The primary research interest of Sean S. Park, M.D., Ph.D., is the improvement of clinical outcomes in stage IV cancers through the exploitation of the patient's own immune system. Of particular interest is the induction of an in situ immune response against melanoma and other solid cancers using radiation treatments. This research is performed in conjunction with other cancer immunologists at Mayo Clinic; their multidisciplinary teamwork promotes the synthesis of novel personalized treatment strategies.
- Radiotherapy as an immune inducer. Dr. Park collaborates with Haidong Dong, M.D., Ph.D.; Svetomir N. Markovic, M.D., Ph.D.; and Eugene D. Kwon, M.D., to perform translational and clinical research designed to improve clinical outcomes in metastatic cancers.
- Oligometastasis and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Dr. Park's interests include the application of SBRT using state-of-the-art photon and proton technology to improve patient outcomes in oligometastatic cancers, including but not limited to melanoma and prostate cancer.
- 11C-Choline PET/CT for recurrent prostate cancer. Choline PET scans were recently approved for use in prostate cancer patients who experience relapse after primary surgery or radiation treatment. With Dr. Kwon and Kenneth R. Olivier, M.D., Dr. Park has been evaluating and treating prostate cancer patients with Choline PET-identified oligometastases in a prospective study.
- Radiation safety. With Luis E. Fong de los Santos, Ph.D., Dr. Park co-chairs the quality performance improvement committee in the Department of Radiation Oncology, and has been developing effective and efficient safety barriers, particularly through the implementation of safety checklists.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Park hopes to develop novel treatments through a multidisciplinary team approach by combining the latest technology in radiotherapy — including SBRT, image-guided and intensity-modulated radiotherapy, and proton therapy — with immunotherapy to improve outcomes in metastatic cancer patients while safely minimizing side effects.
- Physician reviewer, Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, 2013-present
- Research scholar, Radiological Society of North America, 2013-2015
- Young professional award, International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society, 2009
- Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 2005