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5 Questions about Ocular Treatments with Clif Bradford

5 Questions about Ocular Treatments with Clif Bradford

Meet Clif. He's one of our Radiation Therapists who works frequently with ocular cancer patients. Clif tells us more about what he does in his 5 Questions!

How did you get involved in treating ocular tumor patients? What’s been best about it?

The most specialized piece of equipment we use for ocular treatments is the Qfix Radiotherapy Chair. I have been involved with the treatment chair program from the very beginning here at the center and I became very interested in the ocular program when I learned that we would be using it to treat ocular melanomas.

The best part is that we are giving patients the option for proton therapy to treat ocular tumors that is only available in a few centers nationwide. With the hardware, software and techniques being updated constantly, the treatments we offer are the most current available.

Do you have any especially memorable moments in treating or getting ready for treating ocular tumor patients?

As far as memorable moments, I really can’t think of any one occasion that stands out from the rest. Each patient is memorable in their own special way. Some patients pose different challenges than others, but for the most part, I’ve enjoyed treating each and every one of them. 

Do you feel you need or have gained “expertise” in this treatment? Is anything significantly different?

Until we started the ocular melanoma program, I really didn’t know what was required to treat the eye. While I’ve gained a lot of experience with the ocular treatments, what I found is that it was very similar to Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) in conventional radiation therapy, which I have a lot of experience with. SRS treatments require more highly specialized equipment than your typical radiation treatment, and involves delivering highly-precise high-dose treatments, with tighter tolerances (less than 1mm) adjacent to critical structures and shorter fractionation (5 treatments or less). Like SRS, ocular proton treatments use higher doses, shorter fractionation, tighter tolerances and more specialized equipment than your typical proton treatment. But, unlike conventional radiation therapy, the physical properties of the proton beam lends itself to higher doses to the tumor, lower doses to the surrounding healthy tissue and no exit dose. This represents the main advantage of proton therapy, which is important, especially when it comes to treating the eye.

In your opinion, what’s the best part of the proton center?

I would think that both patients and staff would agree, the best part about the Proton Center is the people that work here. They truly have the patients' best interest at heart.

What makes you happy, at work or at home?

When I’m not at work, I really enjoy traveling and photography. Three and a half years ago, my wife and I moved here from Oklahoma. We take full advantage of all there is to see and do here in the Pacific Northwest, and I enjoy taking photographs every chance I get.