Tag Archives: breast cancer treatment

Chen

Arizona Center for Cancer Care, Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists at Scottsdale Healthcare

In an effort to enhance the radiation oncology services offered to the community, Scottsdale Healthcare is pleased to announce a long-term relationship with Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC), a multi-specialty group of Arizona’s most recognizable names in cancer treatment and technology.  Through this, AZCCC has opened facilities at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, and will now be providing radiation oncology services at both its Shea Medical Center and Osborn Medical Center locations. Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS), AZCCC’s partner focused solely on caring for breast cancer patients, will also now provide services as part of this relationship.

“We welcome AZCCC to both our campuses and are excited for the opportunity to work together with them to provide exceptional oncology care to our community,” said Lindsay Thomas, director of oncology for Scottsdale Healthcare.
Throughout the early summer, AZCCC and ABCS have been focused on completing a renovation to its new radiation oncology facility at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in order to accommodate the expected increased volume of patients and to bring leading-edge cancer care technology to Scottsdale Healthcare. Now complete and open to patients, facility renovations include:

· More than doubling the number of exam rooms in the department
· The addition of RapidArc Stereotactic Radiosurgery as a treatment option, which will allow for short courses of high-dose radiation for the first time ever at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center
· The installation of a new iX Linear Accelerator manufactured by Varian, the industry leader in radiation equipment, capable of delivering precision Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with daily image guidance therapy
“IMRT utilizes special imaging and treatment delivery techniques to define the size, shape and location of the tumor as well as normal tissue. It allows us to precisely design the radiation beams to the size and shape of the patient’s tumor while avoiding normal organs,” said Dr. Farley Yang, a partner at AZCCC and member of the Scottsdale Healthcare medical staff for over 10 years.

Dr. Yang was one of the first radiation oncologists in Arizona to successfully use IMRT. In addition, many of his patients have benefited from Stereotactic Radiosurgery procedures for both brain and body tumors, which is able to deliver high doses of pin-point radiation to small cancers in less than one week.

“We are excited to work closely with Scottsdale Healthcare administration and medical staff to build a world-class oncology program here in Scottsdale,” said Dr. Robert Kuske, co-founder of ABCS who is now working out of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center fulltime.

Dr. Kuske

Dr. Kuske is the pioneer of breast brachytherapy, a five-day radiation therapy alternative for women with early stage breast cancer. External beam radiation therapy is safe and very effective, but can take six weeks of daily treatment. Breast brachytherapy, or partial breast irradiation (PBI), has been researched and tested by Dr. Kuske since 1991 as a treatment method after lumpectomy. He has advanced the techniques and technology, and championed the research.

Today, he is co-principal investigator in the largest breast cancer radiation trial in history. His trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is testing head-to-head six-week whole breast radiation versus five-day PBI.

Joining Drs. Yang and Kuske at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center will be fellow radiation oncologist Dr. Luci Chen. In addition to serving as a fellow partner, Dr. Chen also brings experience from her time as clinical director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital and as assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Chicago. She has also been awarded a Fellowship by the American Cancer Society for her clinical research in cancer care.

“We are committed to providing the best practices in radiation oncology at Scottsdale Healthcare, including RapidArc Stereotactic Radiosurgery, IMRT, Brachytherapy including PBI, as well as other services,” said Dr. Chen.

Dr. Diane C. Recine, who is currently a member of the Scottsdale Healthcare medical staff, has joined AZCCC and will continue to provide radiation oncology services at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center. In addition to her current role, Dr. Recine practiced at and served as director of residency programs for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and has both taught radiation oncology courses at the University of Chicago and has served as assistant professor of radiation oncology at Rush Medical College.

For more information, please visit www.arizonaccc.com.

Breast cancer treatment

From Bugles To Breasts: Dr. Robert Kuske's Advances In Breast Cancer Treatment

Not all heroes wear capes or carry Batman-like toys.

