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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Ronald C.   Walker

Ronald C. Walker, M.D.

Professor of Clinical Radiology & Radiological Sciences

Contact Information:

Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences
1121 21st Avenue South
CCC-1121 MCN
Nashville, TN 37232-2675


Research Description:

My research is focused on molecular imaging of cancer both to improve early and accurate diagnosis and to provide rapid assessment of tumor biology with physiological imaging, and on radiation therapy for cancer based on targeted molecular receptors within or on the cancer cell.

Research Description:

My research is focused on molecular imaging of cancer both to improve early and accurate diagnosis and to provide rapid assessment of tumor biology with physiological imaging, and on radiation therapy for cancer based on targeted molecular receptors within or on the cancer cell. I hope, with my collaborators, to use new tools to identify the risk level of an tumor at time of diagnosis, thus allowing up-front treatment decisions that will provide superior, safer and more cost-effective treatment strategies for each patient. I also work to discover new insights into tumor biology that will bring new opportunities for treatment, such as with peptide-receptor radiotherapy (PRRT). Importantly, I always consider if my research can lead to improvements in medical care that can ultimately be deployed with affordable, preferably off-the-shelf technology, in community hospitals throughout the US so that everyone can ultimately and quickly benefit from the contributions I am able to make to the care of patients suffering from cancer.

  • BS Biology, Baylor University 1974
  • MD Baylor College of Medicine 1978
  • Flexible Internship Scott USAF Medical Center 1978-1979
  • Radiology Residency Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center 1979-1982
  • Nuclear Medicine Fellowship Univ of Texas San Antonio 1982 - 1984
Research Description

PET imaging and research, particularly in multiple myeloma; PET-CT in oncology; PET-CT in myocardial perfusion; SPECT-CT for myocardial perfusion with or without CT angiography; Graduate medical education in Nuclear Medicine, especially in PET-CT and CT

