Nikhil Rao, MD

Where You Are:
Nikhil Rao, MD

Associate Member

Office  (813) 745-8424

Education And Training
  • Resident, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, 2008 - Radiation Oncology
  • Resident, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 2005 - Radiation Oncology
  • Intern, Washington Hospital, Georgetown University, 2004 - Internal Medicine
  • MD, University of Virginia, 2003


Dr. Rao's clinical research interests include monitoring toxicities and developing novel ways of delivering radiation to improve efficacy while reducing side effects. He has studied the role and extent of the neck dissection following definitive chemoradiation. He is interested in using functional imaging to improve radiation targeting and to assess responses to therapy. Additionally, Dr. Rao is interested in the role of radiation in rare skin tumors, brain tumors, melanoma and has experience with brain and body radiosurgery.

  • Kim S, Ramakrishnan R, Lavilla-Alonso S, Chinnaiyan P, Rao N, Fowler E, Heine J, Gabrilovich DI. Radiation-induced autophagy potentiates immunotherapy of cancer via up-regulation of mannose 6-phosphate receptor on tumor cells in mice. Cancer Immunol Immun. 2014 Jun. Pubmedid: 24943275.
  • Rao NG, Trotti A, Kim J, Schell MJ, Zhao X, Amdur RJ, Brizel DM, Chambers MS, Caudell JJ, Miyamoto C, Rosenthal DI. Phase II multicenter trial of Caphosol for the reduction of mucositis in patients receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. Oral Oncol. 2014 Jun. Pubmedid: 24954065.
  • Hoffe S, Rao N, Shridhar R. Neoadjuvant vs Adjuvant Therapy for Resectable Pancreatic Cancer: The Evolving Role of Radiation. Semin Radiat Oncol. 2014 Apr;24(2):113-125. Pubmedid: 24635868.
  • Ahmed KA, Sarangkasiri S, Chinnaiyan P, Sahebjam S, Yu HH, Etame AB, Rao NG. Outcomes Following Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy in the Management of Brain Metastases. Am J Clin Oncol. 2014 Apr. Pubmedid: 24755663.
  • Tanvetyanon T, Padhya T, McCaffrey J, Kish JA, Deconti RC, Trotti A, Rao NG. Postoperative concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy for high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Head Neck. 2014 Mar. Pubmedid: 24623654.
  • Rao NG, Han G, Greene JN, Tanvetyanon T, Kish JA, De Conti RC, Chuong MD, Shridhar R, Biagioli MC, Caudell JJ, Trotti AM. Effect of prophylactic fluconazole on oral mucositis and candidiasis during radiation therapy for head-and-neck cancer. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2014 Mar;3(3):229-233. Pubmedid: 24674369.
  • May JT, Rao N, Sabater RD, Boutrid H, Caudell JJ, Merchant F, Han G, Padhya TA, McCaffrey JC, Tanvetyanon T, Deconti R, Kish J, McCaffrey TV, Trotti A. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy as primary treatment for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Head Neck. 2013 Dec;35(12):1796-1800. Pubmedid: 23468387.
  • Kenchappa RS, Tran N, Rao NG, Smalley KS, Gibney GT, Sondak VK, Forsyth PA. Novel treatments for melanoma brain metastases. Cancer Control. 2013 Oct;20(4):298-306. Pubmedid: 24077406.
  • Sanguineti G, Rao N, Gunn B, Ricchetti F, Fiorino C. Predictors of PEG dependence after IMRT±chemotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer. Radiother Oncol. 2013 Jun;107(3):300-304. Pubmedid: 23773408.
  • Chuong MD, Freilich JM, Hoffe SE, Fulp W, Weber JM, Almhanna K, Dinwoodie W, Rao N, Meredith KL, Shridhar R. Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy vs. 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anal Canal. Gastrointest Cancer Res. 2013 Mar;6(2):39-45. Pubmedid: 23745158. Pmcid: PMC3674462.
  • Han D, Zager JS, Yu D, Zhao X, Walls B, Marzban SS, Rao NG, Sondak VK, Messina JL. Desmoplastic melanoma: is there a role for sentinel lymph node biopsy?. Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Feb;20(7):2345-2351. Pubmedid: 23389470.
  • Zhang RR, Feygelman V, Harris ER, Rao N, Moros EG, Zhang GG. Is wax equivalent to tissue in electron conformal therapy planning? A Monte Carlo study of material approximation introduced dose difference. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2013;14(1):3991. Pubmedid: 23318384.
  • Sanguineti G, Sormani MP, Marur S, Gunn GB, Rao N, Cianchetti M, Ricchetti F, McNutt T, Wu B, Forastiere A. Effect of radiotherapy and chemotherapy on the risk of mucositis during intensity-modulated radiation therapy for oropharyngeal cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 May;83(1):235-242. Pubmedid: 22104358.
  • Rao NG, Yu HH, Trotti A, Sondak VK. The role of radiation therapy in the management of cutaneous melanoma. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2011 Jan;20(1):115-131. Pubmedid: 21111962.
  • Rao NG. Review of the role of radiation therapy in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma. Curr Probl Cancer. 2010 Jan;34(1):108-117. Pubmedid: 20371078.
  • Gonzalez RJ, Kudchadkar R, Rao NG, Sondak VK. Adjuvant Immunotherapy and Radiation in the Management of High-risk Resected Melanoma. Ochsner J. 2010;10(2):108-116. Pubmedid: 21603365. Pmcid: PMC3096199.
  • Rao N, Sanguineti G, Chaljub G, Newlands S, Qiu S. Do neck levels negative on initial CT need to be dissected after definitive radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy. Head Neck. 2008 Aug;30(8):1090-1098. Pubmedid: 18528904.
  • Sandhu A, Rao N, Giri S, He F, Karakla D, Wadsworth T, McGaughey D, SilverbergM. Role and extent of neck dissection for persistent nodal disease following chemo-radiotherapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer: how much is enough. Acta Oncol. 2008;47(5):948-953. Pubmedid: 17906982.
  • Rao N, Pariser R. Annular erythema responding to tacrolimus ointment. J Drugs Dermatol. 2003 Aug;2(4):421-424. Pubmedid: 12884468.
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