Driving cancer research

Learn about the history and purpose of the UW Department of Human Oncology and Carbone Cancer Center.

The Department of Human Oncology (DHO) is a multidisciplinary department within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. DHO faculty comprised the original UW Comprehensive Cancer Center as designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1973.

Today, focused primarily on Radiation Oncology, Radiation Physics and Cancer Research, DHO faculty and staff design and deliver radiation treatments to over 200 cancer patients each day at UW Madison and surrounding outreach clinics. These patients receive some of the world’s most sophisticated radiation and imaging techniques, molecular cancer drugs to enhance radiation outcome and state of the art cancer treatment technologies, many developed right here at the University of Wisconsin.

From bench to bedside, DHO Radiation Oncology Physicians, Physicists, Cancer Biology Faculty and trainees are involved in the advancement of cancer research, biology and technology. We are bound by a common desire to make new discoveries that improve cancer cure rates and diminish toxicity. In partnership with the UW Carbone Cancer Center, DHO is a leader in changing the face of cancer therapy by fostering innovative research and clinical care opportunities for cancer patients across Wisconsin and beyond.

UW-Madison’s prominence in cancer research, education and treatment arises from more than six decades of diligence and discovery – beginning with the founding of the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in 1940 followed by the formation of the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center (UWCCC) in 1973, now known as the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center.

UW Carbone Cancer Center holds the unique distinction of being the only comprehensive cancer center in Wisconsin, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, the lead federal agency for cancer research.

An integral part of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the Carbone Cancer Center unites more than 280 physicians and scientists who work together in translating discoveries from research laboratories into new treatments that benefit cancer patients. Our mission is primarily achieved through research programs that bring scientists together from many different disciplines.

More than 30,000 people are seen annually for diagnosis, therapy, follow-up care or consultations at UW Hospital and Clinics , as well as our other clinical locations. UW Hospital and Clinics is consistently in the top 25 of 50 hospitals providing the best cancer care and research efforts in U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals”, which is published annually. Most recently, UWHC was named the number one hospital in Wisconsin in this report.

Daily we are reaching out to residents of Wisconsin and beyond – providing them with important health education messages. From technical assistance to educational programs, the Carbone Cancer Center provides a bridge between new research discoveries and their application in the community.