1940s, 1950s, 1960s
- Drs. Abe Cannon and Earle Roth first used orthovoltage X-rays and then later a 1 MV beam from a resonant transformer machine to treat patients.
- Dr. William T. Moss was hired in 1959. A cobalt-60 machine was purchased in 1960.
1970s and 1980s
- Dr. William Norman Brand led the division and acquired 4 MV and 10 MV linear accelerators.
- A conventional radiation therapy simulator was added to enable a more efficient treatment planning process.
- A hyperthermia machine was installed.
1990s and 2000s
- Dr. Bharat B. Mittal began to lead the division and purchased a linear accelerator (linac) with a multileaf collimator (MLC). The collimator allows for field shaping without use of custom-made beam-blocking devices.
- Leksell Gamma Knife, used for brain radiosurgery, was purchased jointly with the Department of Neurological Surgery for shared use.
- Two new MLC-equipped linacs, a new conventional simulator, a CT-based simulator and high-dose rate brachytherapy machine were added. The treatment modalities of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) were offered.
The Department of Radiation Oncology became its own department (and the 25th department at the Feinberg School) in April 2006, after being a division of the Department of Radiology. Bharat B. Mittal, MD, continues his leadership of the department that includes physicians, physicists, researchers, and staff members.