Arizona Oncology - The US Oncology Network

Locations and Physicians

Nikhil G. Thaker, MD

Patient Portal

Specialties

Radiation Oncology

Locations

Tucson - St. Mary’s Radiation
1620 W. St. Mary's Road
Tucson, AZ 85745
Phone: (520) 791-7996
Fax: (520) 791-3329

Green Valley - Radiation
1315 S. La Cañada Drive
Green Valley, AZ 85622
Phone: (520) 625-9850
Fax: (520) 625-8467

Nikhil G. Thaker, MD

College

The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

Medical School

Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

Internship

Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Upland, PA

Residency

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Board Certification

Dr. Thaker is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology.

Biography

Dr. Thaker received his undergraduate degree in Biology with summa cum laude from The College of New Jersey and his medical degree with junior Alpha Omega Alpha status from Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School. He received both degrees through the highly competitive 7-year accelerated combined medical program. During medical school, Dr. Thaker helped develop novel therapeutic combinations for brain tumors and was awarded a clinical research fellowship through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Upon graduating medical school, Dr. Thaker completed a transitional internship at the Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where he worked with leading community doctors in general medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics. He then completed residency training in Radiation Oncology at the prestigious University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas - the #1 ranked cancer center in the country by US News and World Report. In an effort to improve the quality of cancer care in patients’ communities, Dr. Thaker also completed a Fellowship in Healthcare Management, where he worked with national leaders in quality improvement and healthcare innovation at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Harvard Business School on innovative cancer care delivery initiatives.

During residency, Dr. Thaker worked with leading experts in all aspects of radiation oncology and has helped develop cutting-edge cancer care therapies. He has expertise in treating a wide range of cancers, including breast, lung, head and neck, gastrointestinal, gynecologic, genitourinary, and central nervous system malignancies. 

Languages

English

Philosophy

I have a strong devotion to community-based cancer care, and I strive to bring the highest quality of cancer care to patients living close to their homes. I am deeply passionate about helping patients and their families through their fight against cancer, and I believe in patient-centered care, where I combine each patient’s personal values with strong multidisciplinary collaboration and the most cutting-edge standard of cancer care. I constantly strive to maximize the effects of treatment while minimizing side effects, and I work tirelessly to communicate with patients, families, doctors, nurses, and staff throughout their cancer care. Through Arizona Oncology and The US Oncology Network, I am able to bring the latest advancements and clinical trials to patients who need them most. 

Academic Honors & Professional Achievements

2016                Travel Grant Award, ASTRO Advocacy Day                       

2015                RSNA Trainee Research Prize, Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting

2015 – 2016    Jesse H. Jones Fellowship Endowment Award in Cancer Education, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

2015                Judith Stitt Award Winner in Socio-Economics, American Brachytherapy Society

2015                ABS Resident/Fellow Travel Award, American Brachytherapy Society Annual Meeting

2015                NCCN Oncology Fellows Recognition Program, National Comprehensive Cancer Network

2014 – 2015    E. Stephen Amis, Jr. Fellow in Quality and Safety, American College of Radiology

2014                Luis Delclos Resident Research Award Winner, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

2014                Young Oncologist Award Travel Grant Winner, American Radium Society Annual Meeting           

2014                Texas Radiological Society Travel Award Grant, Texas Radiological Society Annual Meeting

2013                Best of ASTRO Award

2013                Dr. Mary Fletcher Memorial Award for Humanism in Cancer Care, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center         

2013                Bristol-Myers Squibb Award Finalist, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

2011                Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Student Research Recognition Award, Rutgers– NJMS, Beta Chapter of AOA

2010                Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Student Service Award, Rutgers– NJMS, Beta Chapter of AOA                                               

2010 – 2011    Scholarship in Honor of Professor A. K. Bhattacharya, Rutgers– NJMS, Alumni Association                                   

2009 – Now     Junior Member, Alpha Omega Alpha, Rutgers– NJMS, Beta Chapter of AOA

2009 – 2010    Winner, American Medical Association Seed Grant, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

2007 – 2010    Class of 1970 and 1960 Alumni Association Scholarship, Rutgers– NJMS, Alumni Association                                   

2008                1st Place Research Award in Graduate Student Category, Institute of Aging, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

2007    Dr. Paul Miranti Award, Highest Academic Achievement in Human Anatomy and Development, Rutgers – NJMS  

Research/Publications

Dr. Thaker has published nearly 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts, editorials, commentaries, and book chapters. He is an author in the leading Radiation Oncology review book “Radiation Oncology - A Question Based Review.” His work has been published in many journals, including Molecular Pharmacology, Neurosurgical Focus, the Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery, Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, Medical Education, Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the Harvard Business Review, Brachytherapy, Gynecologic Oncology, the Journal of Oncology Practice, and the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, among others. He has presented his research at numerous national conferences and serves on several national committees.  

