The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center in Hillsboro added a new form of treatment using an alternating electric fields for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer.
The treatment targets cancer cells in the brain and inhibits their ability to divide and grow. The therapeutic electric field is delivered by a portable, non-invasive device that patients wear on their heads and is powered by a generator located in a backpack the patient wears.
A GBM tumor is highly malignant and difficult to treat. A patient diagnosed with GBM will go through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to reduce the number of tumor cells, inhibit their division and help relieve pressure on the brain. Those treatments work for a time, but the disease usually returns
“Finding a means to arrest the growth of glioblastoma multiforme is a positive step forward,” said Timur Mitin, M.D., Ph.D., medical director for the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. The new treatment will be used when all other treatment methods have been exhausted and GBM has reoccurred, Mitin added.
The use of alternating electric fields as a treatment method has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is intended to complement traditional chemo and radiation therapies. It is also being tested for other forms of cancer, including lung, ovarian and pancreatic.
“Using alternating electric fields is a novel, less toxic approach to treating cancer,” Mitin said.
The challenge in treating GBM with traditional treatment is the blood/brain barrier, which prevents foreign toxins and agents, such as chemotherapeutic drugs, from entering the brain. In addition, GBM tumors also become resistant to chemotherapy over time.
Data from a large clinical trial conducted in Europe and presented two years ago showed that alternating electric fields therapy is similar in effectiveness as systemic chemotherapy for treatment of GBM, but caused fewer side effects. More recent data also suggests that the use of this therapy together with systemic chemotherapy at an earlier point in time offers a survival advantage to patients.
For more information, visit us online at www.tuality-ohsu-cancercenter.org or call us at 503-681-4200.
[May 28, 2015]
Bladder preservation treatment available
A new bladder-preserving approach for the treatment of bladder cancer is now available at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. The traditional approach has been to surgically remove the entire bladder when cancer has moved deeper into the tissues.
Supported by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network evidence-based guidelines since 2013 as an alternative to bladder removal surgery, this approach treats the tumor while preserving the bladder. The first step is for the patient’s urologist to remove the cancerous tumor inside the bladder. A regimen of chemotherapy and radiation therapy follows five days a week at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center for duration of four weeks. The patient then takes a four-week break from treatment followed by another two and a half weeks of chemo and radiation therapy. The patient’s urologist will perform regular checkups to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.
“Patients who complete bladder preservation treatment modality will most likely keep their native fully-functional bladders for the rest of their lives,” Dr. Timur Mitin, medical director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, said of the desired outcome of organ preservation.
Mitin is a specialist in this type of bladder cancer treatment and received his training at Massachusetts General Hospital under the guidance of Dr. William Shipley, a pioneer and advocate for bladder preservation. This approach has been used over the past 40 years, with over 1,500 patients treated on multiple clinical trials in the U.S. and more patients undergoing bladder preservation treatment in Europe. Data shows that over 70 percent of patients will be free of tumor recurrence inside the bladder and therefore will never need bladder removal.
“I think we need to make physicians and patients in Portland, and in Oregon in general, aware of this work. Patients need to know they have alternatives when it comes to making clinical decisions regarding their health,” Mitin said.
Patients receive follow up urological evaluations every three to six months initially, then less frequently, to look for recurrent tumors. If no evidence of recurrent tumors exists after three to five years, Mitin said it is unlikely bladder cancer will return. However, the patient’s oncologist and urologist will continue monitoring on an annual basis to check for recurrent tumors.
“What I want to make patients aware of is that even patients who are surgical candidates, who could have surgery, they still have an option to keep their bladders with the bladder preservation,” Mitin said.
For more information on bladder preservation and bladder cancer, contact the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center at 503-681-4200.
[March 18, 2015]
Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center
The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center is pleased to announce that oncologist Timur Mitin, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the joint venture as medical director.
Mitin, who specializes in the field of radiation oncology and joined Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) this year, has practiced and trained at several of the nation’s leading academic health-care institutions including Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Mitin succeeds Charlotte Dai Kubicky, M.D., Ph.D., who joined the cancer center as medical director in 2007. Kubicky will continue in her role as an assistant professor for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, as well as seeing patients at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute clinic in Beaverton.
Mitin is a native of Moscow, Russia, who came to the United States at age 16 to pursue his education. He received his B.A., cum laude, in chemistry and biology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He pursued his medical training in a combined M.D./Ph.D. program at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.
“We are delighted to have Dr. Mitin join us at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center,” said Tina Dickerson, cancer center director. “His credentials are amazing, and we as a cancer care team look forward to what he will bring to our program. At the same time, I would like to thank Dr. Kubicky for her years of service. She is an outstanding physician, and both our patients and our group here will miss her.”
During his doctoral training, Mitin studied cancer immunology and defended his thesis work on hormonal regulation of drug metabolism. Upon graduating from Tufts, he completed an internship year in internal medicine at Providence St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, and returned to Boston for his training in radiation oncology at the Harvard University Radiation Oncology Program.
After completing his residency program, he was invited to join the faculty of Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he specialized in treatment of patients with genitourinary malignancies.
