Radiation Oncology

New departmental status

Our radiation oncology program has been granted full departmental status. The new Department of Radiation Oncology and Applied Sciences will become official in July 2024. Learn more.

Radiation oncology is a specialized area of cancer medicine that uses radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It is used in more than half of all cancer cases. In radiation therapy, we use high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells in your body. The radiation can be delivered using:

History of innovation

1896 Dartmouth performs first diagnostic radiograph (X-ray) in the U.S.

1956 First coined the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Dartmouth

2001 First hyperbaric oxygen program within a New England radiation oncology department

2004 First worldwide use of Pd-103 coils: an internally implanted radiation treatment for prostate cancer

2004 Therasphere: 1 of 24 centers in U.S. – microbeads for the treatment of liver cancer

2016 Invention of Cherenkov imaging cameras that allow a visual mapping of the skin surface radiation left by the beam

2017 Space OAR Hydrogel treatment: First center in northern New England. SpaceOAR Hydrogel lessens the impact of radiation therapy on organs close to the prostate.

2021 FLASH XRT: First to use with modified linear accelerator delivery. Using ultra-high dose rates compared to conventional radiation may reduce damage to normal tissue.

We continue to lead the way in research and technology. From the first U.S. use of a diagnostic radiograph (early X-ray) that happened at Dartmouth in 1896, our commitment has always been to innovation that helps us to provide you with the best and most advanced treatments in your journey with cancer.

We use the most advanced computer planning, imaging, and treatment delivery systems to tailor your treatment. This improves outcomes and reduces side effects. Your well-being is of paramount importance to us.

We treat around 1,000 new patients with cancer each year. We provide many different types of treatment options so that we can tailor your care to what you need. 

Our comprehensive radiation therapy services provide many options for personalized treatment. Radiation therapy is sometimes complemented by other treatment methods such as:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Surgery

Once you have had your consultation and planning visits, your therapy team will review the options specific to your situation. Your team helps you decide the best course for your treatment.

Program goals

  • Provide expert and compassionate clinical care
  • Discover new ways to improve your clinical outcome with cancer
  • Increase our understanding of the biology of cancer
  • Educate the next generation of experts and leaders in radiation oncology

We know that radiation therapy can be overwhelming. You may have a lot of questions. Our experienced staff will help you understand your options. We are here to help you reach the decision that best meets your goals and expectations of recovery.

Learn more about:

  • Our Department by taking a virtual tour: Our 360° virtual tour was created to allow you to explore our clinic from the convenience of your home. It was also designed to introduce you to the various steps in the radiation treatment process. We hope you enjoy getting to know us!
  • Our team: Your care team includes dosimetrists, medical physicists, nurses, physicians, and radiation therapists.
  • Complementary Care Program: You are not alone. We help you connect with other patients and support services for people being treated with radiation. Our Complementary Care Program offers a variety of free, virtual and in person programs to help you throughout your cancer journey.
  • Research and clinical trials: We’re always working to improve your treatment options. You may be eligible to participate in that effort through our clinical trials. 
  • For Radiation Oncology professionals: We are training tomorrow’s experts and leaders and pursuing new discoveries in radiation therapy to improve cancer care.  
  • Appointment and contact information: Find contact and appointment information for each of our locations.