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Headshot of Ted Yanagihara
UNC Lineberger’s Ted Yanagihara, MD, PhD.

The Radiation Oncology Institute has selected UNC Lineberger’s Ted K. Yanagihara, MD, PhD, as one of six researchers and teams nationally to receive grant support for research designed to advance and transform the delivery of radiation therapy and improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

Yanagihara, assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, will conduct a study to treat patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma with an advanced radiation technique, known as GRID therapy, to assess whether the treatment is safe and effective. He will analyze post-treatment biopsies and post-surgery tissue for anti-tumor immune infiltration to understand the mechanism of action of GRID therapy and consider applications in other types of cancer.

GRID therapy, also known as spatially fractionated radiation therapy, delivers a very high dose of radiation to small areas of a tumor while adjacent areas get a low dose. This approach, if effective, could make it possible to increase the amount of radiation therapy provided and to minimize its toxicity.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology Radiation established the Radiation Oncology Institute in 2006 to heighten the critical role of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer through research and education.