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5 Questions with Dr. Ramesh Rengan

5 Questions with Dr. Ramesh Rengan

Meet our medical director Dr. Rengan, MD, PhD, who is also an associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Rengan is a board-certified radiation oncologist who specializes in radiation treatment for lung cancer and melanoma. He was previously the chief of thoracic service and assistant director of Clinical Operations for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked extensively with proton therapy. Dr. Rengan’s philosophy of “patients come first” also drives his areas of research, which involve the development of clinical and translational (bench-to-bedside) initiatives designed to improve clinical outcomes in lung cancer and melanoma patients. His research interests also include understanding the biology of lung cancer tumors in order to make radiation treatment more effective.

Why are you passionate about proton therapy?

Protons represent an important tool in our arsenal against cancer. At the end of the day, I believe that patients benefit the most when you can individualize their care. Proton therapy offers patients another option, and for some patients it could be the best option.

What drew you to SCCA Proton Therapy Center?

Many centers speak of putting patients first, but from the moment I walked into the door here it was clear that this center had that spirit encoded in their DNA. From the greeter to the president of the center- a singular focus is on patient care. I felt that it would be a privilege to be a part of such a team.

Proudest career moment?

I’m not sure about proudest career moment, but my most uplifting moment was when a 96 year old patient I was caring for voluntarily gave up their treatment slot for a perfect stranger who needed that slot to coordinate with chemotherapy. It was inspiring to me to see how selfless cancer patients truly can be even when faced with a difficult illness.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy running, slowly, a turtle could probably pass me, but I do enjoy it. I also enjoy traveling and hiking with my kids and I am a huge football fan.

What is the best joke you have heard lately?

I have a 7 year old at home, so I haven’t heard anything but knock-knock jokes in quite a while.