The UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology is among the nation's foremost cancer treatment centers for patients who receive radiation therapy.


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The early history of the department of Radiation Oncology was marked by major key events and influences the department to this day.

History 1928 - 2010


A Brief History of Radiation Oncology at UCSF
by T. L. Phillips


Mack RoachDr. Mack Roach is appointed by the White House as a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board.


Mack RoachUCSF Radiation Oncology has been awarded the ACR & ASTRO Accreditation.


Mack RoachDr. David Larson receives the ASTRO Gold Medal.


Jean PouliotAfter a national search, Jean Pouliot is named Chief of the Physics division.


Jeanne Quivey is endowed Chair of Head and Neck Radiation Oncology by Irwin Mark Jacobs and Joan Klein Jacobs .


Lynn Verhey steps down as Chief of Physics. Jean Pouliot named interim Chief.


New Imaging Beam Line for MV Cone Beam CT.


Mack RoachMack Roach is named Chairman of the department.


MV Cone Beam CT developed and introduced in clinic


Bill Wara steps down as chair. Mack Roach named interim chair.


First patient ever imaged with MV Cone BeamCT .


CyberKnife program began.


Online positioning with gold markers for prostate cancer patients began.


Karen FuDr. Karen Fu receives the ASTRO Gold Medal.


Clinical use of Magentic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) began.


New cancer center opens. Department has 4 dual energy Linacs, CT, simulator and HDR suite. Long retained with 2 Linacs and Gamma Knife. Bill Wara named as permanent chair.


Brachytherapy Inverse Planning (IPSA) developed and introduced in clinic.


Mount-Zion Comprehensive Cancer Center designation by the National Cancer Institute.


Bill WaraPhillips steps down as chair, takes Wun-Kon Fu chair. Bill Wara becomes acting chair.


Dr. William C. Dewey receives the ASTRO Gold Medal.Lynn Verhey


Mobetron IORT clinical use began.


Permanent Prostate Implant (PPI) program began.


Construction begun on a new Cancer Center at Mount Zion.


IMRT Inverse Planning program began.


Proton eye program opens at Crocker Lab at UCD.


Dr. Theodore Philips receives the ASTRO Gold Medal.Lynn Verhey


Bevalac Closed and particle program ends at LBL.


First Gamma Knife in Northern California.


CT scanner installed at Long. IMRT development begun with a collaboration with Nomos. UCSF opens new radonc dept at new UCD cancer center.


Lynn VerheyGamma Knife installed. Cliff Ling leaves to take chair at Sloan Kettering. Lynn Verhey recruited to head physics division.


Cliff LingCliff Ling recruited to head physics division.


The Department begins a focused effort to develop as many new modalities as possible in order to offer things not available in private practice and to advance the field.
These include: Radiosurgery, hyperthermia, 3D planning, isotopic Immunotherapy, intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) and 3DCRT.


The new department opens with a 20, a 6 and a 4 MeV linear accelerator, a cobalt machine and 2 simulators.


The new research labs, RORL, open at MCB. Bill Dewey is recruited to head them.


The new Long Hospital with a new Radonc department is begun.


Radiation Oncology becomes a full separate Department of the Medical School.


Dr. Franz Buschke receives the ASTRO Gold Medal.Ted Philips


Joe Castro becomes full time at LBL, Larry Margolis takes over Mount Zion and Dennis Hill Franklin. Particle program is expanded, supported by a PPG. Neon and Carbon added at the Bevalac. Hyperthermia is underway at Mount Zion.


UCSF becomes active in RTOG and begins a sensitizer research program. UCSF fails to form a Cancer Center and the Northern California Cancer Program is begun along with the NCOG. Headed by Steve Carter, UCSF radonc is an active leader in this.


Rad Onc becomes a Division of Radiology with a separate hospital budget.


LBL asks UCSF to become involved in heavy particle research using helium ions. After biology and physics development treatment of ocular melanoma is begun in 1977.


Jerry Vaeth leaves Mount Zion and the hospital asks Dean Krevans for help. He requests the Rad Onc section to staff Mount Zion. This is done and the Tricenter is born.
Equipment includes a betatron with electrons. Joe Castro becomes chief. For a few years the residency program there remains separate. Radiobiology labs are located at Mount


Franklin Hospital (Ralph K. Davies) asks RadOnc at UCSF to staff their new Radonc unit with a cobalt and a 4 MeV Linac. It becomes an integral part of the department including residents.


Ted PhilipsDr. Buschke retires as chief of therapy and Ted Phillips is made chief.

The 1 MeV machine is replaced by a Clinac 4, #007, licensed to cure. With RMP funding the Moffitt department is enlarged into nuclear medicine space which is moved elsewhere. Soon after a simulator is installed. Custom block cutting is introduced.


Phillips spends a 6 month sabbatical at Stanford.


The first treatment planning computer is installed and Vernon Smith begins to develop and improve it.


Jerry Vaeth leaves to start the Tumor Institute at Mt. Zion. Ted Phillips is recruited to replace him. Phillips had been doing two years of radiobiology research in the Navy at Hunter’s Point.


