The Department of Radiotherapy affiliated to Zhongshan Hospital was founded in 1996 with 13 doctors, physicists and technicians in total then. In 2001, Prof. Zeng Zhaochong began to take charge of the department. In 2005, the department started using three-dimensional conformal treatment planning system ( TPS ) in cancer radiotherapy. In 2006, this department became the first to introduce Siemens’s advanced Onco Avant-Garde high energy linear accelerator into medical use in China. Since 2009, the intensity modulated radiation therapy has gradually become the main choice of tumor radiotherapy. On June 6, 2011, the world’s most advanced tomotherapy system was put into use in the department. Tomotherapy implements targeted radiotherapy for tumor, which is a major technological innovation in radiotherapy equipment. Up to March 2016, the department has treated more than 2000 patients by the TOMO therapy.
The department is currently equipped with a Tomotherapy machine, two linear accelerators, one CT simulator, one ordinary simulator, two Radiation Treatment Planning Systems. Advanced facilities together with high-level application technology have ensured accurate radiotherapy and precise treatment. There are now 31 radiation therapists in the department, 9 with associate senior professional titles or above, 17 attending doctors, 10 physicists and 21 technicians. Chief physician Zeng Zhaochong serves as Director of the department.
Liver cancer treatment is a feature of Zhongshan Hospital. Working with Liver Cancer Institute and Intervention Therapy Department, radiotherapy for liver cancer has become one of the characteristics of this department. In 2002, the department became a constituent part of Shanghai’s Key Clinical Discipline: Liver Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Center. In 2006, the department won the first prize for Scientific and Technological Achievements granted by the Ministry of Education. In 2010, it won the second prize of Chinese Medical Science and Technology Award. In 2013, the department developed a new clinical technique— stereotactic radiotherapy for liver cancer and won the New Clinical Technique Finalist Award in 2014.
In addition, the department is also experienced in treatment of tumors in various systems of the whole body. In 2001, the department worked with the Department of Respiratory and Department of Thoracic Surgery in establishment of China’s first Comprehensive Lung Tumor Treatment Center. In 2009, it established the Breast Neoplasms Treatment Center jointly with the Department of Breast Surgery, Department of Chemotherapy and Department of Pathology. Zhongshan Hospital is the first in China to set up a clinic for the comprehensive treatment of rectal cancer, offering radiotherapy to many patients at different stages of illness.
The department has been dedicated to basic and clinical researches on radiotherapy for liver cancer. In 1999, its staff published a paper in American Journal of Clinical Oncology, expounding pathological changes of radiation-induced liver injury and correcting the concept of radiation hepatitis from the pathological point of view. In 2002, the department became a constituent part of Shanghai’s Key Clinical Discipline--Liver Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Center. It was granted the third prize of Shanghai’s first Medical Science Award in 2003 and the second prize of Shanghai’s 6th Clinical Medical Achievement Award in 2005. In 2006, it began to conduct multi-centered, randomized and prospective studies on interventional treatment of unresectable liver cancer with and without external radiotherapy, funded by the Collaborative Professional Committee of Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology and Shanghai Liver Tumor Center. The paper entitled Radiotherapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma--Radiosensitivity Testing and Comparison of Clinical Effects of Different Stages was granted the first prize of Scientific and Technological Progress Award by the Ministry of Education. Director Zeng Zhaochong has been frequently invited to give lectures at various conferences both at home and abroad. In 2012, the department gained NSFC Grant and Shanghai Excellent Academic Leader Fund. In 2013, 2 projects won Shanghai Science & Technology Commission’s Scientific Research Fund and one project won fund from IAEA. In 2014, it gained the Project of Science and Technology Innovation Plan and other Major Sub-Projects initiated by Shanghai Science & Technology Commission. In 2016, it was awarded a Cross-Strait Collaborative Fund of the NSFC. The professor of Hepatobiliary Surgery from American National Cancer Institute and the professor of Radiotherapy from Hospital of the University of Pennsylvaniaall spoke highly of the department’s radiotherapy in their commentaries.
Besides, the department has carried out plenty of basic and clinical researches in the field of other tumors and published a large number of academic theses successively in Chinese Journal of Radiation Oncology, International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, Cancer Journal, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and other influential medical journals both at home and abroad.
It also runs a national continuing education program every year—the National Radiotherapy Class. In 2005, it successfully held “The First National Seminar on Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer Radiotherapy”. Besides, it hosted the first and second national seminars on radiotherapy for liver cancer respectively in 2005 and 2009. The book Abdominal and Pelvic Radiation Oncology compiled by the department received fund from Shanghai Science & Technology Commission. From 2003 on, the department became a training base for Fudan University’s master program, and in 2008, a base for Fudan’s doctoral program. In 2012, it received a Doctoral Fund from the Ministry of Education. In addition, the department has trained a total of 18 trainee doctors and medical therapists.
The department has been very active in conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with foreign countries. Director Zeng Zhaochong is now deputy editor of British SCI journal BMC Cancer. He has successively invited Prof. George Iliakis, President of International Society for Radiation Research, TS Lawrrence, President of American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), Randall Ten Haken, Director of Radiology Physics, ASTRO and Prof. Adam Dicker, Director of Clinical Research Group, RTOG to visit the hospital, give lectures and exchange research findings. In 2016, Department of Radiotherapy in MD Andason Cancer Center came to study and exchange medical experiences.