant clinical experience treating lung and breast cancer. Dr. Collins is a world-renowned expert in CyberKnife® radiotherapy technology. He has also mastered the very latest radiation oncology techniques and tools, including proton therapy, CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy/image-guided radiation therapy (IMRT/IGRT), and brachytherapy.

Dr. Collins is a frequent contributor to scientific journals, books, and publications particularly in the areas of CNS, lung, and breast cancer. He is an associate editor for the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Radiation Oncology. Dr. Collins is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and a member of numerous related professional organizations.

Philosophy of Care: Cura personalis, or “care for the whole person,” is the Jesuit tradition that guides my care. Each person’s cancer care requires a multidisciplinary approach. As a team, we consider each person’s physical, emotional, and psychosocial health and how these various factors impact the individual’s overall health, well-being, and outcome.

Peter H. Ahn, MD, joined the medical staff of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's Department of Radiation Medicine in 2017, after five years as a radiation oncologist and assistant professor with the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Previously, he was an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital in Philadelphia.

Fellowship-trained at MD Anderson Cancer Center and board-certified in radiation oncology, Dr. Ahn has extensive experience in treating cancers of the head and neck, skin (including melanoma), skull base, and brain using a variety of therapeutic approaches, including conventional and proton beam radiation therapies. He is nationally recognized by Castle Connolly's annual publication, America's Top Doctors. 

Dr. Ahn's research has been funded by industry, private, and public sources, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. A frequent guest lecturer and presenter, he is also a reviewer for multiple scientific and medical publications.

Philosophy of Care: No two cancer patients are exactly alike, and the ability to customize radiation treatment requires disease-specific training and extensive experience. Minimizing the long-term side-effects of today's advanced treatments is also a major consideration. Dealing with the unique challenges inherent in each patient's social situation, individual goals of care, and tumor characteristics keeps me excited about my work as a member of the dedicated and experienced team of physicians, nurses, technicians and physicists at MedStar Georgetown.

Radiation Oncologist Sean Collins, MD, PhD, is director of the CyberKnife® Prostate Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and associate professor of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Collins joined Georgetown in 2006 after completing his residency in radiation oncology at MedStar Georgetown and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and, previously, a surgical internship at MedStar Georgetown. In addition to his medical degree, he also holds a doctorate in Biological Chemistry, both from the University of Michigan's Medical Scientist Training Program.

Dr. Collins uses the very latest radiation oncology techniques and tools including proton therapy, CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy/image guided radiation therapy (IMRT/IGRT/RapidArc®), and brachytherapy.

The major focus of Dr. Collins' clinical work is the development of prostate cancer treatment protocols using SBRT. Patients receiving conventionally fractionated radiation therapy are treated daily for approximately 8 to 9 weeks. The treatment schedule is based on logistics and life responsibilities, as such prolonged treatment courses may present unnecessary hardship for patients and families.

To date, Dr. Collins has enrolled more than 500 patients on investigator-initiated, Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved clinical protocols exploring the role of SBRT in prostate cancer treatment. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology, Radiotherapy and Oncology, International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, Cancer Journal and many other scientific publications. He also serves as a reviewer or editorial board member for numerous other publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine.

Philosophy of Care: We work as a team to make sure that every patient receives the highest quality, most effective treatment available today. That's especially true for prostate cancer patients, where there are so many options. For us, treating prostate cancer is not only about curing the disease, but assuring each patient's long-term quality of life. Toward that end, I establish open communication with my patients, ensuring ease of access and peace of mind from diagnosis through recovery.

K. William Harter, MD, is vice chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-director of the multidisciplinary Head and Neck/Skull Base Tumor Service. He also holds the rank of professor at Georgetown University Medical School.

Board-certified in radiation oncology, Dr. Harter specializes in the latest radiation oncology techniques and tools including proton therapy, retreatment of head and neck cancers with CyberKnife®, CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and sterotectic radiosurgery (SRS), and intensity-modulated radiation/image-guided radiation therapy (IMRT/IGRT/ RapidArc®).

