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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Avani D Rao, MD

Avani Rao, MD

Years of Experience





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About Avani Rao, MD

Dr. Avani Rao is a specialty care physician board eligible in radiation oncology. She joined Inova Health System in 2020 and has been practicing since 2015.

Prior to joining Inova, Dr. Rao served as a fellow with the Department of Radiology at the University of Maryland.


  • American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, 2013-present
  • American Radium Society, 2013-present
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

1. Kumar R*, Dholakia AS* (Co-first author), Rasheed Z. Stem Cell Directed Therapies in Pancreatic Cancer. Curr Probl Cancer. 2013 September; 37(5):280-286.

2. Dholakia AS, Hacker-Prietz A, Wild AT, Raman SP, Wood LD, Huang P, Laheru DA, Zheng L, De Jesus-Acosta A, Le DT, Schulick R, Edil B, Ellsworth S, Pawlik T, Iacobuzio-Donahue C, Hruban R, Cameron JL, Fishman EK, Wolfgang CL, Herman JM. Successful resection following neoadjuvant radiation therapy for borderline resectable pancreatic cancer is not dependent on improved tumor-vessel relationships. J Radiat Oncol. December 2013;2(4):413-425.

3. Kadhim L, Dholakia AS (Co-first author), Chaudhry M, Herman JM. The Role of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the management of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. J Radiat Oncol 2013 Dec:2(4):341-352.

4. Dholakia AS, Kumar R, Raman S, Moore J, Ellsworth S, McNutt T, Laheru DA, Jaffee E, Cameron JL, Tran PT, Hobbs RF, Wolfgang CL, Herman JM. Mapping patterns of local recurrence following pancreaticodudenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma: A New Approach to adjuvant radiation field design. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Dec;87:1007-1015.

5. Fan KY*, Dholakia AS* (Co-first author), Wild AT, Zheng S, Hacker-Prietz A, Kumar R, Hodgin M, Hsu C, Le DT, De Jesus-Acosta A, Diaz LA, Laheru DA, Hruban RH, Fishman EK, Brown TD, Pawlik TM, Wolfgang CL, Tran PT, Herman JM. Hemoglobin-A1c level predicts for clinical outcomes in patients with pancreatic cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2014 Jan;12(1):50-7.

6. Dholakia AS, Chaudhry M, Leal J, Chang DT, Raman SP, Hacker-Prietz, Su Z, Pai J, Oteiza KE, Griffith ME, Wahl RL, Tryggestad E, Pawlik T, Laheru DA, Wolfgang CL, Koong AC, Herman JM. Baseline Metabolic Tumor Volume and Total Lesion Glycolysis is Associated With Survival Outcomes in Patients with Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Receiving Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Jul;89(3):539-546.

7. Herman JM, Chang DT, Goodman KA, Dholakia AS, Raman SP, Hacker-Prietz A, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Griffith ME, Pawlik TM, Pai JS, O'Reilly E, Fisher GA, Wild AT, Rosati LM, Zheng L, Wolfgang CL, Laheru DA, Columbo LA, Sugar EA, Koong AC. Phase II multi-institutional trial evaluating gemcitabine and stereotactic body radiation therapy for locally advanced unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Cancer 2015 July;121(7):1128-1137.

8. Moningi S, Dholakia AS, Raman SP, Blackford A, Cameron JL, Le DT, Jesus-Acosta AMC, Hacker-Prietz A, Rosati LM, Assadi RK, Dipasquale S, Pawlik TM, Zheng L, Weiss MJ, Laheru DA, Wolfgang CL, Herman JM. Stereotactic body radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer: Single institutional experience. Ann Surg Onc. 2015;22(7):2352-2358.

9. Wild AT*, Dholakia AS* (Co-first author), Fan KY, Kumar R, Moningi S, Rosati LM, Laheru DA, Zheng L, De Jesus-Acosta A, Ellsworth SG, Hacker-Prietz A, Voong KR, Tran PT, Hruban RH, Pawlik TM, Wolfgang CL, Herman JM. Efficacy of platinum chemotherapy agents in the adjuvant setting for adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2015 Apr;6(2):115-125.

10. Elnahal S, Moningi S, Wild A, Dholakia AS, Hodgin M, Fan KY, Huang P, Pronovost P, Pawlik TM and Herman JM. Improving safe throughput of patients in a Multidisciplinary Oncology Clinic. Physician Leadersh J. 2015 Mar;2(6):3.

11. Rao AD, Sugar EA, Barrett N, Mahesh M, Arceci RJ. The utility of computed tomography in the management of fever and neutropenia in pediatric oncology. Pediatric Blood Cancer. 2015 Oct; 62(10) 1761-1767.

12. Kiess AP, Banerjee SR, Mease RC, Rowe SP, Rao A, Foss CA, Chen Y, Yang X, Cho SY, Nimmagadda S, Pomper MG. Prostate-specific membrane antigen as a target for cancer imaging and therapy. Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2015 Sep;59(3):241-68.

