Carlos A. Perez, MD
Carlos A. Perez, MD, professor emeritus of radiation oncology, is an international pioneer in the field who has made groundbreaking contributions in radiation oncology patient care, research and education.
During a 47-year career, Perez has helped to set the norms for treating cancer of the cervix, lung, prostate and breast. His research on breast cancer helped establish optimal protocols for combining radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery to fight the disease.
He played an important role in the trend toward treating breast tumors with radiation and lumpectomy as an alternative to mastectomy. Perez also led the way in enhancing radiation therapy delivery; he performed pioneering work in brachytherapy, which employs radioactive sources to deliver radiation to tumors, and he was instrumental in establishing the university as a world leader in 3-D treatment planning. In recognition of his achievements, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the American College of Radiology, and the American Radium Society have all awarded him their Gold Medals.
To trainees and faculty colleagues, he is known as a walking encyclopedia in his field, and his book, Principles and Practice of Radiation Oncology, is called the bible of his specialty. An exceptional mentor, he has trained more radiation oncology departmental chairs than anyone else in the country.
Throughout his career, Perez was a strong advocate of patient education. In 1977, he founded the Cancer Information Center at Washington University Medical Center to give cancer patients guidance and knowledge about their disease. It was the first resource center of its kind and has served as a model for similar facilities around the world.
Perez, who was raised in Medellin, Colombia, earned his bachelor’s degree in 1952 from the Liceo Universidad de Antioquia and his medical degree in 1960 from the Universidad de Antioquia Medical School, both in Medellin. He completed a radiology residency at Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and a radiation therapy fellowship at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Perez joined the faculty in 1964. He led the Division of Radiation Oncology from 1976 until it became its own department in 2001, when he became its inaugural chair. He retired in 2004. A productive researcher and writer, he published more than 370 scientific articles and contributed to more than 43 textbooks.
The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Faculty Achievement Award to Dr. Perez.