Created in 2001, this chair is named in honor of Gerald Hanks, MD, chairman of radiation oncology from 1985 to 2001, an international expert in prostate cancer therapy, and one of Fox Chase's most beloved and respected faculty members. This chair supports an outstanding leader in radiation oncology whose work leads to new standards of care and who embodies Dr. Hanks’s values, professional excellence, and pioneering spirit.
Having published more than 300 papers on prostate cancer, Hanks is recognized worldwide for his expertise in the field. He pioneered the use of three-dimensional, conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), which shapes the radiation beam to conform to the shape of the tumor. This approach eradicates cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy cells and reducing the side effects of traditional treatment. Fox Chase initiated the 3D-CRT program in 1988. First used for prostate cancer, this therapy has become routine for many cancer sites and is now used by hospitals around the world.
In addition to pioneering new therapeutic techniques, Hanks was instrumental in establishing guidelines and new standards for quality of care. A leading authority on quality assurance in radiation oncology, he has been a principal investigator for national Patterns of Care Studies, which monitor radiation therapy nationwide.
For men at high risk of prostate cancer, Hanks established the Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment Program at Fox Chase in 1996. It offers not only screening but also education about risk factors and how to reduce them, genetic counseling and the opportunity to take part in prevention-oriented research.
Chair, Department of Radiation
Dr. Horwitz became Chair of the Department of Radiology in November, 2009, after serving as Acting Chair since June 2008. Since joining the staff in 1997, Horwitz's contributions include spearheading the clinical program as it grew exponentially in size and patient volumes. He developed advanced treatment programs using intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy and brachytherapy, including high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy for prostate cancer. As a result, Fox Chase was the first in the northeastern United States to offer HDR implants to men with prostate cancer.
In addition, Horwitz integrated the use of an MRI treatment simulator into prostate cancer treatment planning for both permanent, low-dose prostate implants and external radiation therapy. Fox Chase was the first in the world to use MRI in radiation treatment planning.
In June 2009, he was elected president of the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS). He was elected vice president of the ABS in 2008 and served a one-year term. He is also active in the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.
Horwitz has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is a co-author of several chapters in various oncology texts. He has been invited to give numerous lectures and presentations at professional meetings in the United States and abroad. Horwitz has been named a top doctor by Castle Connolly's "American's Top Doctors" and is annually listed as one of Philadelphia magazine's "Top Docs."
Horwitz received his MD from Albany College in New York after earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He completed both his internship and residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., where he was chief resident in radiation oncology. Horwitz joined Fox Chase in 1997. In 2003, he was promoted from associate member to member with tenure in Fox Chase's division of medical science.