Nicholas G. Zaorsky, MD
- Radiation Oncology
- Brachytherapy (BT)
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
- MR-guided non-ionizing therapy
- Prostate cancer radiation
- Radiation oncology
I am a radiation oncologist and clinical investigator in the Department of Radiation Oncology. My duties are to (1) provide excellent clinical care to my patients; (2) research, innovate, and discover new therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer; and (3) educate trainees and patients.
As a clinician, my work centers on the treatment of patients with genitourinary malignancies, specifically prostate and kidney cancer. My team has published several national and international guidelines, including a textbook on prostate cancer,1 guidelines for prostate radiotherapy planning,2 a textbook on radiation oncology,3 guidelines prostate cancer treatment during COVID-19,4 the post-prostatectomy guidelines,5 and the upcoming guidelines for short-course prostate radiotherapy.
I have expertise using intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), hypofractionated radiation therapy (also termed short-course radiation therapy), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT, or very-short-course radiation therapy) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Further, I have expertise in brachytherapy (both temporary and “seed” implants) and radiopharmaceuticals.
I am proponent of multidisciplinary care, which refers to doctors who specialize in different medical areas (e.g. radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists) 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.
As a researcher, my work has several aims. Aim 1: To optimize the treatment of prostate cancer patients. Aim 2: To identify cancer patients at risk for competing causes of death. Aim 3: To improve the staging and management of metastatic cancer. Aim 4: To use comparative effectiveness research and identify high-quality and low-cost cancer treatments. Details about these aims are further described on Penn State Pure and my Mission statement.
As an educator, I am dedicated to the training of patients and physicians. Since 2013, I have worked with over 40 trainees, with most of them having first or second author publications, delivering international presentations, and winning numerous awards. Our works are related to the clinical and research goals listed above. In the clinic, I design multimedia aids that use medical illustrations, video, audio, and text to describe the multimodal therapy for cancer patients.
- Dicker AP, Kelly WK, Zaorsky NG, Trabulsi EJ. Prostate Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Diagnosis and Management. 1 ed: Demos Medical; 2014.
- Zaorsky NG, Showalter TN, Ezzell GA, et al. ACR Appropriateness Criteria external beam radiation therapy treatment planning for clinically localized prostate cancer, part I of II. Adv Radiat Oncol. 2017;2(1):62-84.
- Trifiletti DM, Zaorsky NG. Absolute Clinical Radiation Oncology Review. Springer Nature; 2019.
- Zaorsky NG, Yu JB, McBride SM, et al. Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy Recommendations in Response to COVID-19. Adv Radiat Oncol. 2020;5(Suppl 1):26-32.
- Zaorsky NG, Calais J, Fanti S, et al. Salvage therapy for prostate cancer after prostatectomy: international consensus on evaluation and management. Nat Rev Urol. 2021.
- Penn State Cancer Institute
- Radiation Oncologist
- Assistant Professor
- The use of personalized medicines in conjunction with radiation therapy to improve the therapeutic ratio.
- The multidisciplinary care of patients with cancer, including finding a personalized treatment approach for each individual patient and comparing treatment modalities.
- Investigation of technologies to deliver radiation therapy (e.g. IMRT, SBRT, HDR-BT), including ideal radiation doses and fraction sizes and medical devices.
- Cancers of the prostate, breast, lungs, and brain; as well as metastases.
- William Goldman Foundation Scholarship, 2010
- University of Pittsburgh Honors College Scholarship (x4 years), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
- University Scholar, University of Pittsburgh (top 1% of class), 2006
- United States Steel (USS) - Leonard Baxt Undergraduate Research Award, 2006
- Phi Beta Kappa, 2007
- Pennsylvania Medical Society Alliance Medical Education Scholar (1 of 9 in PA), 2010
- Neurosurgery Medical Student Internship Research Award, 2008
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Funded Research Fellowship Award for Cellular Adaptations to Environmental Challenges (CAEC), 2005
- National Merit Scholarship from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance (x4 years), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellowship Award, 2006-2007
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Fellows Recognition, 2014
- Microsoft Office User Specialist Certificates in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, 2003
- Hugh Henry Brackenridge Research Fellowship Award, 2006
- Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Achievement Award, 2016
- Dr. Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Prize, 2011
- ACRO Travel Grant Award, 2017
- ACRO Best Award, 2017
- AANS/ASTRO/NREF Stereotactic Radiosurgery Course Award, 2017
- Distinguished Honors, University of Pittsburgh (x 8 for all semesters), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
- Department Honors, Neuroscience Department, U of Pittsburgh (top of class), 2007
- Academic Excellence Award, Spanish Department, U of Pittsburgh (top of class), 2007
- Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (ΑΩΑ), 2010
- ASCO/AACR – Vail Clinical Trials Course Award, 2015
- ASTRO Advocacy Day Travel Grant Award, 2017
- European Urology Oncology - Young Associate and Early Career Expert, 2017
- Samuel Hinkle Junior Faculty Research Award for the Penn State College of Medicine, 2019
- Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2020
- Brain tumors
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
- Radiation oncology
- Prostate cancer
- Medical illustration
- Lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, exercise)
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Genitourinary cancer
- Clinical trials
- Breast cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Genitourinary Cancer
- Sarcoma Cancer
- Institute for CyberScience (ICS) - Associate