Meet Dr. Puneeth Iyengar
Radiation Oncologist

As a physician and research scientist, Puneeth Iyengar, M.D., Ph.D., brings unique skills to his patients and his position as Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He’s able to use what he learns from his lung cancer patients to test theories in his lab, as well as translate discoveries from his lab into better treatments for his patients. The ability to traverse both areas makes him a better caregiver and researcher, he says.

We offer patients state-of-the-art technology in radiation therapy and the highest level of expertise solely for lung cancer patients.”

Lung cancer patients at UT Southwestern have access to some of the most effective techniques in radiation treatment and the country’s top clinicians. Dr. Iyengar and three other radiation oncologists at UT Southwestern focus solely on the treatment of lung cancer and are experts in stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR), a form of radiation treatment for lung cancer that’s becoming more of a first-line, curative treatment. This type of noninvasive treatment involves high-dose radiation beams entering the body through various angles and intersecting at the desired target. This allows for a concentrated dose to reach the tumor while limiting the dose to surrounding healthy tissue.

Dr. Iyengar and his colleagues are using SABR, also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy, to reduce the number of treatments for lung cancer patients while safely increasing the dosage of radiation given during each treatment. Additionally, Dr. Iyengar has been center stage of national efforts to use SABR in the management of metastatic NSCLC, a new evolving treatment paradigm meant to improve overall survival.

In the laboratory, Dr. Iyengar runs a research program studying the wasting syndrome known as cancer cachexia. This syndrome, leading to losses of adipose and muscle mass with eventual weight loss, is observed in over 50 percent of all solid tumor patients and responsible for 30 percent of all cancer-related deaths. Dr. Iyengar’s group is attempting to understand how to block cachexia development in improving the survival and quality of life of his lung cancer patients.

Being on the forefront of treatment technology and seeing how he can make a difference in the lives of lung cancer patients drew Dr. Iyengar to UT Southwestern. The challenges of the disease, the need to understand it, and the rapport he develops with his patients keep him here, along with a world-class team of health care providers focused on the same goal.

Clinical Interests

  • Lung cancer
  • Radiation of lung cancer
  • Cancer cachexia
  • Stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR), also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
  • Oligometastatic lung cancer and uses of radiation
  • Hypofractionated radiation therapy (or hypofractionation)