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Proton Therapy Doctors

CCH Newsletter - Summer 2010

Anita Mahajan, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, was born in London, but grew up in Canada and is still officially a Canadian citizen.

A graduate of the University of Toronto in biochemistry, Mahajan went on to receive her medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, where she also did her internship and radiation oncology residency. A proton therapy fellowship in 1996 brought her “south of the border” to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“Thanks to my family and my work, I’ve lived lots of places,” Mahajan says. “Fortunately, I love to travel.”

Married with two teenage boys, Mahajan says that pediatrics is a great place for her to focus. “I enjoy working with pediatric proton patients because I know that MD Anderson has the expertise and appropriate back-up facilities to take care of any problems we may run into in our work. Besides that, pedi patients are fun and they give good hugs.”

Vivian H. Porche, M.D., professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, has been the medical director of anesthesia for the Proton Therapy Center since 2005.

Porche, who had a life-long desire to be a doctor, grew up in a household of college-educated African-Americans. After a “fun” college experience, Porche attended The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to obtain her medical degree. She married during her last year in medical school, had her first child’s birth during her residency in anesthesiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and her second child shortly after taking a position at MD Anderson. Her third child was born later in her career at MD Anderson.

Today, Porche continues to pursue her goals in the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. She’s known for being interactive with her young patients, from teaching them how to “put themselves to sleep” by pushing the button that starts the anesthesia to singing lullabies to help sleep come faster.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center