- Residency - University of Virginia Medical Center (2007-2011), Radiation Oncology
- Internship - University of Virginia Medical Center (2006-2007), Internal Medicine
- Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science (2002-2006)
- Graduate School - Finch University of Health Sciences (2001-2002)
Asal Rahimi, M.D.
Director of Clinical Research
- Radiation Oncology
- Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancers
As Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Asal Rahimi, M.D., M.S., says she is doing exactly what she was trained to do: she is using radiation therapy to treat breast cancer patients.
After receiving a master’s of science degree in applied physiology in 2002, Dr. Rahimi attended medical school at Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. She completed residencies in internal medicine and radiation oncology at the University of Virginia where she was chief resident from 2010 to 2011 and received a teaching award.
In 2011, Dr. Rahimi was one of 10 doctors chosen out of a pool of 110 senior residents and junior faculty to receive special training through the American Brachytherapy Society focused on partial breast irradiation. She brought this knowledge to UT Southwestern and is the Principal Investigator on multiple clinical trials studying partial breast irradiation with the CyberKnife for early stage breast cancer. She is the leader of the breast radiation team and the Director of Clinical Research for the Department, overseeing more than 70 clinical trials.
While Dr. Rahimi is focused on treating breast cancer patients at UT Southwestern, she has skills and experience in a number of different areas of radiation therapy, including head and neck IMRT, lung SBRT, spine SBRT, liver SBRT.
Her work has been published in major journals including Cancer, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Journal of Cancer, and Rare Tumors, and she is a regular presenter at meetings of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
Meet Dr. Rahimi
Radiation Oncologist Specializing in Breast Cancer
Treating breast cancer patients with radiation therapy is the sole clinical focus for Asal Rahimi, M.D., M.S. Her experience in this area gives her the tools necessary to answer patient questions openly and honestly. Preparing for radiation treatment, or any kind of cancer treatment, can be scary, she says, and spending time with patients until they feel comfortable with their treatment plan is an important part of the process.
"Breast cancer patients who come to UT Southwestern have access to technology and expertise they can't find anywhere else in North Texas."
Dr. Rahimi is a highly trained board-certified radiation oncologist and a key member of the breast cancer care team at UT Southwestern. She joined the team in August 2011 after concluding her residency in radiation oncology at the University of Virginia and completing special training with the American Brachytherapy Society that same year.
Over the last decade, radiation treatment for breast cancer has been moving from treatment of the whole breast toward the (still investigational) option of partial breast irradiation, which was the focus of the special training Dr. Rahimi completed with the American Brachytherapy Society. This approach exposes the heart, lungs, and skin to less unnecessary radiation and can be delivered via interstitial brachytherapy, balloon brachytherapy, or external beam radiation therapy.
Dr. Rahimi is looking forward to the arrival of the experimental Gamma Pod radiotherapy system at UT Southwestern in the coming months, one of the first such systems in the United States. The Gamma Pod is a platform for stereotactic radiation, like the Gamma Knife for brain tumors, that immobilizes the breast and allows for higher doses of radiation to the breast tumor in fewer visits.
“The Gamma Pod will give us a non-invasive tool for partial breast cancer radiation treatments,” says Dr. Rahimi. “I know my patients would appreciate that. It’s less disrupting to their lives outside of their cancer.”
- Radiological Society of North America
- American Society Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (2007)
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (2007)
- American Brachytherapy Society (2010)
- NRG National Breast Committee (2015)
- Alpha Omega Alpha 2005, Honor Society
- MD with Distinction in Research 2006, Research Honor Thesis
- University of Virginia Resident Clinical Excellence Award 2009, Resident Clinical Excellence Award
- RSNA Resident Fellowship Research Award 2010
- American Brachytherapy Society and Nucletron Sponsored HDR Fellowship 2011, Arizona Breast Cancer Specialist breast HDR specialty training
- ARRO Educator of the Year 2013, The award is presented in partnership with ASTRO for the recognition of excellence in teaching, enthusiasm, and support for radiation oncology residency training.
Mechanisms of antinatriuresis during low-frequency renal nerve stimulation in anesthetized dogs.