Ted Purcell and Ted Phillips, the first straight trainees finish training.


Alex MargulisThe synchrotron project is completed. Results are similar to those with 22 MeV betatrons and the 70 kVp to expensive to justify. The facility is converted to the Laboratory of Radiobiology and Harvey Patt, Sheldon Wolff and James Cleaver recruited to staff it. Dr. Stone retires and Alex Margulis is recruited to Chair Radiology.


The 400 kVp machine is replaced by a rotational Theratron F cobalt machine.


Franz BuschkeJ. Franz Buschke is recruited from the Swedish Hospital in Seattle to head the therapy section. He had pioneered supervoltage radiotherapy after joining the Swedish.
Previously he had trained in Germany and France and worked with Del Regato and Cantril. He joined us with Glenn Sheline and Jerry Vaeth; the three making up the faculty in 1960. In 1960 the first straight radiation therapy trainee starts at UCSF.


The radiology department moves from old UC hospital to Moffitt 3rd floor. Therapy has a 1 million volt GE resonant transformer and a 400 and a 250 kVp x-ray machine. This same year Dr. Low-Beer dies of leukemia.


Stone returns and in a Janeway lecture describes the serious complications seen with neutron therapy. Based on this he concludes that very low LET would be better and secures funding from the AEC to build a 70 MeV electron synchrotron. This is built by GE and begins to treat patients in 1955. As part of the project he hires 3 physicists, Gail Adams, Garret Holt and Mary Lou Merck who also staff the therapy section.
Radiobiology is staffed by Henry Kohn, Bob Kallman among others.


The cyclotron is used for Manhattan project work and Stone becomes head of the radiation safety aspects of the Manhattan Project. Many of the faculty leave to serve in the armed forces.


B.V.A Low-Beer, a Czech radiologist is recruited to head the therapy section in 1941: Radiology. He is interested in radioisotope therapy as he came from working at the Crocker Lab on isotopes. He is also interested in Head and Neck therapy.


Stone begins to work with John Lawrence on the use of neutron beams created in the 30 inch cyclotron to treat cancer. After 35 patients the project is switched to the 60
inch cyclotron and a total of 250 are treated ending in 1942.


Stone works with the Lawrence Brothers and other physicists to design and build an 800 kVp x-ray machine at the Crocker Lab in Berkeley and install it in the Radiology Department in old UC Hospital. It is one of the first megavoltage units in the US. Equipment at that time consists of this machine, a 200 kVp machine and radium.


Robert Stone, M.D. is recruited to head the new Division of Radiology in the Surgery Department. He was trained in Canada and had an interest in Therapy andRobert Stone Diagnostic.

As the former chair of radiology at the San Francisco Medical School , he served on the Manhattan Project throughout the war years and was well-placed to direct research funding from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to the San Francisco campus after the war. Radiology research at San Francisco grew out of the earlier work in medical physics done with cyclotron-produced isotopes before the war. In 1949, under contract with the AEC, a Radiological Laboratory was established to allow Dr. Stone to investigate the effects of supervolt radiation therapy for cancer. Funded by an annual contract with the AEC, a seventy million volt synchrotron was installed at Parnassus and the radiological laboratory combined physics, biology, and clinical radiology to study the general effects of radiation. In 1951 a Radioactivity Research Center was founded for supervision of the radioisotopes used for medical research at San Francisco, funded with a combination of university, American Cancer Society, Atomic Energy Commission, and NIH money.





June 24, 2014
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected Joe Hsu, M.D. and Mack Roach, M.D., Ph.D. to receive the Fellow of ASTRO designation (FASTRO). This distinguished honor is being conferred upon both in recognition of their leadership and significant service to ASTRO and their contributions to the field of radiation oncology. Joe Hsu


Decedmber 12, 2012
Mack Roach, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed by Washington as a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board. Congratulations on your recent appointment by the White House! Jeanne Quivey

August 21, 2012
UCSF Radiation Oncology department earned the prestigious ACR/ASTRO Accreditation.Jeanne Quivey

November 2, 2010
David Larson, M.D., Ph.D., FASTRO, has received the American Society for Radiation Oncology's most prestigious award, the Gold Medal.Jeanne Quivey

April 10, 2010
The Society of Thermal Medicine has awarded the 2010 J. Eugene Robinson Award to Chris J. Diederich, PhD.Jeanne Quivey

Jan 10, 2010
Jean Pouliot, PhD has been named head of the Physics division.

Oct 19, 2009
Jeanne Quivey, MD has been recently honored by UCSF for a head & neck research funds she received.Jeanne Quivey

Aug 24, 2007
Mack Roach III, MD has been named Chairman of the Radiation Oncology department.

Contact Info

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UCSF Mount-Zion
1600 Divisadero, Suite H1031
SF, CA 94143-1708

Phone: (415) 353-7175
Fax: (415) 353-9883

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UCSF Long Hospital
505 Parnassus Ave.,
SF, CA 94143-0226

Phone: (415) 353-8900
Fax: (415) 353-8679