Radiation Oncology

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) offers a full range of cancer treatments such as bone marrow transplants, cranial and extracranial radiosurgery, high-dose-rate and low-dose-rate brachytherapy, total body irradiation, and total skin electron beam therapy. In conjunction with Rutgers Cancer Institute, RWJUH also offers patients access to exciting new treatments that are not available at most other hospitals. A unique partnership between research scientists at RWJUH and independent community physicians, who treat patients with different conditions, provides opportunities to match the right individual with an appropriate protocol.

“Having a program that provides clinical trials makes it possible for us to make new treatments available, but also protects people from unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments,” explains Michael Nissenblatt, MD, associate director of medical oncology. “The relationship blends science with compassionate care; every patient treated for cancer at RWJUH benefits from the cooperation between scientists who have selected research as a career and physicians who have chosen to focus on patient care and disease management.”

Just as no two cancers are exactly alike, neither are the strategies for treating them. Physicians and nurses at RWJUH are not just specialists — they are subspecialists in their respective fields. As such, they know what treatments are most likely to produce the best results, depending on many variables.

“A patient who has, for instance, breast cancer or prostate cancer will see a team that spends 80 to 90 percent of its time focusing on that specific type of cancer,” explains Bruce Haffty, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and associate director of Rutgers Cancer Institute.

RWJUH offers a wide range of the most modern, effective radiation technologies such as external beam radiotherapy, including IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy), Tomotherapy (a form of IMRT), 3 dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT), and image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). We also offer radiosurgery featuring Gamma Knife technology, and both intersitital and intracavitary brachytherapy using either low dose rate (LDR) or high dose rate (HDR) sources.

Proton therapy at the Laurie Proton Therapy Center, in partnership with the Rutgers Cancer Institute, is the latest addition to the wide array of comprehensive radiotherapy services available at RWJUH. Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that can target tumor tissues more precisely in certain situations, focusing precisely on small cancerous growths, without harming the surrounding, healthy tissue.

Radiation Oncology“Unlike conventional x-ray-based technologies, proton beams don’t exit the body; they essentially enter the tumor and stop,” Dr. Haffty says. “Proton beams are especially useful in pediatric cases because you don’t want radiation to have a potentially harmful effect on the growing tissue surrounding a tumor. The technology can also be used to attack tumors that are deep-seated in the brain, or on the back of an eye, for example, where you want to treat a very specific area.”

Our goal is to deliver high quality medical care and services to patients, to conduct clinical, translational and basic scientific research, and to provide educational opportunities to patients, health care workers, and the community.

Through our goals we seek to improve treatment and outcomes of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

  • 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy—Sophisticated computer-assisted tomography scans and computer software tools are used to reconstruct patient anatomy in 3D and treat tumors throughout the body.
  • Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT)—Top-notch planning and delivery technology applies high dose conformal radiation to the targeted tumor, while carefully avoiding critical organs.
  • Gated Radiation Therapy—Computer assisted state-of-the-art technology to manage the intra-fraction motion (the target and organ motion during treatment). The technology may potentially reduce side effects and improve tumor control.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)—We provide state-of-the-art radiosurgery for brain, spine and other body sites using Gamma Knife and Radionics XKnife systems. This allows highly accurate “pinpointed” radiation treatment within the brain, spinal cord or other critical areas of the body. Radiosurgery can be delivered in one dose (stereotactic radiosurgery) or in several fractions (stereotactic radiotherapy).
  • Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT)—Some tumors may move slightly from day to day, or even during an individual treatment session. Image guided radiotherapy allows us to see the tumor throughout treatment, assuring that the radiation beam is treating tumor cells and avoiding normal tissue.
  • High Dose Rate (HDR) and Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy—Brachytherapy involves the placement of radioactive “seeds” or sources directly into or around tumors, allowing for high tumor dose while sparing other normal tissues. Brachytherapy is performed in concert with Gynecologic, Urologic or Surgery doctors, and treatment is prescribed and monitored closely by Radiation Oncologists and Physicists. HDR treatment allows high dose delivery to certain tumor types without the hospitalization associated with LDR treatments. Our Radiation Oncologists have been highly trained in brachytherapy techniques, assuring patients safe and effective treatment.
  • Total Body Irradiation (TBI)—Low or high doses of radiation given to the whole body as a preparatory regimen for bone marrow transplant in the treatment of hematologic cancers and other disorders. Click here to learn more about Total Body Irradiation.
  • TomoTherapy—Using 3D imaging, the Hi-Art Treatment System delivers intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a helical delivery pattern to provide precise, continuous radiation therapy from all angles around the patient. Click here to learn more about TomoTherapy.
  • Total Skin Electron Beam Therapy (TSEBT)—The only hospital in New Jersey offering this highly specialized form of treatment for cuteaneous T-cell lymphoma, a linear accelerator uses electrons to treat the entire skin surface. Click here to learn more about Total Skin Electron Beam Therapy.


The Department of Radiation Oncology plays an integral role in the collaboration between Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Rutgers Cancer Institute. Rutgers Cancer Institute is the only NCI (National Cancer Institute) designated cancer center in New Jersey, and one of only 68 in the United States. Our physicians have appointments at both Rutgers Cancer Institute and Rutgers RWJMS, with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital as our flagship teaching hospital. We also provide radiation services at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School/University Hospital in Newark.

Each of our clinical locations share the goals of the University and partner hospitals in providing excellence in patient care, research, and education of the clinicians of the future.

To learn about the Radiation Oncology program in depth, visit the Rutgers RWJMS site.

Research is an Important Part of Our Department

The Department consists of four divisions, each of which has a robust research portfolio:

We currently are active in collaborations with faculty of other departments of Rutgers University in medical physics and transformational mathematics. Several of our faculty have ongoing basic science programs which encourage participation by graduate students from Rutgers University.

Clinical, translational and basic science research is actively pursued within each of our divisions. The department is deeply committed to training the next generation of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists. In July 2006, we opened New Jersey's only Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved Radiation Oncology Medical Residency program.

The current educational programs in our department include Medical Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics Residency programs in addition to a Medical Dosimetrist Training program.

Insurance Coverage

Please contact the Radiation Oncology Department Front Desk (732) 253-3939 to see if we accept your specific insurance plan.

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