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.”
- Breast cancer radiation therapy
- Partial breast irradiation
- Deep inspiratory breath hold
- Invasive brachytherapy
- Non-invasive radiation therapy
- 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
- A deep learning approach for automatic delineation of clinical target volume in stereotactic partial breast irradiation (S-PBI).
- Kazemimoghadam M, Yang Z, Chen M, Rahimi A, Kim N, Alluri P, Nwachukwu C, Lu W, Gu X, Phys Med Biol 2023 Apr
- Real World and Public Health Perspectives of Intraoperative Radiotherapy in Early-Stage Breast Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Analysis Beyond the Statistical Facts.
- Vijayakumar S, Nittala MR, Buddala V, Mobit P, Duggar WN, Yang CC, Lirette ST, Mundra E, Ahmed HZ, Berry SM, Craft BS, Woods WC, Otts J, Rahimi A, Dobbs T, Cureus 2023 Mar 15 3 e36432
- Aspirin use is associated with improvement in distant metastases outcome in patients with residual disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
- Johns C, Montalvo SK, Cauble M, Liu YL, All S, Rahimi AS, Alluri PG, Leitch M, Unni N, Wooldridge R, Farr D, Nwachukwu C, Kim DWN, Breast Cancer Res Treat 2023 Mar
- Feasibility and efficacy of active breathing coordinator assisted deep inspiration breath hold technique for treatment of locally advanced breast cancer.
- All S, Zhao B, Montalvo S, Maxwell C, Johns C, Gu X, Rahimi A, Alluri P, Parsons D, Chiu T, Schroeder S, Kim DN, J Appl Clin Med Phys 2023 Feb 24 2 e13893
- Towards precision radiation oncology: endocrine therapy response as a biomarker for personalization of breast radiotherapy.
- Udden SMN, Baek G, Pandey K, Vidal C, Liu Y, Rahimi AS, Kim DN, Nwachukwu CR, Mani RS, Alluri PG, NPJ Precis Oncol 2023 Jan 7 1 11
- Stereotactic Partial Breast Irradiation: What Does the Future Hold?
- Montalvo SK, Collins B, Vicini F, Rahimi A, Am J Clin Oncol 2023 Jan 46 1 20-24
- Stability and reproducibility comparisons between deep inspiration breath-hold techniques for left-sided breast cancer patients: A prospective study.
- Parsons D, Joo M, Iqbal Z, Godley A, Kim N, Spangler A, Albuquerque K, Sawant A, Zhao B, Gu X, Rahimi A, J Appl Clin Med Phys 2023 Jan e13906
- Aspirin Use Is Associated With Improved Outcomes in Inflammatory Breast Cancer Patients.
- Johns C, Yen A, Rahimi A, Liu YL, Leitch AM, Spangler A, Alluri P, Nwachukwu C, Wooldridge R, Farr D, Kim DWN, J Breast Cancer 2023 Jan
- Revisiting Exclusion of Prior Cancer in Clinical Trials of Male Breast Cancer.
- Rathod A, Murphy CC, Rahimi A, Pruitt SL, J Cancer 2023 14 5 737-740
- Artificial Intelligence-Empowered Radiation Oncology Residency Education.
- Kwon YS, Dohopolski M, Morgan H, Garant A, Sher D, Rahimi A, Sanford NN, Vo DT, Albuquerque K, Kumar K, Timmerman R, Jiang SB, Pract Radiat Oncol 2023 13 1 8-10
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)
- American Brachytherapy Society (2010)
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (2007)
- American Society Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (2007)
- NRG National Breast Committee (2015)
- Radiological Society of North America