Osborn JL, Roman RJ, Harland RW The American journal of physiology 1985 Sep 249 3 Pt 2 R360-7
Role of androgen ablation with low-dose-rate brachytherapy in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Jani AB, Shoushtari A, Feinstein JM Clinical drug investigation 2006 26 12 723-31
Oropharyngeal cancer patients with complimentary nutritional supplementation have minimal dosimetric deviations as determined by adaptive radiation
Lee H, Mcintosh A, Shoushtari A, Sheng K, Hunter G, Read P International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 2008 72 1 S420
Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients with Complimentary Nutritional Supplementation Have Minimal Dosimetric Deviations as Determined by Adaptive Radiation Therapy
Lee H, McIntosh A, Shoushtari A, Sheng K, Hunter G, Read P International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 2008 72 1 420
Calculation and prediction of the effect of respiratory motion on whole breast radiation therapy dose distributions.
Cao J, Roeske JC, Chmura SJ, Salama JK, Shoushtari AN, Boyer AL, Martel MK Medical dosimetry : official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 2009 34 2 126-32
Predicting residual neck disease in patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with radiation therapy: utility of p16 status.
Shonka DC, Shoushtari AN, Thomas CY, Moskaluk C, Read PW, Reibel JF, Levine PA, Jameson MJ Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery 2009 Nov 135 11 1126-32
Clinical Nodal Staging of T1-2 Tonsillar Squamous Cell Carcinoma Stratified by p16 Status and Implications for Ipsilateral Neck Irradiation
Shoushtari A, Meeneghan M, Treharne G, Levine PA, 2010 Reibel JF, Jameson M, Read PW The Cancer Journal 2010 16 3 284-287
Helical tomotherapy-based STAT stereotactic body radiation therapy: Dosimetric evaluation for a real-time SBRT treatment planning and delivery program.
Dunlap N, McIntosh A, Sheng K, Yang W, Turner B, Shoushtari A, Sheehan J, Jones DR, Lu W, Ruchala K, Olivera G, Parnell D, Larner JL, Benedict SH, Read PW Medical dosimetry : official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 2010 35 4 312-9
Primary nasopharyngeal interdigitating dendritic cell tumor presentation and response to radiation therapy.
Dunlap NE, Woodford RL, Shoushtari AN, Reibel JF, Douvas MG, Cousar JB, Read PW Rare tumors 2010 2 1 e9
Survey on human papillomavirus/p16 screening use in oropharyngeal carcinoma patients in the United States.
Shoushtari AN, Rahimi NP, Schlesinger DJ, Read PW Cancer 2010 Jan 116 2 514-9
Intensity-modulated radiotherapy outcomes for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients stratified by p16 status.
Shoushtari A, Meeneghan M, Sheng K, Moskaluk CA, Thomas CY, Reibel JF, Levine PA, Jameson MJ, Keene K, Read PW Cancer 2010 Jun 116 11 2645-54
Clinical nodal staging of T1-2 tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma stratified by p16 status and implications for ipsilateral neck irradiation.
Shoushtari AN, Meeneghan M, Treharne GC, Reibel JF, Levine PA, Moskaluk CA, Jameson MJ, Read PW Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.) 2010 May-Jun 16 3 284-7
Quantifying the reproducibility of heart position during treatment and corresponding delivered heart dose in voluntary deep inhalation breath hold for left breast cancer patients treated with external beam radiotherapy.
McIntosh A, Shoushtari AN, Benedict SH, Read PW, Wijesooriya K International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 2011 Nov 81 4 e569-76
Outcomes of patients with head-and-neck cancer of unknown primary origin treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy.
Shoushtari A, Saylor D, Kerr KL, Sheng K, Thomas C, Jameson M, Reibel J, Shonka D, Levine P, Read P International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 2011 Nov 81 3 e83-91
p16, Cyclin D1, and HIF-1a Predict Outcomes of Patients with Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treated with Definitive Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy
Shoushtari A, Kerr KL, Sheng K, Levine PA, Reibel JF, 2011 Jameson M, Thomas CY, Read PW International Journal of Otolaryngology 2012 2012
p16 Not a Prognostic Marker for Hypopharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinomap16 Not a Prognostic Marker for Hypopharyngeal SCC.
Wilson DD, Rahimi AS, Saylor DK, Stelow EB, Jameson MJ, Shonka DC, Reibel JF, Levine PA, Read PW Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery 2012 Jun 138 6 556-61
Pilot Study of iPad Incorporation Into Graduate Medical Education.
