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The one hundred honoree: Anthony H. Russell, MD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Anthony H. Russell, MD

Mass General Giving

Tim Russell, MD, chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mass General, has treated thousands of patients in a remarkable career spanning more than 30 years. His research and global health work ensures that he will continue to impact the field of gynecologic oncology for decades to come. Dr. Russell works to improve patient outcomes by studying new imaging technologies for evaluating the extent of disease in patients with gynecologic cancer prior to treatment, and analyzes the effectiveness of treating patients with different combinations of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. With a major focus on reducing the side effects associated with radiation treatment, Dr. Russell and colleagues are investigating the application of the scanning proton beam (Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy or IMPT) to treat patients with gynecologic malignancy.

A successful researcher, Dr. Russell is widely published and served on the editorial board of Gynecological Oncology, the field’s most prestigious publication. He is a member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society, the national and international societies for physicians specializing in the care of women with primary cancers of the reproductive tract. He was the first non-surgeon to be elected president of the Western Association of Gynecologic Oncologists.

Dr. Russell is best known for his expertise in administering brachytherapy, a complex form of radiotherapy in which radiation is delivered by placing a radiation source directly inside or next to a tumor. The technique requires advanced technical skills and years of practice to plan and deliver effectively. Since the 1980s, he has successfully treated hundreds of patients with brachytherapy.

Not content to provide the therapy only to Mass General patients, Dr. Russell, along with colleagues from the Department of Radiation Oncology at MGH, spent considerable time in Botswana helping train medical staff of a new brachytherapy facility at the Gaborone Private Hospital, improving cancer treatment for patients with gynecologic cancer in southern Africa.