Mitin is a first author of several review articles as well as Radiation Therapy Oncology Group publications in the field of bladder preservation in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. He has lectured extensively on a variety of radiation oncology related topics.
“I’m looking forward to joining the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center staff and bringing cutting edge cancer treatment practices to patients in Hillsboro,” Mitin said. “One of my first tasks will be to meet the many providers in the community and discuss how we can team up to provide the best care possible for our patients.”
The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center is a joint venture between Tuality Healthcare and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University to deliver advanced cancer care to patients in the Hillsboro community.
[April 24, 2014]
New Linear Accelerator installed
The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center has installed new state-of-the-art radiation technology. The Elekta Infinity™ linear accelerator, will enable Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center physicians to offer radiation therapy treatment capabilities not previously available at the Cancer Center. The new linear accelerator will help patients in several significant ways:
[October 29, 2013]
The waiting is over, the Cancer Center welcomed their new Elekta Infinity linear accelerator this week. The addition is part of a summer project to install the latest in radiation therapy as well as update some treatment rooms.
“This is a highly advanced radiation treatment system,” says Tina Dickerson, Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center director. “It’s important to provide the best care possible to our patients and important as well to offer the latest in technology for planning and delivery of our radiation therapy treatments.”
The new machine is scheduled to be finished around mid-September. During this time patients will continue to have their consultations and follow-ups at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. All radiation therapy will be held at the OHSU Beaverton Cancer Center located at 15700 SW Greystone Court. Tuality Local Coach will also be provided for those that need transportation.
For more information, please contact Tina Dickerson at 503-681-4193 or firstname.lastname@example.org
[August 9, 2013]
The circle has many meanings but most commonly it represents infinity, that which has no beginning or end. It also is a symbol of protection. So, it was fitting that in 2002 the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center named their fundraising program the Circle of Hope where people could purchase a tile that would be on display at the center in honor of or in memory of a loved one.
Over the years, the tiles have been a welcoming entrance for patients and families as they come and go at the Cancer Center. And with that comes a lot of wear and tear on them. So much so, that they began to deteriorate to the point of being unreadable. With all the daily traffic over the tiles, they also became bumpy and uneven which caused a safety issue.
“These tiles mean so much to the community as well as to those that donated to the center,” said Cece Clitheroe, Tuality Foundation director. “Many are adorned with uplifting and thoughtful words so it was really important for us to preserve them in some way.”
In the winter of 2013, the process of transforming the donor tiles into a donor wall began. With the help of a generous volunteer, all of the information was collected from the tiles and placed onto a circular wall design that is now on display at the entrance.
“We’re so pleased with the end result,” said Tina Dickerson, Director of the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. “The Circle of Hope entrance to the Cancer Center has been a comfort and of great importance to those who’ve been a part of its creation. Re-doing the damaged stones into the welcoming wall art within the breezeway, has given added beauty to the entrance, and continues the hope of healing as you enter our door.”
[May 30, 2013]
Young girl gives hope to
An 11-year-old Girl Scout with the dexterity of a magician is putting smiles on the faces of current and former patients at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center.
Niasha Oden is using the ancient Japanese art of folding origami paper cranes to provide hope for cancer patients. According to Japanese legend, anyone who receives 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish, a long life, or recovery from illness or injury.
Niasha has taken on the crane project to honor her mother and to pay tribute to her late grandmother. Her mother, Trisha Schroeder Oden, is a cancer survivor. She told Niasha that while her grandmother was being treated for breast cancer, she was collecting cranes, but died before she was able to collect 1,000. Niasha decided to help current cancer patients collect cranes so their wishes would be granted. “I just want everyone to have a lot of hope in their lives,” Niasha said.
Niasha has already soared past the 1,000-crane mark. According to her Facebook page, she is at 4,700 cranes and counting. Her goal is to create 6,000 origami cranes by January.
On a recent visit to the Cancer Champions Support Group, which meets twice a month at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, Niasha dropped off a basket full of colorful folded cranes. All have messages printed on them – Angels Watching, Look to the Sky, Shine on You’re a Star – and the like. She also dropped off a basket of cranes at Tuality’s Hematology and Oncology Department.
Niasha said she learned how to make the cranes after hearing of the plight of Japanese citizens following the devastating tsunami of 2011. Niasha estimates she can fold a small origami crane in two minutes; a medium sized one takes three minutes.
Trisha Oden blushed when asked about her daughter. She reminds everyone that Niasha is only 11. “You have to realize there are many other things she could be doing, yet she spends all of her spare time on this project,” Theresa said.
Jan Skaflestad, one of the support group members, said it warms her heart that a child so young could be so involved in giving back to the cancer community. “It makes me want to cry,” she said.
A visit to Niasha’s Cranes of Hope Facebook page reveals a site chock full of uplifting statements, photos, even a video showing you how to fold an origami crane. It also contains the following statement from Niasha:
Cranes of Hope is all about spreading Hope, Love, and Smiles, one crane at a time. 1,000 cranes = HOPE for healing from cancer. From my ♥ to yours.
[January 7, 2013]