Lobo MJ, Crandley EF, Rumph JS, Kirk SE, Dunlap NE, Rahimi AS, Turner AB, Larner JM, Read PW Journal of graduate medical education 2013 Mar 5 1 142-4
Patterns of Distant Failure and Second Primary Cancers in Patients with Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Implications for Surveillance Methodology
Crandley E, Wilson D, Sim A, Majithia N, Stelow E, Jameson M, Shonka D, Rahimi A, Read P Journal of Cancer Research Updates 2014 3 151-161
Radiation practice patterns among United States radiation oncologists for postmastectomy breast reconstruction and oncoplastic breast reduction.
Thomas K, Rahimi A, Spangler A, Anderson J, Garwood D Practical radiation oncology 2014 Nov-Dec 4 6 466-71
Radiation recall precipitated by iodinated nonionic contrast.
Lau SK, Rahimi A Practical radiation oncology 2015 Jul-Aug 5 4 263-6
SU-F-T-650: The Comparison of Robotic Partial Breast Stereotactic Irradiation Using MLC Vs. Iris Cone
Ding C, Timmerman R, Jiang S, Rahimi A The International Journal of Medical Physics Research and Practice 2016 43 6 3613
Absence of physiologic breast response to pregnancy and lactation after radiation therapy
Mohamad O, McFarlane M, Rahimi A Practical Radiation Oncology 2016 6 2 25-26
Aspirin/antiplatelet agent use improves disease-free survival and reduces the risk of distant metastases in Stage II and III triple-negative breast cancer patients.
Shiao J, Thomas KM, Rahimi AS, Rao R, Yan J, Xie XJ, DaSilva M, Spangler A, Leitch M, Wooldridge R, Rivers A, Farr D, Haley B, Kim DW Breast cancer research and treatment 2016 Dec
Ultrasound-Guided Placement of Gold Fiducial Markers for Stereotactic Partial-Breast Irradiation.
Seiler S, Rahimi A, Choudhery S, Garwood D, Spangler A, Cherian S, Goudreau S AJR. American journal of roentgenology 2016 Sep 207 3 685-8
Genetic Ancestry using Mitochondrial DNA in patients with Triple-negative breast cancer (GAMiT study).
Rao R, Rivers A, Rahimi A, Wooldridge R, Rao M, Leitch M, Euhus D, Haley BB Cancer 2016 Sep
Deep inspiration breathhold for left-sided breast cancer patients with unfavorable cardiac anatomy requiring internal mammary nodal irradiation.
Mohamad O, Shiao J, Zhao B, Roach K, Ramirez E, Vo DT, Thomas K, Gu X, Spangler A, Albuquerque K, Rahimi A Practical radiation oncology 2017 Apr
New Techniques for Irradiating Early Stage Breast Cancer: Stereotactic Partial Breast Irradiation.
Rahimi A, Timmerman R Seminars in radiation oncology 2017 Jul 27 3 279-288
Carbon Ion Radiotherapy: A Review of Clinical Experiences and Preclinical Research, with an Emphasis on DNA Damage/Repair.
Mohamad O, Sishc BJ, Saha J, Pompos A, Rahimi A, Story MD, Davis AJ, Kim DWN Cancers 2017 Jun 9 6
Preliminary Results of a Phase 1 Dose-Escalation Trial for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Using 5-Fraction Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Partial-Breast Irradiation.
Rahimi A, Thomas K, Spangler A, Rao R, Leitch M, Wooldridge R, Rivers A, Seiler S, Albuquerque K, Stevenson S, Goudreau S, Garwood D, Haley B, Euhus D, Heinzerling J, Ding C, Gao A, Ahn C, Timmerman R International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 2017 May 98 1 196-205.e2
Review of breast screening: Toward clinical realization of microwave imaging.
Modiri A, Goudreau S, Rahimi A, Kiasaleh K Medical physics 2017 Oct
Comprehensive target geometric errors and margin assessment in stereotactic partial breast irradiation.
Zhen X, Zhao B, Wang Z, Timmerman R, Spangler A, Kim N, Rahimi A, Gu X Radiation oncology (London, England) 2017 Sep 12 1 151
- Mechanisms of antinatriuresis during low-frequency renal nerve stimulation in anesthetized dogs.
- Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancers
Q&A by Dr. Rahimi
Breast cancer radiation treatment reduced to a single dose
It’s a scenario that plays out for more than a quarter of a million women every year. A breast cancer diagnosis is followed by radiation treatments lasting as long as six weeks. To address that burden, cancer researchers at UT Southwestern are now testing a treatment method that requires only a single dose.
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