  1. Thaker NG, McDonald PR, Zhang F, Shun TY, Lewen MD, Pollack IF, Lazo JS: Identification of Survival Genes in Human Glioblastoma Cells Using siRNA Screening. Mol Pharmacol. 2009 Dec;76(6):1246-55. PMID: 19783622
  2. Thaker NG, McDonald PR, Zhang F, Shun TY, Pollack IF, Lazo JS: Designing, optimizing, and implementing high-throughput siRNA genomic screening with glioma cells for the discovery of survival genes and novel drug targets. J Neurosci Methods. 2010 Jan 15;185(2):204-12. PMID: 19782703
  3. Thaker NG, Zhang F, Shun TY, Pollack IF, Lazo JS. Functional genomic analysis of glioblastoma multiforme through short interfering RNA screening: a paradigm for therapeutic development. Neurosurg Focus. 2010 Jan;28(1):E4. PMID: 20043719
  4. Thaker NG, Mammis A, Yanni DS, Singh R, Carmel PW. Distal subgaleal-peritoneal shunt regression into the extra-peritoneal space: a rare complication. J Surg Case Reports. 2010 7:9.
  5. Thaker NG, Pollack IF. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy for Glioblastoma Multiforme. Book chapter, Tumors of the Central Nervous System: Glioblastoma (Volume 1), Hayat MA (Ed). Springer, New York 2011.
  6. Yanni DS, Mammis A, Thaker NG, Goldstein IM. Traumatic Fracture of Thin Pedicles Secondary to Extradural Meningeal Cyst. J Surg Tech Case Reports. 3(1): 40-43, 2011. PMID: 22022654
  7. Thaker NG, Turner JD, Cobb WS, Quinn J, Catrambone J, He W, Gandhi C, Prestigiacomo CJ. Computed Tomographic Angiography vs. Digital Subtraction Angiography for Post-operative Detection of Residual Aneurysms: A Meta-Analysis. J Neurointerv Surg doi:10.1136/neurintsurg-2011-010025. PMID: 21990495
  8. Nagele RG, Clifford PM, Siu G, Levin EC, Acharya NK, Han M, Kosciuk MC, Venkataraman V, Zavareh S, Zarrabi S, Kinsler K, Thaker NG, Nagele EP, Dash J, Wang HY, Levitas A. Brain-reactive autoantibodies prevalent in human sera increase intraneuronal amyloid beta 1-42 (Aβ42) deposition. J Alzheimers Dis. 2011; 25(4): 605-22.  PMID: 21483091
  9. Mammis A, Yanni DS, Thaker NG, Goldstein IM. Reduction of displaced Hangman’s fracture by compression across crossed translaminar screws: Technical Note. J Clin Neurosci. 2012 Apr;19(4):582-4 PMID: 22249011.
  10. Gutowski N, Thaker NG, Heinrich GF, Fadem B: Evaluation of Medical School Applicants is Enhanced by Current Medical Student Input. Medical Education Online. 2010, 15: 5245. PMID: 20548967. http://med-ed-online.net/index.php/meo/article/view/5245/html_8
  11. Thaker NG, Pollack IF: Molecularly targeted therapeutics for malignant glioma: rationale for combinatorial strategies. Exp Rev Neurotherap. 2009 Dec;9(12):1815-36. PMCID: PMC2819818. PMID: 19951140
  12. Thaker NG, Mahmood U, Pugh TJ, Boehling NS, Bruno TL, Prestidge BR, Crook JM, Cox BW, Potters L, Moran BJ, Keyes M, Kuban DA, Frank SJ. Establishing High Quality Prostate Brachytherapy using a Phantom Simulator Training Program. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys (In Press).
  13. Thaker NG, Guzman AB, Feeley TW, Jones TM, Incalcaterra JR, Kolom C, Tatum LS, Walters RS, Cantor SB, Rosenthal DI, Garden AS, Gunn GB, Fuller CD, Palmer MB, Frank SJ. Defining the Value of Proton Therapy in an Evolving Healthcare System Using Time-driven Activity-based Costing. Oncology Payers, Policy Makers, and Prescribers. 2014 Sept; 1: 22-28.
  14. Awan M, Kalpathy-Cramer J, Bongers E, Dahele M, Yang J, Dyer B, Walker GV, Thaker NG, Holliday E, Bishop A, Thomas CR, Rosenthal D, Fuller CD. Auto-segmentation of the brachial plexus assessed with TaCTICS - a software platform for rapid multiple-metric quantitative evaluation of contours. Acta Oncol. 2014 Oct 3: 1-5. PMID: 25279958
