Krisha Howell, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology
Phone Number: 
(520) 694-7236
(520) 694-3215

Internal Contact Information

UACC Organizational Unit: 
Professional Bio: 
Dr. Howell earned her medical doctorate from Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich. Her undergraduate degree was in Honors Biophysics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
After completing internship in internal medicine at the University of Arizona, she completed a radiation oncology residency from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. She completed a fellowship in brachytherapy Princess Margaret Hospital/University of Toronto.
Dr. Howell is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, Department of Radiation Oncology, and a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center. She specializes in treating patients with gastrointestinal malignancies, sarcoma and metastatic cancer.

Multimodality therapy in the target of cancer has been the focus of Dr. Howell's training and clinical experience for various malignancies. The early development of her career was spent in translational research with direct application to the clinic with the pursuit of technological advancements. In recent years Dr. Howell has worked with her colleagues in Medical Oncology, Surgical Oncology and translational sciences to apply innovative techniques and protocols to patients with soft tissue sarcomas and gastrointestinal malignancies.

Clinical Information

Clinical Focus: 
Dr. Howell specializes in gastrointestinal and sarcoma directed radiotherapy. Clinical work-up and treatment plans are established in conjunction with the University of Arizona Cancer Center multidisciplinary cancer treatment team. She employs numerous different treatment techniques to best adapt therapy to suit individual patient needs. These include 3D external beam radiotherapy, IMRT, SBRT and Tomotherapy treatment. In select patient circumstances brachytherapy or motion controlled therapy may also be administered.


Disease or Clinical Specialty: 

Research Information

Research Program: 
Therapeutic Development
Member Status: 
Research Member
Summary of Research Activity: 
Dr. Howell has published research in peer-reviewed journals and has presented data at national research conferences. Her research includes comparative radiotherapy techniques for radiation delivery to the pancreas, research on the effects of lymph node ratio in pancreatic cancer and tumor-targeted radiotherapy. Her current areas of interest include brachytherapy and gastrointestinal malignancies. Dr. Howell is a member of the American Society of Radiation Oncology and the American Brachytherapy Society.
Selected Publications: 
  1. Dowdall JR, Opfermann KJ, Kim H, Lin H. A Case of Radiation-Induced Multifocal Laryngeal Angiosarcoma Presenting as a Diagnostic Dilemma. Case Reports in Otolaryngology. 2012.
  2. Taylor R, Opfermann K, Jones BD, Terwilliger LE, McDonald DG, Ashenafi MS, Garrett-Meyer E, Marshall DT. Comparison of Radiation Treatment Delivery for Pancreatic Cancer: Linac Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Versus Helical Tomotherapy. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology. 2012;56(3):332-337.
  3. Opfermann KJ, Wahlquist A, Watkins J, Kohler M, Jenrette J. Impact of Point A Asymmetry on Local Control and Survival for Low Dose-Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy in Cervical Cancer. Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy. 2012;4(1):3-7.
  4. Picard JC, Golshayan A, Marshall DT, Opfermann KJ, Keane TE. The Multi-Disciplinary Management of High-Risk Prostate Cancer. Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations. 2012;30(1):3-15.
  5. Opfermann KJ, Lai Z, Essenmacher L, Bolton S, Ager J, Forman JD. Intermittent Hormone Therapy in Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer. Clinical Genitourinary Cancer. 2006;5(2):138-143.
Collaborative Research: 
Yap ML, Cuartero J, Yan J, Pintilie M, Fyles A, Opfermann K, Levin W, Manchul L, Milosevic M. The Role of Prophylactic Para-Aortic Lymph Node Irradiation in Cervix Cancer. Poster Presentation at the annual European Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology meeting, May 2012.
Opfermann KJ, Cooper SL, Jenrette JM. Volumetric Increase in Schwannoma on Surveillance Brain MRIs Following Stereotactic Radiosurgery: A Review of Predictive Factors. Oral Presentation at the annual European Society of Radiology meeting, March 2011.
Opfermann KJ, Wahlquist AH, Garrett-Mayer E, Cannick DT, Marshall DT. Adjuvant Radiotherapy and Lymph Node Status for Pancreatic Cancer: Results of a Study from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Registry Data. Oral Presentation at the annual American Society for Radiation Oncology meeting, Oct. 2012.

Professional Information

Board Certifications: 
Arizona Medical Board
Professional Affiliations: 
American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
American Brachytherapy Society (ABS)

Academic Information

Princess Margaret Hospital/University of Toronto
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Medical School: 
Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
Undergraduate School: 
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan