News & Updates

Prospective Randomized Comparison of the Effectiveness of Radiation Therapy and Local Steroid Injection for the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

By Tacoma Radiation on July 9th, 2015

Summary

Based on retrospective and prospective data, radiation therapy is effective for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Local injections of corticosteroids are used to control pain when other conservative treatments have failed. We performed a randomized, prospective trial to compare the effects of radiation therapy with those of local corticosteroid injections. We show the superiority of radiation therapy concerning pain relief and recommend radiation therapy for treating plantar fasciitis.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to conduct a randomized trial of radiation therapy for plantar fasciitis and to compare radiation therapy with local steroid injections.

Methods and Materials

Between March 2013 and April 2014, 128 patients with plantar fasciitis were randomized to receive radiation therapy (total dose of 6.0 Gy applied in 6 fractions of 1.0 Gy three times a week) or local corticosteroid injections a 1 ml injection of 40 mg methylprednisolone and 0.5 ml 1% lidocaine under the guidance of palpation. The results were measured using a visual analog scale, a modified von Pannewitz scale, and a 5-level function score. The fundamental phase of the study was 3 months, with a follow-up period of up to 6 months. Results: The median follow-up period for all patients was 12.5 months (range, 6.5-18.6 months). For the radiation therapy patients, the median follow-up period was 13 months (range, 6.5-18.5 months), whereas in the palpation-guided (PG) steroid injection arm, it was 12.1 months (range, 6.5-18.6 months). After 3 months, results in the radiation therapy arm were significantly superior to those in the PG steroid injection arm (visual analog scale, P<.001; modified von Pannewitz scale, P<.001; 5-level function score, P<.001). Requirements for a second treatment did not significantly differ between the 2 groups, but the time interval for the second treatment was significantly shorter in the PG steroid injection group (PZ.045).

Results

The median follow-up period for all patients was 12.5 months (range, 6.5-18.6 months). For the radiation therapy patients, the median follow-up period was 13 months (range, 6.5-18.5 months), whereas in the palpation-guided (PG) steroid injection arm, it was 12.1 months (range, 6.5-18.6 months). After 3 months, results in the radiation therapy arm were significantly superior to those in the PG steroid injection arm (visual analog scale, P<.001; modified von Pannewitz scale, P<.001; 5-level function score, P<.001). Requirements for a second treatment did not significantly differ between the 2 groups, but the time interval for the second treatment was significantly shorter in the PG steroid injection group (PZ.045).

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Dr. Dean Mastras Highlighted in Article on Prostate Cancer Treatment

By rforsberg on November 10th, 2014

Working with our healthcare partners to ensure best practices and superior treatment options are delivered is a top priority for Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers.  We are always pleased to be a part of our patients’ success stories.  We are even more delighted when the patient elects to go public with their cancer battle & share their story as part of an educational approach to showcasing the awesome cancer care and treatment advantages available with our team of physicians and staff at Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers.  For more on this great story; click on the link.

TeamApproachTreatingProstateCancer

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Covered by Most Insurances

By rforsberg on November 7th, 2014

Did you know the use of radiation therapy is a proven successful treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?  Are you aware that radiation treatment is covered by most insurances?  If you or someone you know suffers from painful heel spurs Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers is here to offer help.  For additional details on this treatment option contact us at (253) 627-6172 and check out our link with additional information.

TVROC PF Flyer revOct.2014

PSA Screenings – Important Information You Should Know

By rforsberg on July 8th, 2013

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON PSA SCREENINGS
TACOMA/VALLEY RADIATION ONCOLOGY CENTERS WANT PATIENTS TO BE WELL INFORMED

Tacoma, WA – Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers want patients to be well informed on PSA screenings and recent research and data conducted on this issue.  The following articles (listed below in link form) shed light on evidence based research that suggests eliminating PSA screenings for men may result in undiagnosed or advanced cancers.  The articles also discuss the potential impact of insurance companies not paying for the testing.  The articles have been made available to educate and inform our patients and future patients, as well as website visitors.

At TVROC, we offer the most advanced treatment planning and radiation therapy services.  With our experience, expertise, and strong service commitment, no team will fight harder for a patient’s health.  With offices in Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, and Olympia, TVROC patients have the comfort and convenience of receiving medical care in their own community without travel to distant, unfamiliar locations.  To learn more about the treatment advantages at Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers – give us a call today!

Advanced cancer may triple without PSA tests

Quality of life effects of PSA screening

Health_Wellness part 1

Health_Wellness part 2

Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Center Physicians Recognized For Medical Care Contributions In Partnership With Pierce County Project Access

By Tacoma Radiation on March 28th, 2013

Tacoma, WA – Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers is pleased to announce that seven of their physicians have been recognized by Pierce County Medical Society for their participation in Pierce County Project Access, a non-profit organization who strives to ensure every Pierce County resident has access to medical care. Named Pierce County Medial Society Champions, Doctors Mastras, Sorum, McDonough, Bergman, Wang, Sanders, and Pittier, have served as integral partners in proactively addressing the health care crisis in Pierce County and have been honored as co-recipients of the 2012 Community Service Award.

Since its inception in 2009, Pierce County Project Access has enrolled 832 patients in the program with $6.7 million dollars of donated care. The success of the program is built on minimal administrative cost complemented by significant physician participation through donated leadership time and direct patient care. Senior partner, Dr. Dean Mastras noted, “The physician team at TVROC is dedicated to ensuring all residents of our community have access to cutting-edge, comprehensive cancer treatment provided with compassion and respect.”

At Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers we offer the most advanced treatment planning and radiation therapy services. With our experience, expertise, and strong service commitment, no team will fight harder for a patient’s health. With offices in Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, and Olympia, TVROC patients have the comfort and convenience of receiving medical care in their own community without travel to distant, unfamiliar locations.

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Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers Launch a New Website

By Tacoma Radiation on March 14th, 2013

Tacoma, WA – Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers recently launched a new website offering patients easier site navigation and a more consumer friendly design. The new design also provides current and future patients with a better understanding of the services available at their centers, as well as access to some of the latest research in the radiation oncology industry. Pages specifically created to showcase TVROC’s commercials, advertising campaigns and recent company news are also featured. The site was redesigned with feedback from company stakeholders to include patients, visitors, staff and physicians.

At Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers we proudly provide exceptional service and patient care whether that comes through a visit to our website or a treatment consultation at one of our centers. With our experience, expertise, and strong service commitment, our goal is to be the radiation oncology provider of choice in the communities we serve. With offices in Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, and Olympia, TVROC patients have the comfort and convenience of receiving medical care in their own community without travel to distant, unfamiliar locations. To learn more about the treatment advantages at Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers phone us at (253) 627-6172 or visit our new website at www.defeatyourcancer.com.

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Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis Now Available at Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers

By Tacoma Radiation on January 30th, 2013

Foot stepping legsTacoma, WA – There is great news for patients suffering from painful heel spurs, commonly know as Plantar Fasciitis. Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers (TVROC) is pleased to announce that radiation treatment for Plantar Fasciitis is now available at all five center locations. Known for its anti-inflammatory effect, radiation is an excellent treatment alternative for patients who’ve had little to no success with standard treatment options. Patients with refractory Plantar Fasciitis should consider radiation therapy to reduce their pain and improve their quality of life. Studies have concluded that patients will benefit from treatment with low dose radiation. A randomized controlled trial demonstrated that 6 painless treatments offer effective therapy. A simple consultation with one of our physicians will help determine if radiation treatments are the right fit for each patient and it puts them one step closer to relief from this painful condition.

At Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers We offer the most advanced treatment planning and radiation therapy services. With our experience, expertise, and strong service commitment, no team will fight harder for a patient’s health. With offices in Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, and Olympia, TVROC patients have the comfort and convenience of receiving medical care in their own community without travel to distant, unfamiliar locations. To learn more about the treatment advantages at Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers or to schedule a consultation you may phone us at (253) 627-6172.

Radiation is a painless treatment option for some skin cancers

By Tacoma Radiation on December 4th, 2012

Highly successful outcomes with minimal scarring and side effects

Tacoma, WA – Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers are pleased to provide radiation treatment for some skin cancers to include basal and squamous cell carcinomas. While surgery is considered the gold standard for removing these cancers from critical areas like the face, head, and neck, scar formation is almost always present. Radiation is an excellent, painless alternative to treating skin cancers affecting these areas. Surgery can cause unsightly scarring, and in many cases keloid leaving the patient dissatisfied with their treatment results. Radiation treatments destroy the cancer cells which lead to shrinking of the affected area while healthy tissue replaces the diseased area. Treatment advantages include minimal scarring and side effects accompanied by highly successful outcomes.

At Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers we offer the most advanced treatment planning and radiation therapy services. With our experience, expertise, and strong service commitment, no team will fight harder for a patient’s health. We have convenient radiation therapy services available in Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, and Olympia. To learn more about radiation treatment of skin cancer and the other cutting-edge treatment options available at our centers phone our offices at (253) 627-6172.

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Evaluation of Outcomes in Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery Treatment of Essential and Parkinsonian Tremor

By Tacoma Radiation on August 22nd, 2012

R. Sorum1,2, P. Shin2,3, A. Zemanek1, H. Wang1,2, M. McDonough1,2, K. Bergman1,2, K. Sanders1,2, N. Bittner1,2, A. Pittier1,2, D. Mastras1,2

1South Sound Gamma Knife, Tacoma, WA, United State of America
2Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers, Tacoma, WA, United States of America
3South Sound Neurosurgery, Tacoma, WA, United Sates of America

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of 39 patients (40 cases) with essential or Parkinsonian tremor who were treated with Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKSRS) via ventralis intermedius (Vim) thalamotomy.

Methods: A total of 40 cases of tremor were treated at our facility (South Sound Gamma Knife, Tacoma, WA). Thirty-five with benign essential tremor, three with Parkinsonian tremor, and two with both types of tremor were included. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the contra lateral Vim thalamic nucleus of the chosen treatment side was located and treated, receiving a single 4 mm shot of 130 Gy. These patients were followed by their radiation oncologist or neurosurgeon. A retrospective review of medical records including physical exams, writing samples and Archimedes spiral testing, in combination with patient phone interviews, was conducted to obtain data on treatment outcomes.

Results: In total, 39 patients with a median age of 77.5 years, received GKSRS for tremor. They had a median pre-treatment tremor duration of 13 years (range, 1.5-70). With a median follow-up period of 15.5 months (range, 3-64), a total of 33 patients (82.5%) responded to the treatment, as evidenced by lessening in their tremor severity. Of these patients, 24% had a complete response, with no residual tremor. The median time to response was 3.5 months (range, 0.1-12). One patient developed unilateral weakness in his lower extremity with evidence of significantly more thalamic edema on MRI than what is considered normal. He had corticosteroids prescribed and physical therapy that resolved this weakness over a short period of time.

Conclusion: GKSRS Vim thalamotomy at our institution was shown to provide relief from tremor at rates similar to other studies on this topic. This is a viable, safe and effective treatment option that is an alternative to deep brain stimulation in patients refractory to medication.

 

The Addition of Hyperthermia to Standard Radiotherapy Improves Both Local Control and Survival in Inoperable Pelvic Tumours: Results of Dutch Randomized Studies

By Tacoma Radiation on August 18th, 2012

Van Der Zee, D. Gonzalez Gonzalez, G.C. Van Rhoon, J.D.P. Van Dijk, W.L.J. Van Putten, A.A.M. Hart, and P.C.M. Koper

Background

Experimental research has shown that hyperthermia (HT) is an effective cell killing agent especially in a hypoxic, nutrient deprived and low pH environment. Such environmental conditions are commonly found to exist within malignant tumours. Hypoxic cells are known to be relatively radioresistant. So, the combination of radiotherapy (RT) and HT will result in at least complementary effects. The existing clinical data have confirmed the experimental data: in addition to promising results from many phases I-II clinical studies, the therapeutic gain by HT in addition to RT has been proven by randomised studies in head and neck cancer, malignant melanoma, recurrent breast cancer and glioblastoma multiforme. Advanced, inoperable tumours originating from the bladder, cervix, and rectum are characterized by disappointing local control rates following RT. For the patients concerned, a locoregional failure means that the situation, in general, has become incurable. One of the reasons for the relative radioresistance may be the existence of hypoxic areas. The effect of additional HT was investigated in these patient groups.

Materials and Methods

In the Netherlands, two randomised trials investigating the effect of HT in addition to standard RT, including patients with T3 and T4 bladder cancer, IIB-distal, IIIB and IV cervical cancer, and inoperable primary or recurrent rectal cancer, has recently been closed with a total of 358 patients included. The primary objective of both studies is whether additional HT will result in an increase in local control rate. Secondary objectives are acute and late toxicity, disease-free survival and overall survival. Following obtaining informed consent, patients were randomised 50% to RT alone and 50% to combined treatment. Three different systems for induction of HT were used: the B5D-2000 system, the Amsterdam 4-waveguide applicator system, and the Utrecht coaxial TEM applicator. For the three systems, similar energy distribution in human pelvic size phantoms has been demonstrated. The data from the two studies were combined.

Overall, patient and tumour characteristics are evenly distributed over the two treatment arms, except tumour stage which appears somewhat less favorable in the combined treatment arm. Radiotherapy was applied according to standard schedules, including brachytherapy for cervical cancer. Patients from institutes without hyperthermia facilities were irradiated at the referring institute. Hyperthermia was given once weekly, during the period of external RT, to a total of 5 treatments. The duration of each HT treatment was 60 minutes, following a heating period of maximum 30 minutes. There are no significant differences between the two treatment arms concerning the total RT doses applied. A relatively large number of patients in the combined treatment arm has not received HT treatments: 12% of the patients with cervical cancer and 17% of the patients with bladder cancer. Two patients in the RT-alone arm did receive HT-treatments. The analysis of results was done on the basis of the intention to treat principle.

Results

The preliminary results including total 298 patients with sufficient follow-up time show a significant improvement in local control rate by additional HT, from 37% to 58%. The addition of HT also resulted in better overall survival. At 3 years follow-up this was 24% following RT, and 30% following combined treatment. The effect of HT was most impressive in the group with cervical cancer (n=99), with significant improvement of both local control (+34) and overall survival (+29 at 3 years follow-up). In bladder cancer (n=85), the improvement in local control was temporary and not resulting in a better survival. In rectal cancer (n= 114), the improvement in local control seemed less and was not significant. The available data show no indication for enhanced radiation toxicity.

Conclusions

This study has shown that the addition of hyperthermia to standard radiotherapy of inoperable pelvic tumours improves both local control and survival. From the results of subgroup analysis, it was concluded to offer combined treatment standard to patients with tumours of the uterine cervix, stages IIB-distal, IIB and IV, and to develop new study protocols for patients with bladder and rectal cancer.