13. Valero V 3rd, Saunders TJ, He J, Weiss MJ, Cameron JL, Dholakia A, Wild AT, Shin EJ, Khashab MA, OʼBroin-Lennon AM, Ali SZ, Laheru D, Hruban RH, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Herman JM, Wolfgang CL. Reliable Detection of Somatic Mutations in Fine Needle Aspirates of Pancreatic Cancer With Next-generation Sequencing: Implications for Surgical Management. Ann Surg. 2016 Jan;263(1):153-161.

14. Stanley SE, Rao AD, Gable DL, McGrath-Morrow S, Armanios M. Radiosensitivity and radionecrosis in the short telomere syndromes. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Dec;93(5):1115-1117.

15. Wild AT, Herman JM, Dholakia AS, Moningi S, Lu Y, Rosati L, Hacker-Prietz A, Assadi R, Pawlik T, Jaffee E, Laheru DA, Tran PT, Weiss MJ, Wolfgang CL, Ford E, Grossman SA, Ye X, Ellsworth SG. Lymphocyte-Sparing Effect of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy in Patients with Unresectable Pancreatic Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 Mar; 94(3):571-579.

16. Rao AD, Sugar EA, Chang DT, Goodman KA, Hacker-Prietz A, Rosati LM, Columbo L, O'Reilly E, Fisher GA, Zheng L, Pai JS, Griffith ME, Laheru DA, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Wolfgang CL, Koong A, Herman JM. Patient-Reported Outcomes of a Multi-Center Phase II Study Investigating Gemcitabine and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer. Pract Radiat Oncol Nov 2016;6(6):417-424.

17. Shrestha B, Y Sun, Faisal F, Kim V, Soares K, Blair A, Herman JM, Narang A, Dholakia AS, Rosati L, Hacker-Prietz A, Chen L, Laheru DA, De Jesus-Acosta A, Le DE, Donehower R, Asad N, Diaz LA, Murphy A, Lee V, Fishman EK, Hruban RH, Liang T, Cameron JL, Makary M, Weiss MJ, Ajuja N, He J, Wolfgang CL, Huang CY, Zheng L. Long-term survival benefit of upfront chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. Cancer Med. 2017 Jul;6(7):1552-1562.

18. Rao AD, Chen Q, Ermoian RP, Alcorn SR, Figueiredo ML, Chen MJ, Dieckmann K, MacDonald SM, Ladra MM, Kobyzeva D, Nechesnyuk AV, Nilsson K, Ford EC, Winey BA, Villar RC, Terezakis SA. Practice patterns of palliative radiation therapy in pediatric oncology patients in an international pediatric research consortium. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2017 Nov;64(11):1-7.

19. Rao AD, Rashid A, Chen Q, Villar RC, Kobyzeva K, Nilsson K, Dieckmann K, Nechesnyuk A, Ermoian R, Alcorn S, MacDonald SM, Ladra MM, Ford EC, Winey BA, Figueiredo ML, Chen MJ, Terezakis SA. Reirradiation for Recurrent Pediatric CNS Malignancies: A Multi-Institution Review. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Nov;99(3):634-641.

20. Rao AD, Feng Z, Shin EJ, He J, Waters KM, Coquia S, De Jong R, Rosati LM, Su L, Li D, Jackson J, Clark S, Schultz J, Hutchings D, Kim S, Hruban RH, Wong J, Narang A, Herman JM, Ding K. Novel Use of a Biodegradable Radiopaque Hydrogel Spacer as a Technique to Separate the Head of the Pancreas and Duodenum in Radiotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Dec;99(5):1111-1120.

21. Rao AD, Coquia S, De Jong R, Gourin C, Page B, Latronico D, Sah S, Su L, Clarke S, Schultz J, Rosati LM, Fakhry C, Wong J, DeWeese TL, Quon H, Ding K, Kiess A. Effects of biodegradable spacer injection on contralateral submandibular gland sparing in radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Radiother Oncol. 2018 Jan;126(1):96-99.

22. Rao AD, Liu Y, Eyben R, Hsu C, Hu C, Rosati LM, Parekh A, Ng K, Hacker-Prietz A, Zheng L, Pawlik TM, Laheru DA, Jaffee EM, Weiss MJ, Le DT, Hruban RH, Jesus-Acosta AD, Wolfgang CL, Narang AK, Chang DT, Koong AC, Herman JM. Multiplex Proximity Ligation Assay to Identify Potential Prognostic Biomarkers for Improved Survival in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Patients Treated With Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Feb 1;100(2):486-489.

23. Parekh A, Dholakia A, Zabransky D, Asrari F, Camp M, Wright JL. Predictors of radiation-induced acute skin toxicity in breast cancer at a single institution: Role of fractionation and treatment volume. Adv Radiat Oncol. 2018 Jan-March:3(1)8-15.

24. Rao AD, Shin EJ, Beck S, Caroline G, Kim S, Lee N, Liapi E, Wong J, Herman J, Narang A, Ding K. Demonstration of safety and feasibility of hydrogel marking of the pancreas-duodenum interface for image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) in a porcine model: Implications for IGRT for pancreatic cancer patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Jul 1;101(3):640-645.

