Jay Loeffler, M.D., FACR, FASTRO

In memoriam

Jay Loeffler, M.D., FACR, FASTRO

With great sadness, we announce the passing of our esteemed and dear colleague, Jay Loeffler, MD, FACR, FASTRO.

Dr. Loeffler began working with Inspire Oncology in January of 2022 after a long and accomplished career as an academician in Boston. He was most recently the Herman and Joan Suit Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and a former Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard. He spent 20 years as Chairperson of Radiation Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School from 2000 to 2020. Dr. Loeffler was the former Director of the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, the nation’s 2nd hospital-based proton therapy center.

As the author of more than 400 publications and co-editor of nine cancer textbooks, Dr. Loeffler also held funding from the National Cancer Institute in proton therapy. His work helped develop the use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), now the mainstay treatment for benign and malignant intracranial tumors. This pivotal research paved the way for the eventual development of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), now widely used for malignancies throughout the body.

Not only was Jay a renowned academician, but he was also tremendously empathetic and compassionate with his cancer patients who traveled from all parts of the world to see him. He was known for his ability to connect with patients from all walks of life, making each one feel critically important when with them.

Despite being one of the most famous and influential radiation oncologists ever, essentially introducing stereotactic radiation to the world, he would say that the greatest treasure of his life was his loving, devoted family, children Steven, Avery, and Brian and grandson Jack, and the enduring happiness he experienced in his over three-decade marriage to Dr. Nancy Tarbell, a world-renowned pediatric oncologist and former associate dean of Harvard medical school. Together at Harvard, Nancy and Jay devoted their lives to medicine and science and the care of critically ill cancer patients.

As a physician, I approach patients as a whole person rather than someone with a single diagnosis. Treating cancer is much more than prescribing treatment and involves learning about a patient as a person, their emotion, families, hobbies, and what is most important to them in their daily lives.

Board Certification:
  • American Board of Radiology
Experience & Education:
  • Jacob Fabrikant Award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of stereotactic radiosurgery.
  • Herman and Joan Suit Professor of Radiation Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School.
  • Chair, Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • 2016 -2018 Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School
  • 1985-1986 Chief Resident, Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Harvard Medical School
  • 1984-1986 Fellowship, Harvard School of Public Health
  • 1983-1985 Residency, Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Harvard Medical School
  • 1983-1985 Fellowship, Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Harvard Medical School
  • 1982 M.D., Brown University School of Medicine