Alan Pollack M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Director, Community Professional Relations; Chairman & Professor, Radiation OncologyIn 2008, Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D, a Miller School alumnus, returned to University of Miami from Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he was a leading physician scientist specializing in external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer. He says both external beam radiation and brachytherapy are advancing quickly, and he would like to “see greater integration of conventional CT-planning with functional imaging using MRI.” The benefits, as Pollack explains, are in more clearly delineating tumors and allowing doctors to effectively plan a patient’s treatment.
Pollack made great strides at Fox Chase and at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, where he served as professor of radiation oncology. He describes new contrasting agents coming into play, such as iron-based nanoparticles that work with MRI to give physicians a better view of lymph nodes. Pollack also plans to facilitate the incorporation of new Advancing Radiation Oncology technological advances, such as 4-D planning, respiratory gating, and real-time tumor tracking at Sylvester to better target tumors and save healthy tissue.
Treating prostate cancer is of particular interest to Pollack. He challenges doctors to more liberally use multimodality therapy to ensure cures. “Prostate cancer is notorious for coming back even ten years after treatment. Patients are being diagnosed at a younger age, and we must ensure that the cancer is completely eradicated.”