Radiation Oncology Program

Dr. Metz and Radiation Oncology team wit new radiation technology, the Varian Halcyon system
James Metz, MD, and the team unveiling the newest radiation technology, used first in the world by Penn.

Program Overview

Penn Medicine's Radiation Oncology Program offers patients the full range of advanced treatment techniques in radiation therapy, including proton therapy, which can only be found at a handful of centers across the country. 

We are the first hospital in the world to treat a patient with a new radiation treatment platform, called the The Varian Halcyon™. The platform streamlines the way therapeutic radiation is delivered to patients and shortens treatment time. 

The clinicians that make up our program routinely perform procedures that may be done only occasionally at other locations. Studies have shown that centers performing higher volumes of procedures have better patient outcomes.

Our specialists personalize treatment plans to match the needs of every patient. We strive to create a supportive environment for patients. We understand what it's like to be on the patient side of the table. We believe in listening to the patient's needs and goals, so that we can tailor recommendations and care plans to each individual's needs.

Treatments and Services Offered by the Radiation Oncology Program

Providing Safe and Effective Radiation Therapy

We are committed to providing patients with quality care in a manner that is safe and effective. Patients benefit from Penn's Quality Assurance Program, which ensures that all aspects of patient care meet the highest standards.

Prior to starting radiation therapy, patients go through a rigorous treatment planning process called treatment simulation. This process ensures the accuracy of treatment and includes:
  • Construction of an immobilization device, that facilitates accurate and reproducible treatment every time a patient receives proton therapy.
  • Outlining of all normal structures to designate those which receive limited doses of radiation or are to be avoided entirely.
  • Thorough review of the treatment plan by a dosimetrist, physicist and radiation oncologist.
  • Patient-specific tests that include output measurement (to calculate monitor units) and measurements of the plan generated by the treatment planning system and the milled compensator are correct.
  • Additionally, machine-specific calibrations are performed at the start of each day. These calibrations test the constancy of the equipment (lasers, X-ray system, beam properties, safety system) and the computer interface. Monthly and yearly checks are also performed.