  • McKinley ET, Smith RA, Tanksley JP, Washington MK, Walker R, Coffey RJ, Manning HC. [18F]FLT-PET to predict pharmacodynamic and clinical response to cetuximab therapy in Ménétrier's disease. Ann Nucl Med [print-electronic]. 2012 Nov; 26(9): 757-63. PMID: 22821337, PMCID: PMC3543701, DOI: 10.1007/s12149-012-0636-x, ISSN: 1864-6433.
    Available from:
  • Walker RC, Brown TL, Jones-Jackson LB, De Blanche L, Bartel T. Imaging of multiple myeloma and related plasma cell dyscrasias. J. Nucl. Med [print-electronic]. 2012 Jul; 53(7): 1091-101. PMID: 22693310, PII: jnumed.111.098830, DOI: 10.2967/jnumed.111.098830, ISSN: 1535-5667.
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  • Grogan EL, Weinstein JJ, Deppen SA, Putnam JB, Nesbitt JC, Lambright ES, Walker RC, Dittus RS, Massion PP. Thoracic operations for pulmonary nodules are frequently not futile in patients with benign disease. J Thorac Oncol. 2011 Oct; 6(10): 1720-5. PMID: 21760552, PMCID: PMC3712870, DOI: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e318226b48a, ISSN: 1556-1380.
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  • Deppen S, Putnam JB, Andrade G, Speroff T, Nesbitt JC, Lambright ES, Massion PP, Walker R, Grogan EL. Accuracy of FDG-PET to diagnose lung cancer in a region of endemic granulomatous disease. Ann. Thorac. Surg [print-electronic]. 2011 Aug; 92(2): 428-32; discussion 433. PMID: 21592456, PMCID: PMC3186439, PII: S0003-4975(11)00478-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.02.052, ISSN: 1552-6259.
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  • Bartel TB, Haessler J, Brown TL, Shaughnessy JD, van Rhee F, Anaissie E, Alpe T, Angtuaco E, Walker R, Epstein J, Crowley J, Barlogie B. F18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the context of other imaging techniques and prognostic factors in multiple myeloma. Blood [print-electronic]. 2009 Sep 9/3/2009; 114(10): 2068-76. PMID: 19443657, PMCID: PMC2744568, PII: blood-2009-03-213280, DOI: 10.1182/blood-2009-03-213280, ISSN: 1528-0020.
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  • Walker RC, Jones-Jackson LB, Martin W, Habibian MR, Delbeke D. New imaging tools for the diagnosis of infection. Future Microbiol. 2007 Oct; 2(5): 527-54. PMID: 17927475, DOI: 10.2217/17460913.2.5.527, ISSN: 1746-0921.
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  • King DL, Stack BC, Spring PM, Walker R, Bodenner DL. Incidence of thyroid carcinoma in fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-positive thyroid incidentalomas. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Sep; 137(3): 400-4. PMID: 17765765, PII: S0194-5998(07)00230-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.otohns.2007.02.037, ISSN: 0194-5998.
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  • Walker R, Barlogie B, Haessler J, Tricot G, Anaissie E, Shaughnessy JD, Epstein J, van Hemert R, Erdem E, Hoering A, Crowley J, Ferris E, Hollmig K, van Rhee F, Zangari M, Pineda-Roman M, Mohiuddin A, Yaccoby S, Sawyer J, Angtuaco EJ. Magnetic resonance imaging in multiple myeloma: diagnostic and clinical implications. J. Clin. Oncol [print-electronic]. 2007 Mar 3/20/2007; 25(9): 1121-8. PMID: 17296972, PII: JCO.2006.08.5803, DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2006.08.5803, ISSN: 1527-7755.
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  • Shaughnessy JD, Zhan F, Burington BE, Huang Y, Colla S, Hanamura I, Stewart JP, Kordsmeier B, Randolph C, Williams DR, Xiao Y, Xu H, Epstein J, Anaissie E, Krishna SG, Cottler-Fox M, Hollmig K, Mohiuddin A, Pineda-Roman M, Tricot G, van Rhee F, Sawyer J, Alsayed Y, Walker R, Zangari M, Crowley J, Barlogie B. A validated gene expression model of high-risk multiple myeloma is defined by deregulated expression of genes mapping to chromosome 1. Blood [print-electronic]. 2007 Mar 3/15/2007; 109(6): 2276-84. PMID: 17105813, PII: blood-2006-07-038430, DOI: 10.1182/blood-2006-07-038430, ISSN: 0006-4971.
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  • Yaccoby S, Ling W, Zhan F, Walker R, Barlogie B, Shaughnessy JD. Antibody-based inhibition of DKK1 suppresses tumor-induced bone resorption and multiple myeloma growth in vivo. Blood [print-electronic]. 2007 Mar 3/1/2007; 109(5): 2106-11. PMID: 17068150, PMCID: PMC1801040, PII: blood-2006-09-047712, DOI: 10.1182/blood-2006-09-047712, ISSN: 0006-4971.
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  • Mahfouz T, Miceli MH, Saghafifar F, Stroud S, Jones-Jackson L, Walker R, et al.. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography contributes to the diagnosis and management of infections in patients with multiple myeloma: a study of 165 infectious episodes. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2005; ((23)): 7857-63.
  • Angtuaco EJC, Fassas AB, Walker RC, Sethi R, Barlogie B. Multiple myeloma: clinical review and diagnostic imaging. Radiology. 2004; ((231)): 11-23.
  • Barlogie B, Shaughnessy J, Tricot G, Jacobson J, Zangari M, Anaissie E, Walker R, Crowley J. Treatment of multiple myeloma. Blood. 2004; ((103)): 20-32.
  • Maxwell C, Rasmussen E, Zhan F, Keats J, Adamia S, Strachan E, Crainie M, Walker, R, et al.. RHAMM expression and isoform balance predicts aggressive disease and poor survival in multiple myeloma. Blood. 2004; ((104)): 1151-8.
  • Miceli MH, Atoui R, Walker R, et al.. Diagnosis of deep septic thrombophlebitis in cancer patients by Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scanning: a preliminary report. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2004; ((22)): 1949-56.
  • Tian E, Zhan F, Walker R, et al.. The role of the Wn/β-catenin signaling antagonist DKK1 in the development of osteolytic lesions in multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine. 2003; ((349)): 2483-94.
  • Walker RC, Barlogie B, Shaughnessy J. Letter to the Editor regarding N Eng J Med 349:2483-2494, 2003. New England Journal of Medicine. 2003; 14((350)): 1465.
  • Walker RC, Zigler SS. PET practice in nuclear pharmacy. Journal American Pharmacists Association. 2003; ((32)).
  • Walker RC, Weiss DW, Purnell GL, Forte KF. Positron emisson tomography scanning: a primer. Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society. 2002; 4((99)): 119-21.