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

The experimental GammaPod radiotherapy system at UT Southwestern, one of the first such systems in the United States, 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 GammaPod 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.”

Clinical Interests

  • Breast cancer radiation therapy
  • Partial breast irradiation
  • Deep inspiratory breath hold
  • Invasive brachytherapy
  • Non-invasive radiation therapy
  • GammaPod
  • Hypofractionation/hypofractionated radiation treatment


Graduate School
Finch University of Health Sciences-Chicago Medical School (2002)
Medical School
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science (2006)
University of Virginia Medical Center (2007), Internal Medicine
University of Virginia Medical Center (2011), Radiation Oncology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Potential Impact of Revised NCI Eligibility Criteria Guidance: Prior Malignancy Exclusion in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials.
Perez M, Murphy CC, Pruitt SL, Rashdan S, Rahimi A, Gerber DE, J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2022 07 20 7 792-799.e4
In Reply to Hannoun-Levi et al.
Rahimi A, Simmons A, Kim DN, Leitch M, Haas J, Gu X, Ahn C, Gao A, Spangler A, Morgan HE, Goudreau S, Seiler S, Farr D, Wooldridge R, Haley B, Bahrami S, Neufeld S, Mendez C, Alluri P, Rao R, Timmerman RD, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2022 Jun 113 2 475-477
A How-To Compendium for GammaPod Treatments, Clinical Workflow, and Clinical Program at an Early Adopting Institution.
Zhang-Velten E, Zhang Y, Radpour S, Gu X, Kim DN, Alluri P, Nwachukwu C, Chiu T, Lu W, Parsons D, Tan J, Gillespie J, Stevenson S, Choy H, Timmerman R, Rahimi A, Pract Radiat Oncol 2022 Feb
Preliminary Results of Multi-Institutional Phase I Dose Escalation Trial Using Single Fraction Stereotactic Partial Breast Irradiation for Early Stage Breast Cancer: Dose Escalated Single Fraction Stereotactic PBI.
Rahimi A, Simmons A, Kim DN, Leitch M, Haas J, Gu X, Ahn C, Gao A, Spangler A, Morgan HE, Goudreau S, Seiler S, Farr D, Wooldridge R, Haley B, Bahrami S, Neufeld S, Mendez C, Alluri P, Rao R, Timmerman RD, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021 Oct
Saliency-guided deep learning network for automatic tumor bed volume delineation in post-operative breast irradiation.
Kazemimoghadam M, Chi W, Rahimi A, Kim N, Alluri P, Nwachukwu C, Lu W, Gu X, Phys Med Biol 2021 Jul
Future Directions in the Use of SAbR for the Treatment of Oligometastatic Cancers.
Morris Z, Dohopolski M, Rahimi A, Timmerman R, Semin Radiat Oncol 2021 Jul 31 3 253-262
Survival of women diagnosed with breast cancer and who have survived a previous cancer.
Pruitt SL, Zhu H, Heitjan DF, Rahimi A, Maddineni B, Tavakkoli A, Halm EA, Gerber DE, Xiong D, Murphy CC, Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 Feb
Cosmetic outcomes of a phase I dose escalation study of 5-fraction stereotactic partial breast irradiation for early stage breast cancer.
Rahimi A, Morgan HE, Kim DW, Zhang Y, Leitch M, Wooldridge R, Goudreau S, Haley B, Rao R, Rivers A, Spangler AE, Jones RT, Stevenson S, Staley J, Albuquerque K, Ahn C, Neufeld S, Alluri PG, Ding C, Garwood D, Seiler S, Zhao B, Gu X, Timmerman R, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021 Jan
Risk Factors for Fat Necrosis After Stereotactic Partial Breast Irradiation for Early-Stage Breast Cancer in a Phase 1 Clinical Trial.
Rahimi A, Zhang Y, Kim DW, Morgan H, Hossain F, Leitch M, Wooldridge R, Seiler S, Goudreau S, Haley B, Rao R, Rivers A, Spangler A, Ahn C, Stevenson S, Staley J, Albuquerque K, Ding C, Gu X, Zhao B, Timmerman R, Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 2020 Nov 108 3 697-706
Curing Metastatic Disease with Radiation Therapy: Myth or Reality?-Arguing for Reality.
Rahimi A, Timmerman R, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2020 Jul 107 3 429-432

Honors & Awards

  • ARRO Educator of the Year
    The award is presented in partnership with ASTRO for the recognition of excellence in teaching, enthusiasm, and support for radiation oncology residency training. (2013)
  • American Brachytherapy Society and Nucletron Sponsored HDR Fellowship
    Arizona Breast Cancer Specialist breast HDR specialty training (2011)
  • RSNA Resident Fellowship Research Award
  • University of Virginia Resident Clinical Excellence Award
    Resident Clinical Excellence Award (2009)
  • MD with Distinction in Research
    Research Honor Thesis (2006)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha
    Honor Society (2005)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • NRG National Breast Committee (2015)
  • American Brachytherapy Society (2010)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (2007)
  • American Society Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (2007)
  • Radiological Society of North America