Dr. Harter was a clinical fellow in head and neck radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in 1982. Previously, he was a resident at the Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, preceded by a residency in radiation oncology and an internship in general surgery, both at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Harter received his medical degree from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 1978.

Dr. Harter's work has been published in many scientific journals and periodicals and he has written numerous chapters for medical textbooks. He has been recognized as a "Top Doctor" by Washingtonian magazine every year since the award's inception.

Jonathan W. Lischalk, MD, is a clinical instructor in MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's Department of Radiation Medicine. His clinical focus is treating lung, brain and spine, and prostate cancers. Dr. Lischalk specializes in proton therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), RapidArc®, CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiation therapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery. His training includes international experience at the Heidelberg University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, focused on the technique and delivery of particle therapy, specifically proton and carbon treatment.

Dr. Lischalk is actively involved in collaborative research with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Georgetown Biomedical Informatics Department and Heidelberg University Hospital. This research is focused on analysis of ccfDNA using scanning microscopy fluoroscopic technique.

Dr. Lischalk's main areas of clinical expertise include central nervous system malignancies, gastrointestinal malignancies, genitourinary malignancies, and thoracic malignancies.

Sonali Rudra, MD, serves as director of the Breast Cancer Radiation Oncology Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and an assistant professor for the Department of Radiation Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. She specializes in treating patients with breast cancer, gynecologic malignancies, pediatric malignancies, and central nervous malignancies. She employs a range of technologies, including proton therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy/image-guided radiation therapy (IMRT/IGRT/RapidArc®), CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and high-dose rate brachytherapy.

Dr. Rudra is widely published in respected clinical journals and serves on an editorial board reviewing clinical articles. She also participates in professional activities, serving as a core member of the team at MedStar Georgetown responsible for accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) to ensure clinical quality. She is also a member of the Intraoperative Radiation (IORT) Working Group.

Philosophy of Care: I believe in treating my patients as individuals and strive to provide them with the best possible outcomes while minimizing the effect on their lives.

Andrew Satinsky, MD, is an attending radiation oncologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and clinical director of the Radiation Oncology Center at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

A specialist in prostate cancer and lung cancer, Dr. Satinsky uses the very latest radiation oncology techniques and tools including proton therapy, low- and high-dose rate gynecologic brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy/image-guided radiation therapy (IMRT/IGRT/RapidArc®), and CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

Dr. Satinsky has been involved in research on a variety of radiation oncology-related topics. As the chair of the MedStar Georgetown Radiation Oncology Residency Program's Clinical Competency Committee, he helps to train new doctors. Dr. Satinsky also serves as chair of the MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Cancer Committee and is a member of the education committee.

Board-certified Radiation Oncologist Keith Unger, MD, is director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Service for the Department of Radiation Medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and director of the Department's residency training program. Concurrently, he serves as associate professor of Radiation Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

In addition to general radiation oncology, Dr. Unger specializes in the very latest radiation oncology techniques and tools. These include proton therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), selective internal radiation therapy (TheraSphere®, SIR-Spheres®), and intraoperative radiation therapy (INTRABEAM®).

Dr. Unger completed his internship at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and residency at MedStar Georgetown, including a year as chief resident for Radiation Oncology. He received both his undergraduate and medical degree from the University of Virginia, where he was the recipient of numerous academic honors and awards.

As a researcher and educator, Dr. Unger has been a co-author of multiple text book chapters and publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as a presenter at major medical meetings. His research focuses on the development of novel radiation therapy techniques and reduction in treatment related side effects.

Dr. Unger sees patients at both MedStar Georgetown and MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital.

Request a Consultation

For more information about proton therapy or to schedule a tour, contact Cheryl Savage, Administrator, Department of Radiation Medicine at (855) 213-9410, or submit your request online.

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