Central Nervous System Program

Specialists in the Central Nervous System Program in the Department of Radiation Oncology include some of the world's leading experts in using radiation therapies to treat tumors of the brain, spine, and peripheral nervous system.


Mass General is an internationally recognized leader in the subspecialty of central nervous system (CNS) Radiation Oncology. Our program provides comprehensive expertise in clinical care of a wide spectrum of benign and malignant diseases affecting the brain and spine.

Clinical Services and Special Programs

Many leading-edge treatments we use were introduced or developed by our team, including:

  • Linear accelerator based fractionated radiation therapy: Utilizing a variety of technological treatment planning including 3D conformal radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT).
  • Proton fractionated radiation therapy: Used to treat a variety of benign and malignant diseases in which sparing of normal brain tissue has the greatest impact in preserving neurocognitive and endocrine function.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS): In collaboration with the Department of Neurosurgery, this highly precise localization technique to deliver high dose of radiation to small brain targets is offered with both photons (linear accelerator) and proton therapy. We are the only institution worldwide with a dedicated proton SRS system. SRS is used to treat a variety of malignant and benign disorders.
  • Stereotactic fractionated radiotherapy (SRT): This treatment combines the use of the high precision localization technique of SRS with normal tissue sparing benefit of fractionation to deliver specialized fractionated radiation with either photons (linear accelerator) or proton therapy.
  • Spine stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT): Spine SBRT may be used to treat patients with radio-resistant, oligometastatic, and previously irradiated spinal metastases. This therapy provides a treatment option where none existed before.
  • Intraoperative brachytherapy: This treatment involves close collaboration with our neurosurgical colleagues such that during an operation and immediately following a planned tumor removal surgery, radioactive substances can be placed in direct contact in the brain with tissues at highest risk of having persistent tumor cells. Low energy of the radioactive substance limits the penetration of the radioactivity such that it remains localize to the surfaces that it touches.

Comprehensive Clinical Care

We provide comprehensive clinical care excellence in managing the full spectrum of CNS diseases. Because of the versatility in options of SRS, SRT, standard fractionated radiation therapy, and protons, we are able to provide the best radiation treatment options currently available.

We work in a multidisciplinary setting with neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuro-pathologists, and neuro-radiologists to personalize treatment to the individual. There are numerous other patient-centric support services such as social work, massage therapy, acupuncture, and nutrition consultations that complement our immediate radiation services and are directly accessible through our department.

Meet the Team

Dedicated, World-Class Physicians

A hallmark of our program is the compassionate care and individualized attention patients receive from our clinical staff. Every step of your treatment is managed by one of the world's leading practitioners of radiation oncology.

Our physician staff includes:

  • Dr. Loeffler has treated patients with brain tumors and other cancers of the central nervous system for more than 25 years. He is one of the most respected authorities in his field, both as a clinician and as a pioneer in stereotactic radiotherapeutic techniques.
  • Helen A. Shih, MD, MPH, associate medical director of the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center, treats patients with brain tumors of all types. Her interests include proton therapy and the development of treatment delivery systems to improve care for
  • Kevin Oh, MD, formerly of the University of Michigan, is an experienced and dedicated physician who brings diverse perspectives to brain-tumor management

Patient Education

Our comprehensive approach includes working closely with your multidisciplinary team at the highly specialized Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology, part of the Cancer Center. Your team may include clinical experts in neurology, brain surgery, radiology, pathology and psychiatry. Social services are also available to all patients.

The answers to many frequently asked questions also appear in Your Guide to Radiation Therapy (PDF).

Clinical Trials

Massachusetts General Hospital invites patients and the community to participate in innovative clinical trials and research studies. Search open clinical trials.


Contact Us

Clark Center for Radiation Oncology

Vida E & Arthur L. Goldstein Lunder Building

55 Fruit StreetLunder Building LL3 Boston, MA 02114
  • Near Public Transit
  • Accessible
  • Phone: 617-726- 8651
  • Fax: 857-238-6377
  • Email Us

Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center
30 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-0923 (Proton Inquiry Line: 617-724-1680)
Fax: 617-726-6498
Email: InformationRadOnc@partners.org

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