Department of Radiation Oncology
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Mark W. Dewhirst

Dr. Mark W. Dewhirst

Gustavo S. Montana Professor, Director of Tumor Microcirculation Laboratory

Department of Radiation Oncology
Duke University Medical Center

Location: 201 MSRB, Research Drive, Duke University, Durham,
E-mail: dewhirst@radonc.duke.edu
Telephone: (919) 684-4180
Fax: (919) 684-8718

High School: Catalina High School, Tucson Arizona, 1967
College: Northern Arizona University, 1968
College: University of Arizona, B.S. Chemistry 1971
Professional: Colorado State University, 1975, DVM
Graduate School: Colorado State University, 1979, PhD

Mark W. Dewhirst, DVM, PhD is the Gustavo S. Montana Professor of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Radiation Oncology Program of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also holds appointments in the Departments of Pathology and Biomedical Engineering at Duke and in the Department of Anatomy Pathology and Radiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. Dr. Dewhirst joined the faculty of Duke University in 1984 and was promoted to Full Professor in 1993. He received an endowed professorship in 2002.

Dr. Dewhirst directs a clinical program grant to study the use of hyperthermia in the treatment of cancer. This program has four main themes: (1) Establishment of robust methods to measure hyperthermia treatment delivery (i.e. thermal dosimetry), (2) Investigate novel therapeutic opportunities afforded by the use of hyperthermia. In particular, the program is currently focusing on use of novel thermally sensitive nanoparticles (called liposomes), to deliver high concentrations of cancer drugs to tumors. This concept has been translated from the bench to human clinical trials. (3) Conduct human clinical trials testing the value of hyperthermia when combined with radiation and/or chemotherapy and (4) to understand the physiologic and metabolic consequences of hyperthermia treatment. For more information about this program, please visit the Duke Hyperthermia Treatment Program website.

Dr. Dewhirst also has research interests in tumor hypoxia, angiogenesis and drug transport. His work has focused primarily on translation of concepts in the laboratory to clinical testing. In the laboratory, he has spent well over 20 years studying mechanisms underlying the development of hypoxia in tumors and has pioneered new methods for selectively killing hypoxic cells. He has recently shown that radiation therapy initiates stabilization of HIF-1-alpha, a hypoxia inducible transcription factor, even in aerobic conditions. HIF-1 stabilization leads to upregulation of angiogenesis, thereby protecting the tumor against radiation damage. Recent collaborations have extended the interest from hypoxia to the tumor metabolic microenvironment as well.

A recipient of the 2001 Wayne Rundles Award from the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Failla Award and Lecture from the Radiation Research Society in 2008, Dr. Dewhirst has well over 400 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and reviews. He has been a Visiting Professor at numerous institutions, has given named lectures at the University of Western Ontario, the New Zealand Cancer Society and Thomas Jefferson University. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of several journals including Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research and the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Hyperthermia. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1971 with a degree in Chemistry and Colorado State University in 1975 and 1979 with DVM and PhD degrees, respectively.

Publications from PubMed