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Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
UNC-Chapel Hill
Clinical Research

Area of Interest

My clinical and research interests revolve around improving the outcomes of patients with head and neck and lung cancers. I plan to accomplish this goal via a three-pronged approach.

First, patients with head and neck cancer may experience significant toxicities related to their treatments, such as dry mouth (xerostomia), difficulty with swallowing (dysphagia), and stroke from narrowing of the carotid arteries. I aim to refine our treatment approach to minimize these toxicities. I am interested in understanding the radiation parameters, imaging biomarkers, and genetic predispositions that cause these late toxicities. I would also like to incorporate patient reported outcomes in our study of treatment toxicities.

Second, some patients with head and neck and lung cancers are at high risk of cancer recurrence and death. I plan to utilize innovative imaging modalities, such as positron emission tomography with novel radiotracers that highlight hypoxic areas of the tumor that are more resistant to radiation. This will help guide our treatment selection and escalation. I am also interested in combining new modalities of radiation treatment with emerging systemic therapy, such as immunotherapy, to improve patient survival and quality of life.

Lastly, disparities and inequity exist in treatment outcomes among patients with cancer. I would like to uncover means to reduce these disparities and improve care for all patients. To this end, I plan to study the effect of access to high-quality care on a population basis. This will have great impact on care delivery for patients across the United States.

Awards and Honors

  • Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award, 2022
  • Radiosurgery Society Clinical Abstract Challenge Award, 2022
  • Named “Top Reviewer” for International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the premier journal for the field of radiation oncology, 2021, 2022
  • Brian Werbel Memorial Fellowship in Cancer Research, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2014

Find publications on PubMed

Headshot of Xuguang Scott Chen
  • Address

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    101 Manning Drive

    CB #7512

    Chapel Hill, NC 27599