Dr. Robert Kuske of Arizona Breast Cancer SpecialistsIn fact, in breast cancer pioneer and Scottsdale resident Dr. Robert Kuske’s case, he wears a lab coat and carries a bugle.

Yes, a bugle.

“When I was 18 years old, I left my hometown in Ohio for the bright lights of Wisconsin to play in the Bugle Corps while training to become a doctor,” Dr. Kuske says.

Over his four-year career with the group, and while getting his college education, he eventually helped to take the troop to the No. 1 ranking in the world. At 21, he was aged out of the program and put his passion into medicine — even helping to conduct nuclear physics research during his final year of professional playing.

“While I still played for fun, breast cancer treatment became my true passion thanks to my favorite professor and long-time mentor Dr. Aron,” Dr. Kuske says.

Dr. Kuske would indeed go into Dr. Aron’s profession — as a breast cancer specialist — eventually while serving as Chairman of Radiation Oncology at the famed Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans and co-developing a five-day radiation therapy alternative for women with early stage breast cancer called Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI).

“Nationwide, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year,” Dr. Kuske says. “Surgical removal of the cancerous lump via lumpectomy is usually the first step in treatment, followed by either mastectomy or radiation.”

Today, most women choose radiation because the survival rate for such treatment is the same as with mastectomy for select early-stage breast cancers, and it allows the patient to preserve her breast.

“External beam radiation therapy, the common treatment today for early-stage breast cancer, is safe and very effective,” Dr. Kuske says. “But, it can take six time/energy-consuming weeks of daily treatment with side effects.”

APBI – or breast brachytherapy – has been researched and tested by Dr. Kuske since 1991 as a treatment method after lumpectomy. He has advanced the techniques and technology, and championed the research just as he championed his Bugle Corp into the mainstream all those years ago.

As his research progressed, Dr. Kuske found almost all of his cancer patients were strictly those with breast cancer.

So, when he moved to Scottsdale in the mid-2000s, Dr. Kuske partnered with fellow breast cancer innovator Dr. Coral Quiet and founded Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists in Scottsdale, the first organization worldwide dedicated to exclusively treating women with breast cancer with radiation.

With his focus strictly on treating breast cancer, he has been more determined than ever to move his APBI research further upstream – into the mainstream. As such, today he is co-principal investigator in the largest breast cancer radiation trial in medical history. His trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is testing 4,300 women with head-to-head, six-week, whole breast radiation versus his five-day APBI.

“I am within months of finishing the trial and believe the results will cause the biggest paradigm shift in how patients will be treated since Marie Curie herself discovered radium in 1896, which led to radiation treatment,” Dr. Kuske says.

In addition, his breast centers have also recently invested in a new technology to help women with large breasts obtain safer treatment.

“We’ve partnered with Varian Medical Systems to offer the Pivotal™ treatment solution for prone breast cancer care, a critical technology for large-breasted women that allows them to obtain treatment in the prone, or face-down, position,” Dr. Kuske says.

With this option, they are literally turning breast cancer treatment upside down.

Growing evidence shows considerable advantages in treating larger-breasted women in the prone position rather than in supine, meaning on one’s back.

According to Dr. Kuske, the advantages include a significant reduction in radiation to the heart and lungs, attainment of good dose homogeneity, minimized respiratory motion and reduced skin toxicity. The Pivotal treatment solution for prone breast care combines the prone technique with an innovative couch-top device. The design enables treatment of both right and left breast, including whole breast, partial breast and APBI.

This work has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Dr. Kuske was a 2012 finalist for both the Health Care Leadership and Health Care Hero Awards, respectively.

Oh – and he is still bugling. In fact, he volunteers his time to the Arizona Academy of Drum and Bugle Corps as its vice president and as a fundraiser. He works to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to take his kids nationwide to compete just as he did.

For more information about Dr. Kuske or breast cancer treatment, please visit breastmd.com.