Our team of board-certified radiation oncologists leads the Torrance Memorial Radiation Oncology unit with extensive experience in radiation therapy. Each serves the community through participation in professional medical associations, charitable organizations and teaching. Dedicated to improving the lives of patients, they also participate in clinical trials research to aid in the discovery and implementation of more successful treatments.
Thomas Simko, M.D.
- B.S. University of California at Riverside, 1969
- M.D. University of California at Davis, 1973
- Internship, Huntington Memorial Medical Center, Pasadena, 1974
- Residency, University of Washington and University of California at Los Angeles, 1974-1978Dr. Simko was board certified by the American Board of Radiology in 1978 and recertified in 1999. He is an active member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (ASTRO), the Los Angeles Radiologic Society, and the Southern California Radiation Oncology Society. He is a member of the California Medical Association and Los Angeles County Medical Association. He has served as District President of LACMA.
He serves on numerous committees at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, including the Cancer Committee, Medical Executive Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, and the Investigational Review Board. He has also served as the president of TMMC's Health Care Foundation for the past ten years. A founding board member of the Wellness Community of the South Bay, he continues to serve on its Professional Advisory Board.
Outside of work, he enjoys his active family, leisure reading, skiing, and hiking.
Thyra Endicott, M.D.
- B.A. Harvard University 1984
- B.Sc.N. University of California at Los Angeles 1988
- M.D. University of Western Ontario, London, Canada 1993
- Radiation oncology residency, London Regional Cancer Center, London, Ontario 1993-1998, chief resident 1996-1997
- Fellowship in central nervous system radiation oncology, UCLA 1998-1999.
Dr. Endicott was on the clinical faculty at UCLA from 1998 to 2000; she joined Dr. Hovenstine and Dr. Simko at Torrance Memorial in June 2000. She is board certified by the American Board of Radiology and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in the practice of radiation oncology. She was recertified by the American Board of Radiology in 2009. She is an active member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (ASTRO), the Los Angeles Radiologic Society, the California Medical Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Southern California Radiation Oncology Society.
She is the Principal Investigator for Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) clinical trials at Torrance Memorial. She serves on numerous committees at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, including the Breast Cancer Committee, Bioethics Committee, Palliative Care Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, the Leadership and Education Council, and the Institutional Review Board.
She enjoys her family life; music, swimming and running are favorite pastimes.
Daniel Hovenstine, M.D.
- B.S. (Biological Sciences) University of California at Irvine, 1979
- B.A. (Economics) University of California at Irvine, 1980
- M.D. University of Vermont, 1985
- Internship, UCLA-San Fernando Valley Program, 1985-1986
- Residency, Loma Linda University, 1986-1989
Dr. Hovenstine was board certified by the American Board of Radiology in 1989 and recertified in 1999. He is an active member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (ASTRO), the Los Angeles Radiologic Society, the Southern California Radiation Oncology Society, the American College of Radiology, and the Los Angeles County Medical Association.
He is a member of the board of directors of the Wellness Community of the South Bay, and is chairman of its Professional Advisory Board.
His personal interests include biking, hiking, landscaping, travel, and early 20th century art and architecture.
Karen Sokolov, M.D.
- B.S. Chemistry, University of California at Los Angeles 2001
- M.D. University of California at San Francisco 2005
- Internal Medicine Internship, Saint Mary Medical Center Long Beach 2005-2006
- Radiation oncology residency, University of California at Los Angeles 2006-2010, chief resident 2009-2010
Dr. Sokolov completed her residency in radiation oncology at UCLA in 2010. She joined Dr. Simko, Dr. Hovenstine, and Dr. Endicott at Torrance Memorial in July 2010. She is an active member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (ASTRO).
Her interests include her family, hiking, and fitness.
The expert staff of team members at Torrance Memorial will be most patients' first and most frequent contact with the radiation oncology department. These exceptional caring and dedicated health care providers will make your treatments as quick, comfortable and beneficial as possible. Always available to answer whatever questions you or a loved one has regarding your treatment, this team truly is your ally in defeating cancer and regaining your health.
- Radiation Therapists - At the frontline of your radiation treatment are the radiation therapists administering your specific treatment plan. These highly skilled health-care professionals are your daily partners in treatment. Starting from the beginning of your treatment schedule, they assist in the planning process, capturing x-ray or other images and keeping meticulous records regarding your health. They operate the variety of radiological devices, insuring the consistent application of your treatment plan. Torrance Memorial therapists provide a kind and caring environment to aid in your successful recovery.
- Medical Physicists - As safety and quality assurance are the highest priorities for the physicians and staff at Torrance Memorial, the medical physicist on your care team is assigned to insure the continued accuracy of radiation treatments. Extensive training in nuclear science and its medical applications, medical physicists calibrate the devices used in therapy and ensure the correct doses of radiation are applied to your cancer site. They also collaborate in the design of your treatment plan with radiation oncologists. Medical physicists also test and assure the safety of each radiological device used in therapy at Torrance Memorial.
This member of your treatment team is specially trained in calculating the optimum dose of radiation for your personalized treatment plan and assuring the consistency of that dose throughout your treatment cycle. The dosimetrist works closely with the radiation oncologist during the planning of your treatment, and has a wealth of training and experience in developing complex radiation plans to maximize dose to the target and minimize dose to critical normal structures. The dosimetrist will generate and adapt a number of possible treatment plans; the final treatment plan is approved by the radiation oncologist (MD) and the final quality assurance is performed by the medical physicist before the first treatment is delivered.
- Registered Nurses - The nurses in radiation oncology at Torrance Memorial are specifically trained to care for cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. They are on hand to provide guidance through treatment for you or a loved one, answer questions relating to your treatment, monitor your health during treatment and help provide emotional support.
- A recommendation for radiation therapy may at first sound frightening or intimidating. The Torrance Memorial
Cancer Resource Center is staffed by Advance Practice Nurses who specialize in the care of patients and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. If you or a loved one is experiencing emotional distress or need information about any aspect of the cancer experience, contact the Cancer Resource Center at 310-517-4665. The Cancer Resource Center is in the lobby of the West Tower, across Medical Center Drive from the entrance to the Radiation Oncology Department. Walk-ins are welcome and all services of the Cancer Resource Center are free of charge.
- The radiation oncology department offers the services of a licensed dietician to provide nutritional guidance to keep your body fortified to heal. Recommendations can include foods to allay some side effects, keep weight on and maintain a healthy diet to aid in your treatment, recovery, and healthful living once your treatments are completed.