Asal Rahimi, M.D.

Asal Rahimi, M.D.

Associate Vice Chair for Program Development, Medical Director of the SCCC Clinical Research Office, Chief of Breast Radiation Oncology Service

  • 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 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 Chief of Breast Radiation Oncology Service; Associate Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Medical Director of Clinical Research Office.

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, and liver SBRT.

Her work has been published in major journals including CancerInternational 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.”

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Education & Training
  • Graduate School - Finch University of Health Sciences-Chicago Medical School (2001-2002)
  • 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)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • 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)
Honors & Awards
  • 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.
Books & Publications

Clinical Focus

  • Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
  • Breast Cancers

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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.