  15. Thaker NG, Klopp AH, Jhingran A, Frumovitz M, Iyer RB, Eifel PJ. Survival Outcomes for Patients with Pelvic Lymph Node Positive Stage IVB Vulvar Cancer: Time To Reconsider the FIGO Staging System? Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Dec 16.
  16. Thaker NG. "Intracranial Germ Cell and Pineal Tumors." Radiation Oncology: A Question-Based Review. Chapter 9. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia, 2014.
  17. Thaker NG. "Medulloblastoma." Radiation Oncology: A Question-Based Review. Chapter 7. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia, 2014.
  18. Thaker NG and Lin SH. "Pleural Mesothelioma." Radiation Oncology: A Question-Based Review. Chapter 41. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia, 2014.
  19. Thaker NG and Lin SH. "Early-Stage (I-II) Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer." Radiation Oncology: A Question-Based Review. Chapter 37. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia, 2014.
  20. Thaker NG, Hoffman KE, Stauder MC, Shaitelman SF, Strom EA, Smith BD, Perkins GH, Huo L, Munsell MF, Pusztai L, Buchholz TA, Woodward WA. The 21-Gene Recurrence Score Complements IBTR! Estimates in Early-Stage, Hormone Receptor-Positive, HER2-Normal, Lymph Node-Negative Breast Cancer. Springerplus. 2015 Jan 30;4:36. PMID: 25674496.
  21. Ye JC, Mohindra P, Spektor A, Krishnan MS, Chmura SJ, Howard AR, Viswanathan AN, MacDonald SM, Thaker NG, Das P, Mancini BR, Higgins SA, Braunstein S, Haas-Kogan D, Bradley KA, Hung AY, Thomas CR Jr, Kharofa J, Wheatley M, Currey A, Parashar B, Du K, Jimenez RB, Golden DW. Medical Student Perspectives on a Multi-institutional Clerkship Curriculum: A Report From the Radiation Oncology Education Collaborative Study Group. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Jun 1; 92(2): 217-9. PMID: 25968822
  22. Thaker NG, Kuban DA, Buchholz TA. Predictors of breast radiotherapy plan modifications: Quality assurance rounds in a large cancer centre. Lymberiou T, et al Radiother Oncol. 114(1):17-21, 2015. Commentary. Breast Diseases: A Year Book Quarterly.
  23. Golden DW, Spektor A, Krishnan MS,  Mohindra P, Ye JC, Chmura SJ, Howard AR, Viswanathan AN, MacDonald S, Thaker NG, Das P, Mancini BR, Higgins S, Braunstein S, Haas-Kogan DA, Bradley KA, Hung A, Thomas CR, Kharofa J, Wheatley MD, Currey A, Parashar B, Du KL, Jimenez RB. Implementation and evaluation of a multi-institutional pilot curriculum for the medical student clerkship: A report from the Radiation Oncology Education Collaborative Study Group. J Am Coll Radiol. 2016 Feb;13(2):203-9.
  24. Thaker NG, Pugh TJ, Mahmood U, Choi S, Agarwal A, Spinks TE, Martin NE, Sio TT, Kudchadker R, Kaplan RS, Kuban DA, Swanson DA, Orio PF, Zelefsky MJ, Cox BW, Potters L, Feeley TW, Frank SJ. Defining the Value Framework for Prostate Brachytherapy using Patient-Centered Outcome Metrics and Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing. Brachytherapy. 2016 Feb 22.
  25. Kaplan RS, Blackstone RP, Haas DA, Thaker NG, Frank SJ. Measuring and Communicating Health Care Value with Charts. Harvard Business Review. 26 Oct 2015.
  26. Agarwal A, Thaker NG, Tawk B, Allen P, Grosshans DR, Herzog C, Gombos DS, Mahajan AM. Advanced Radiation Therapy Techniques for Retinoblastoma: The MD Anderson Cancer Center Experience. Poster Presentation. International Journal of Particle Therapy. 2015.
  27. Thaker NG, Sturdevant L, Jhingran A, Das P, Delclos ME, Gunn GB, McAleer MF, Tereffe W, Choi S, Simeone WJ, Martinez W, Hahn SA, Famiglietti R, Kuban DA. Assessing the Quality of a Radiation Oncology Case-based Peer Review Program in an Integrated Academic and Community Cancer Center Network. J Oncol Pract. 2016 Mar 1.
