The good, the bad and the rad in radiotherapy: Learn from the experts

How radiation therapy works to treat cancer

Have you ever wondered how radiation therapy works? Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute experts educated the community during a Community Conversations on Cancer three-part series titled “The Good, the Bad and the Rad in Radiotherapy.” Presenters explained how radiation therapy treats cancer from a physics, biological and clinical perspective.

Presented by Karmanos’ Office of Health Equity and Community Engagement (OCHECE), the conversations were moderated by two community members who have been touched by cancer. Verneda Burge is a cancer survivor and an active member of the Young Survivors Cancer Action Council. Her co-host, Lisa Saigh, BSN, is the wellness clinic manager at St. Patrick’s Senior Center in Detroit and works closely with elders who have experienced cancer.

Each presentation is available to view below:


Session One | Man vs. Machine: Which is more important in radiation therapy?

Jacob Burmeister, Ph.D., DABR, chief of physics and member of the Molecular Imaging (MI) Research Program at Karmanos Cancer Center and professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine, reviews the different radiation therapy types currently used to treat cancer. Watch here.


Session Two | Biology underlying radiation therapy: Radiobiology

Michael Joiner, M.A., Ph.D., member of the MI Research Program at Karmanos, director of radiobiology and professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine, covers the role of radiation in modern medicine. Dr. Joiner outlines how different cancer types require varying doses and quantities of radiation. Watch here.


Session Three | The Good, the Bad and the Rad in Radiotherapy, Part III

Michael Dominello, D.O., radiation oncologist, leader of the Neuro-Oncology Multidisciplinary Team, member of the MI Research Program at Karmanos and associate professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine, discusses the clinical perspective of radiation therapy treatment, including how clinicians incorporate the patient’s experience into the delivery of radiation therapy. Watch here.

Community Conversations on Cancer is an ongoing series where community members learn about the research done at Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, how it helps fight cancer and leads to better treatments and care. To view more Community Conversations on Cancer topics, click here.