Robert Kuske, MD
- Language(s): English
- College: Swarthmore College
- Medical School: University of Cincinnati
- Internship: Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati
- Residency: University of Cincinnati
- Board Certification: American Board of Radiology; American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Dr. Robert R Kuske is a radiation oncologist, who has sub-specialized in the treatment of breast cancer.
Dr. Kuske moved to the valley from Wisconsin in 2003. He co-founded Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists in 2008 as the first ever radiation oncology facility in the world focused solely on breast cancer treatment with radiation. In 2012 Dr. Kuske and Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists partnered with Arizona Center for Cancer Care to extend this expertise throughout the valley.
Dr. Kuske received his B.A. in Physics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He completed medical school, residency and Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. After starting his career in academics at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Kuske was named Chairman of Radiation Oncology at the famed Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, where he was also chief of staff to more than 470 physicians. Dr. Kuske helped lead the breast cancer program at the University of Wisconsin, continuing his clinical research accomplishments as full professor of Human Oncology.
Dr. Kuske is the inventor and pioneer of “accelerated partial breast irradiation,” (APBI) a five-day alternative to conventional six weeks of external beam whole breast irradiation in select early-stage breast cancer. In 1991, a Venezuelan business woman flew to New Orleans and insisted on a shorter radiation treatment for her early stage breast cancer. By treating only the affected part of the breast with a radioactive seed, Dr. Kuske was able to shorten her therapy to less than one week. The success of this novel idea led to the first trial at the Ochsner Clinic, then to the national Phase II and III trials that Dr. Kuske wrote and directed. He also invented a technique to treat breast cancer in women with breast augmentation that does not cause hardening of the implants.
Dr. Kuske’s critical work in radiation oncology and breast cancer has been published in several hundred U.S. and international textbooks, trade association journals and other publications. In 2018, he received the 32nd Henschke Award from the American Brachytherapy Society, the “Gold Medal.” In 2018, the landmark National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project B-39 trial was presented in San Antonio with a tiny 0.7% difference in breast recurrence rates for APBI vs whole breast RT. In 2019, Dr. Kuske and several other breast cancer experts published the TRIUMPH-T trial, which further shortens breast cancer radiotherapy to 2 days. After 28 years as the champion of research into a more convenient option for women with early stage breast cancer, Dr. Kuske is proud that APBI is now considered a standard after lumpectomy in select early stage breast cancers. This change represents an important “paradigm shift.”