Nicholas G. Zaorsky, M.D.
- Radiation Oncology
I am a radiation oncologist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn State Cancer Institute. My principal duties are to:
- provide excellent clinical care to my patients;
- research, innovate, and discover new therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer; and
- educate patients and physicians.
These skills will help us to better understand and defeat the burden of cancer.
As a radiation oncologist, I am proponent of multidisciplinary care, which refers to doctors who specialize in different medical areas (e.g. radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists) working together to provide the most comprehensive treatment plan for our patients. I treat all patients as if they were members of my family, and I am passionate about alleviating health disparities and helping underserved minority and immigrant communities (for example, Spanish- and Russian-speaking patients). One of my chief areas of expertise has been the management of prostate cancer, and I am a proponent of guidelines in treatment. I helped to lead the team in writing the American College of Radiology (ACR) radiation therapy planning guidelines for prostate cancer; I am an editor of the textbook Prostate Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Diagnosis and Management; and I led international works on the evolution, history, and guidelines radiation therapy for prostate cancer in the journal Nature Reviews.
As a researcher, I aim to make contributions to advance the field of oncology. My research has focused on cancers of the prostate, breast, lungs, brain, and gastrointestinal tract; as well as cancers that have spread to different parts of the body (i.e. metastasis). The research has several themes. The first theme is the multidisciplinary care of patients with cancer, including finding a personalized treatment approach for each individual patient and comparing treatment options. The second theme is the investigation of techniques to deliver radiation therapy, including ideal radiation doses and fraction sizes and medical devices. The third theme is the use of personalized medicines in conjunction with radiation therapy to increase damage to cancer cells while minimizing damage to the normal tissues. Additionally, research interests include medical education, global healthcare, lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, exercise), biomarkers, and innovation.
As an educator, I am dedicated to the training of patients and physicians. In the clinic, I design multimedia aids that use medical illustrations, video, audio, and text to describe the multimodal therapy for cancer patients. Patients interested learning more about cancer may consult CancerQuest, an award-winning cancer education and outreach program that provides information about cancer biology and treatment. Professionally, my mentees are primarily trainees in oncology. Mentees interested in oncology should contact me directly to learn about clinical oncology, database management, analytical methods, and manuscript preparation.
- Assistant Professor
- Radiation Oncologist
- Prostate cancer radiation
- Radiation oncology
- AANS/ASTRO/NREF Stereotactic Radiosurgery Course Award, 2017
- ACRO Best Award, 2017
- ACRO Travel Grant Award, 2017
- ASCO/AACR – Vail Clinical Trials Course Award, 2015
- ASTRO Advocacy Day Travel Grant Award, 2017
- Academic Excellence Award, Spanish Department, U of Pittsburgh (top of class), 2007
- Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (ΑΩΑ), 2010
- Department Honors, Neuroscience Department, U of Pittsburgh (top of class), 2007
- Distinguished Honors, University of Pittsburgh (x 8 for all semesters), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
- Dr. Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Prize, 2011
- Hugh Henry Brackenridge Research Fellowship Award, 2006
- Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Achievement Award, 2016
- Microsoft Office User Specialist Certificates in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, 2003
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Fellows Recognition, 2014
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellowship Award, 2006-2007
- National Merit Scholarship from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance (x4 years), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Funded Research Fellowship Award for Cellular Adaptations to Environmental Challenges (CAEC), 2005
- Neurosurgery Medical Student Internship Research Award, 2008
- Pennsylvania Medical Society Alliance Medical Education Scholar (1 of 9 in PA), 2010
- Phi Beta Kappa, 2007
- United States Steel (USS) - Leonard Baxt Undergraduate Research Award, 2006
- University Scholar, University of Pittsburgh (top 1% of class), 2006
- University of Pittsburgh Honors College Scholarship (x4 years), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
- William Goldman Foundation Scholarship, 2010
- Brain tumors
- Breast cancer
- Clinical trials
- Genitourinary cancer
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, exercise)
- Medical illustration
- Prostate cancer
- Radiation oncology
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
- Penn State Cancer Institute
- Cancers of the prostate, breast, lungs, and brain; as well as metastases.
- Investigation of technologies to deliver radiation therapy (e.g. IMRT, SBRT, HDR-BT), including ideal radiation doses and fraction sizes and medical devices.
- The multidisciplinary care of patients with cancer, including finding a personalized treatment approach for each individual patient and comparing treatment modalities.
- The use of personalized medicines in conjunction with radiation therapy to improve the therapeutic ratio.