  28. Thaker NG, Agarwal A, Palmer M, Hontiveros R, Hahn SA, Minsky BD, Walters RS, Bingham J, Buchholz TA, Frank SJ. Variations in Proton Therapy Coverage in the State of Texas: Defining Medical Necessity for a Safe and Effective Treatment. International Journal of Particle Therapy. 2015.
  29. Thaker NG, Frank SJ, Feeley TW. Comparative costs of proton and x-ray therapies for advanced head and neck cancer: lessons from Time-driven Activity-based Costing. Commentary. J Comp Eff Res. 2015 Aug;4(4):297-301.
  30. Fogh S, Pope CH, Rosenthal SA, Conway PD, Hulick PR, Johnson JL, Mian TA, Das IJ, Thaker NG, Monzon BT. American College of Radiology (ACR) Radiation Oncology Practice Accreditation:  A pattern of change. (Accepted to Practical Radiation Oncology)
  31. Sio TT, Lin HL, Shi Q, Gunn BG, Cleeland CS, Lee JJ, Hernandez M, Blanchard P, Thaker NG, Phan J, Rosenthal DI, Garden AS, Morrison WH, Fuller CD, Mendoza TR, Mohan R, Wang XS, Frank SJ. Intensity-modulated Proton (IMPT) versus Photon (IMRT) Radiotherapies: First Comparative Results of Patient-reported Outcomes (PRO) in Patients with Oropharyngeal Cancer Undergoing Chemoradiation. (Accepted to IJROBP).
  32. Holliday EB, Kocak-Uzel E, Feng L, Thaker NG, Blanchard P, Rosenthal DI, Gunn BG, Garden AS, Frank SJ. Dosimetric advantages of intensity modulated proton therapy for oropharyngeal cancer compared with intensity-modulated radiation: A case-matched control analysis. Med Dosim. 2016 May 3.
  33. Gunther JR, Liauw SL, Choi S, Mohamed AS, Thaker NG, Fuller CD, Stepaniak C, Das P, Golden DW. Clinical Target Volume Delineation Before and After a Teaching Intervention: Evaluation of a Post-operative Prostate and Seminal Vesicle Fossae Contouring Module. J Am Coll Radiol. 2016 May 17.
  34. Thaker NG, Ali T, Porter ME, Feeley TW, Kaplan RS, Frank SJ. Communicating Value in Healthcare using the Radar Chart: a Case Study with Prostate Cancer. (Accepted to Journal of Oncology Practice).
  35. Blanchard P, Garden AS, Gunn GB, Rosenthal DI, Morrison WH, Hernandez M, Crutison J, Ye R, Fuller CD, Hutcheson KA, Holliday EB, Thaker NG, Sturgis EM, Kies MS, Zhu XR, Mohan R, Frank SJ. Intensity modulated proton beam therapy (IMPT) versus Intensity modulated photon therapy (IMRT) for oropharynx cancer patients - a case matched analysis. (Accepted to Radiother Oncol).
  36. Thaker NG and Feeley TW. “Creating the Healthcare Transformation from Volume to Value” in Healthcare Delivery Redesign.” Creating the Healthcare Delivery Transformation. Rutgers University Press. 2015. (In Press)
  37. Thaker NG, Wood N, Holliday EB, Agarwal A, Palmer M, Incalcaterra J, Garden AS, Shaitelman S, Gunn GB, Fuller CD, Blanchard P, Feeley TW, Kaplan RS, Frank SJ. Defining the Cost of Advanced Radiation Technology: A Pilot Comparison of Intensity-Modulated Proton versus Photon Therapy for Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients. (Submitted).
  38. Thaker NG, Brazier R, Kudchadker R, Mahmood U, Shah S, Incalcaterra J, Agarwal A, Bathala T, Frank B, Bingham J, Kaplan RS, Das P, Feeley TW, Frank SJ. Improving Efficiency and Lowering Costs in Radiation Oncology using Time-driven Activity-based Costing. (Submitted).

Personal

In addition to his devotion to community cancer care, Dr. Thaker enjoys swimming, running, biking, hiking, traveling, watching movies, and singing Bollywood songs. He especially enjoys spending time with his wife and two young kids.

Affiliations

American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology
American College of Radiology
American Brachytherapy Society
American College of Medical Quality
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
American Association for Cancer Education
American College of Radiation Oncology
American Cancer Society