Specialties

  • Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

  • Deciding which cancer treatment is best for each patient is based on many factors. The range of therapies may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, hormone therapy or a combination. Prior to recommending a treatment plan, the oncologist will study the patient's imaging studies, pathology report and other tests as well as perform a thorough physical examination. Please use the following to learn more about different types of cancer treatment and diagnostic tests at Porter Adventist Hospital.


  • While surgery and radiation are considered local therapies because they treat tumors at the site, chemotherapy is considered a systemic therapy because it circulates through the body in the bloodstream. Other types of systemic treatment are hormonal therapy, antiangiogenesis agents and vaccines. Systemic therapies are given by mouth, injection or infusion (IV).

    The inpatient chemotherapy infusion center at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver is located on the first floor of the hospital and has been newly remodeled with patient comfort in mind. We know how important comfort is during chemotherapy treatment so the new rooms are spacious and include reclining chairs. The nurses on the inpatient oncology unit are certified oncology nurses to ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care. The clinical pharmacist reviews all chemotherapy in the infusion center to assure dosage is appropriately based on renal and liver function and other medical indications.

    Cypress Hematology & Oncology is located on the second floor of the Porter Cancer Care Center. Both Dr. Nadine Mikhaeel and Dr. Thomas Kenney completed their fellowship training at the University of Colorado, and they are board certified in hematology and oncology. They provide care for a broad spectrum of cancers as well as blood disorders. The medical oncologist often becomes the lead member of a cancer patient’s health care team, prescribes chemotherapy or other drug therapies, helps make informed decisions about individual treatment plans, organizes the execution of the plan and provides long term follow up and screening.

    The clinic provides infusion service, has five OCN certified chemotherapy infusion nurses and is equipped with 11 infusion chairs. Cases are discussed at a weekly tumor conference where history, imaging and pathology are reviewed by a panel of physicians including oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists. The clinic also participates in clinical trials through the Colorado Cancer Research Program.

    TrueBeam.jpgPorter Adventist Hospitals’s radiation oncology department is a leader in cancer treatment and radiation therapy technology in the Denver area. Our state-of-the-art radiation therapy center offers:

    • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) and Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) that offers fast, precise, non-invasive treatment for cancer sites located throughout the body including difficult to operate regions such as the lungs, brain, spinal cord and abdomen

    • Arc-based Treatment Delivery that delivers radiation treatments in a fraction of the time of standard radiation oncology equipment

    • Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) that monitors the movement of tumors and other organs to ensure that treatment is both safe and accurate

    • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) that not only shapes to a tumor’s size and shape but reduces exposure to healthy tissue by creating multiple small beams of radiation that converge at tumor’s focal point

    • Respiratory Gating Treatment DeliveryOptical Guidance Patient Positioning Tracking and Continuous Motion Management that tracks patient and tumor movement in real-time to allow for more precise and accurate treatment delivery

    • 3-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D CRT) that utilizes computers and advanced imaging to deliver external-beam
      radiation therapy that conforms to a tumor’s specific shape and size

    • High Dose Rate (HDR) and Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy, including prostate seed implants, that delivers direct doses of radiation to a tumor with minimal impact to surrounding tissue

    Advanced Technologies

    We are proud to be one of the few radiation oncology providers in the Denver area equipped with the Varian TrueBeam image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery system. The TrueBeam is not only able to deliver all forms of advanced external-beam radiation therapy, but is also one of the fastest, most accurate and versatile treatment systems currently available.

    In addition to TrueBeam, we have also enhanced our treatment capabilities by using the VisionRT®, GateCT® and GateRT® guidance systems that allow for real-time, non-invasive patient motion management. Not only do these systems enhance sophisticated treatments such as IGRT, but they also increase treatment safety and accuracy.


