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Gamma Knife Plays Key Role in Marvin’s Lung Cancer Treatment

“I am doing better because everyone at Valley Health System listened to me, cared about me, communicated well, and started my treatment quickly."

When Marvin Azares received a diagnosis of stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer in December 2023, he knew there would be a long road ahead, starting with appointments with several specialists, then proceeding into a variety of treatments. He also knew surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy would all be potential ways to treat his lung cancer.

One type of treatment that Marvin did not expect was Gamma Knife radiosurgery, and thankfully for Marvin, this technology was available at The Valley Hospital. Marvin was recommended for gamma knife when magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed metastatic brain lesions, which occur when cancer cells break away from their original location, in this case Marvin’s lungs.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a minimally invasive, advanced form of radiation therapy that uses hundreds of focused beams of high-dose gamma radiation to target a specific area in the brain without affecting surrounding tissue.

Gamma Knife was recommended by Marvin’s radiation oncologist, Thomas Kole, MD, PhD, and his neurosurgeon, William Cobb, MD, PhD, both staff physicians at Valley’s Gamma Knife Center.

“Dr. Kole and Dr. Cobb said that due to the size and location of the lesions, I should do well with Gamma Knife, and I did,” said Marvin. “After the procedure, my repeat brain MRIs no longer showed the lesions. Every member of the Gamma Knife Center showed how much they cared, and I am so appreciative.”

Now in May 2024, his lung cancer treatment is continuing but Marvin has returned to his normal daily activities, including running, walking, and lifting without fatigue or shortness of breath.

“I am doing better because everyone at Valley Health System listened to me, cared about me, communicated well, and started my treatment quickly,” said Marvin. “I appreciate everything they have done for me.”