Dennis R. Hill MD HDR Prostate Brachytherapy Specialist Compares Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

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Dennis R. HIll MD, Radiation Oncologist at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, CA discusses the latest in prostate cancer treatments.

Dennis R. Hill MD, Radiation Oncologist at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, CA, who specializes in HDR Prostate Brachytherapy, a prostate cancer treatment option with less risk of side effects than external beam radiation methods, discusses a newer treatment now available, called the Calypso system. Use of the Calypso system requires that during the long course of external beam radiation treatment the prostate naturally moves due to respiration, gas in the rectum, etc. Likewise it is virtually impossible to get a human body in the exact same position every day, five days a week for eight to nine weeks.

This new technology is based on scientific principles very similar to that in global positioning satellite (GPS) devices. Three tiny devices are implanted in the prostate prior to external beam radiation. These devices, each about the size of a grain of rice, are tracking devices called beacon transponders. Then, during external beam radiation, the beacon transponders communicate with the Calypso system constantly so the external beam stays locked on to the target. Dr. Hill states, “This is an expensive and late refinement to catch up with the inherent virtue of high dose rate brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Of course the prostate moves naturally, but with the high dose rate
brachytherapy technique the treatment catheters are implanted in the prostate so they go wherever the prostate goes.” The prostate cancer is always on target. There is no need for a complicated tracking system.

Dr. Hill further states that the Calypso system still does not address the disadvantage of the external beam going through the normal pelvic structures to get to the walnut sized target. High dose rate brachytherapy treats the prostate cancer from inside out so normal tissue gets a minimal dose and the possibility of side effects is greatly reduced.

About Dennis R. Hill MD

Dennis R. Hill, MD has been performing brachytherapy full time since 2004. He graduated from the Oregon Health Science University and did his radiation oncology residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). From 1972-1974 he was the Director of Radiation Oncology at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). From 1975-1986, he was on the faculty at UCSF, and became Clinical Professor in 1984. He was also Vice-Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCSF from 1981-1986. Dr. Hill is board certified in radiation oncology, and practiced external beam radiation in private practice at Davies Medical Center in San Francisco prior to focusing on brachytherapy in Oakland. He has done over five hundred implants for prostate cancer.

Dennis R. Hill, MD
3012 Summit Street, Suite 2675
Oakland, California 94609
Fax 510-869-8882

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