25. Rao AD, Chen Q, Million L, Spunt SL, Fitzgerald TJ, Hu Chen, Rao SS, Laurie F, Kessel S, Morano K, Ladra MM, Terezakis SA. Preoperative intensity modulated radiotherapy compared to three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy for high-grade extremity sarcomas in children: analysis of the Childrens Oncology Group (COG) study ARST0332. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. E pub Sept 10 2018.

26. Alcorn S, Nilsson K, Rao AD, Ladra MM, Ermoian RP, Villar RC< Chen MJ, Kobyzeva D, Nechesnyuk AV, Ford E, MacDonald S, Winey B, Nieckmann K, Terezakis SA. Practice patterns of stereotactic radiotherapy in pediatrics: results from an international pediatric research consortium. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2018 Oct 20:522-526.

27. Parekh A, Fu W, Hu C, Shen CJ, Alcorn S, Rao AD, Asrari F, Camp MS, Wright JL. Impact of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic factors on receipt of radiation after breast conservation surgery: analysis of the national cancer database. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Nov;172(1):201-208.

28. Feng Z, Rao AD (Co-first), Cheng Z, Shin EJ, Moore J, Su L, Seong-Hun K, Wong J, Narang A, Herman JM, McNutt T, Li D, Ding K. A dose prediction model for duodenum sparing with biodegradable hydrogel spacer in radiotherapy of pancreatic cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Nov 1;103:651-659.

29. Rao AD, Nicholas SE, Kachniarz B, Hu C, Redmond KJ, Deville C, Wright JL, Page BR, Terezakis S, Viswanathan AN, DeWeese TL, Fivush BA, Alcorn SR. Association of a simulated institutional gender equity initiative with gender-based disparities in medical school faculty salaries and promotions. JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Dec 7;1(8):e186054.

30. Rao AD, Lee J, Fu W, Nicholas S, Alcorn SR, Moore J, Ladra M, Mahesh M, Bartolac S, Terezakis S. Precision of Two Low-dose Abdomen/Pelvis Cone Beam Computed Tomography Protocols for Alignment to Bone and Soft Tissue in Pediatric Patients Receiving Image Guided Radiation Therapy. Pract Radiat Oncol. E pub Jan 23 2019.

31. Rao AD, Ladra M, Dunn E, Kumar R, Rao S, Sehgal S, Dorafshar AH, Morris CD, Terezakis SA. A roadmap for important centers of growth in the pediatric skeleton to consider during radiation therapy and associated clinical correlates of radiation-induced growth toxicity. Int J Radiat Oncol Bio Phys 2019 March 1;103(3)669-679.

32. Devine CA, Liu KX, Ioakeim-Ioannidou M, Susko M, Poussaint TY, Huisman TA, Aboian M, Brown D, Zaslowe-Dude C, Rao AD, Orlina LT, Rawal B, Mueller S, Marcus KJ, Terezakis SA, Braunstein SE, Hass-Kogan DA. Brainstem injury in pediatric patients receiving posterior fossa photon radiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Bio Phys. E pub Aug 28 2019.

33. Kerdsirichairat T, Narang AK, Thompson, E, Kim S, Rao AD, Ding K, Shin E. Hydrogel spacer for borderline resectable and locally advanced pancreatic cancer: a feasibility human study. Gastroenterology 2019 Oct 157;933-935.

34. Rao AD, Figueiredo ML, Yegya-Raman N, Segal S, Chen Q, Alcorn SR, Chen MJ, Ladra M, Villar R, Terezakis SA. Clinical practice and outcomes of palliative radiation therapy in pediatric oncology patients: an international comparison of experiences from two distinct countries and healthcare systems. Radiother Oncol. 2019 Nov 140;1-5.

35. Rao AD, Shin EJ, Meyer JM, Thompson EL, Fu W, Hu C, Fishman E, Weiss M, Wolfgang C, Burkhart R, He J, Kerdsirichairat T, Herman JM, Ding K, Narang A. Evaluation of a novel absorbable radiopaque hydrogel in patients undergoing image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) for borderline resectable and locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Pract Radiat Oncol. Epub Mar 6 2020.

36. DeCesaris C, Rao AD. Characterizing the risk of vertebral body fractures in patients receiving chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer. JAMA Netw Open. (in press)

Book Chapters

1. Rao AD, Constine LS, Cooper LS, Terezakis SA. Lymphomas in Children. (2018). In Perez and Brady’s Principles and Practice of Radiation Oncology 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincot Williams and Wilkins.

2. Rao AD, Agbahiwe H, Terezakis SA. Hodgkins and non-hodgkins lymphoma. (2020). In Target Volume Delineation and Field Setup: A practical guide for conformal and intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Springer. In Press


Medical Education

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 2014


Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Training Specialty: Internal Medicine
6/25/2014 - 06/30/2015


Johns Hopkins Hospital
Training Specialty: Radiation Oncology
7/1/2015 - 06/30/2019


University of Maryland Medical System
Training Specialty: Proton Therapy
7/8/2019 - 06/30/2020

Hospital Affiliation

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