    The radiation oncology department is located on the ground floor of the Porter Cancer Care Center at 2555 S. Downing St. in Denver. Dr. Seth Reiner and Dr. Darlene Bugoci, board certified radiation oncologists, work closely with Porter Adventist Hosptial and are able to provide our patients with versatile treatment options to make their treatment as convenient as possible while maintaining the therapeutic doses that are necessary to achieve the outcomes that both patients and staff desire. We also have the technology to perform both temporary and permanent implants through our brachytherapy program. The sites we most often treat with brachytherapy are the prostate, breast, melanoma of the eye, tracheal obstruction, esophagus, and tongue. Other available treatment options include permanent liver implants utilizing the Sirisphere and Theresphere microbead which are also performed by our staff of highly trained professionals.

    Radiology plays a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Currently, imaging with combined PET-CT machines, which show both function and anatomy simultaneously, is the best way to detect and evaluate cancer. Porter Adventist Hospital was the leader in introducing this technology into medical practice in Colorado and our medical cyclotron supplies radiopharmaceuticals for PET imaging around the state. Several innovative programs for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer are ongoing in the department of radiology including various techniques to deliver localized therapy to cancer in the liver without affecting the rest of the body.

    Advances in diagnosis and therapy in the Department of Radiology continue at a rapid pace. Improvements in the imaging of anatomy with computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR) and the imaging of function with positron emission tomography (PET) are driven by better machines and radiopharmaceuticals. Improvements in therapy using imaging guidance are driven by the introduction of new devices and by new application of old devices. The Department of Radiology at Porter Adventist Hospital prides itself in being on the leading edge of these advances and in participating in the research behind these advances.

    The professional services in the department of radiology are provided by Radiology Imaging Associates (RIA). RIA is a group of approximately 70 physicians, all of who are board certified in radiology and have additional training and certification in one or more of the various subspecialty areas of radiology. RIA radiologists are active in conducting leading edge research and in providing educational courses to other radiologists both locally and nationally. Learn more about our Radiology department.

    The pathology laboratory at Porter Adventist Hospital offers a wide range of specialized testing and is staffed with pathologists from Unipath, the largest provider of anatomic pathology services in the Rocky Mountain Region. Centura Laboratory Services provides testing in the areas of hematology, chemistry, coagulation, urinalysis and transfusion services.

    Treating physicians consult pathologists regarding critical health information including diagnosis of disease, indications of disease prognosis, additional testing that may be conducted and potential therapeutic interventions. This information is vital to the care of the oncology patient.

    cancer-care-pharmacist-web.jpgA multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer patients is very important and input from the clinical pharmacist in the management of chemotherapy and its side effects are essential. Porter has a full-time pharmacist dedicated to oncology, with the support of the clinical pharmacy department, specializing in pain management. The pharmacist ensures the optimum effectiveness of drug therapy through proper dosing and administration as well as anticipating potential side effects and drug interactions.

    The pharmacist serves as a resource for drug and supplement information as well as education for the patient, family, nurses and physicians. Information sheets and personal instruction are provided for each medication and staff is available to answer additional questions.

    The  palliative care of cancer patients is also an important issue. The Porter Cancer Care Center pharmacist customizes an individual plan for each patient according to the type of pain, where the pain in located, organ function and other symptoms. The goal is to improve and expedite pain control.

    cancer-clinical-research-web.jpgClinical trials are research studies involving oncology patients and are designed to determine if new cancer drugs, technologies, diagnostics or other treatments are safe and effective. They are intended to answer specific questions regarding how best to use new diagnostics or treatments, usually in combination with other standard treatments.

    At the Porter Cancer Care Center we have a fulltime certified oncology clinical research nurse who provides physicians and patients access to the most innovative studies in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment regimens. We also actively participate in clinical trials through the  Colorado Cancer Research Program. Physicians, patients, families and staff can access our clinical trials nurse for information on current trials available to us based on individual cases.

    A new generation of cancer drugs known as “targeted therapies” offers more effective treatment for some cancers, with fewer side effects. Some targeted therapies have been approved by the FDA and many others are in clinical trials. Where traditional therapies did not always distinguish between healthy cells and cancer cells, targeted therapy is far more focused.

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