ABCS Winner of Most Admired Companies Award
Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, the first center worldwide dedicated to exclusively treating women with breast cancer with radiation, is pleased to announce it has been named a 2012 Most Admired Company by BestCompaniesAZ. The prestigious award is given annually to just 40 businesses in Arizona who excel in the areas of leadership excellence, social responsibility, customer opinion and workplace culture. Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists joined its fellow honorees at a gala dinner hosted by Ritz Carlton on September 5 to accept its award.
The health-focused business, now with three centers in the Valley Phoenix, Scottsdale and Gilbert was the brainchild of famed breast cancer specialists Drs. Coral Quiet and Robert Kuske.
"When I moved here, nearly 80 percent of breast cancer patients were treated with mastectomies, a number exponentially higher than the national average," said Dr. Quiet.
Horrified, Quiet began focusing her care solely on breast cancer treatment, research and education, eventually leading to Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists. Then she took it further co-founding Arizona Institute for Breast Health (AIBH), which offers women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion, completely free of charge.
She also helped to pioneer the Mammosite catheter for the FDA studies and have been involved with that devices long term use and research. After much experience with the device, she realized that it was limited, and in fact, could only treat 60% of the patients she was seeing with early stage breast cancer. She has since pioneered a new device, SAVI, which has completed its early studies and has shown great use and is able to treat a lot more women with early stage breast cancer while avoiding high dose to skin and ribs. Newer devices are being worked on that will continue to develop breast cancer treatment options.
"Nationwide, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer yearly," said Dr. Kuske. "Today, most women choose radiation treatment 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. But, it can take six time/energy-consuming weeks of daily treatment with side effects.
However, while serving as Chairman of Radiation Oncology at the famed Ochsner Clinic, Kuske found that, in many cases, less than the whole breast needed radiation. Based on this research, Kuske pioneered Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI), a five-day radiation therapy alternative for women with early stage breast cancer.
As his research progressed, Kuske found almost all of his cancer patients were strictly those with breast cancer. So, when he moved to Scottsdale in the mid-2000s, the partnership with Quiet to develop Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists was a natural fit.
With their focus strictly on treating breast cancer, their team has been more determined than ever to move APBI research into the mainstream. Today, Dr. Kuske 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.
"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," said Dr. Kuske.