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St. Helena Hospital Welcomes New Prostate Cancer Specialist


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Joshua Cowan, 

St. Helena Hospital Welcomes New Prostate Cancer Specialist

Stephen J. M. Banks, M.D., joins Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center team

 August 8, 2011

St. Helena, CA

St. Helena Hospital’s Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center (MOCC) welcomes Dr. Stephen J. M. Banks, M.D. as a member of its Radiation Oncology team. Nationally recognized for his clinical expertise and his contributions to advances in the field of radiation oncology, Dr. Banks specializes in the treatment of prostate cancer through either external beam radiation therapy or radioactive seed implantation (brachytherapy). A co-founding member of the Prostate Brachytherapy Research Group, Dr. Banks has long been involved in leading-edge research, and has produced numerous publications and presentations on innovative therapies. In addition to his work with men with prostate cancer, Dr. Banks also cares for patients with cancers of the breast, gynecologic system, lung, head and neck, and gastrointestinal system.

“The treatment of cancer has seen many exciting developments in recent years, not only increasing patients’ survival rates, but reducing the impacts of treatment and leading to better quality of life during and after treatment,” Dr. Banks says. “Technology such as the MOCC’s new Calypso system, which spares more healthy surrounding tissue, allows us to treat cancer more effectively than ever. The opportunity to not only provide life-saving treatment directly, but also continue to contribute to advances in the treatment of prostate cancer, is what attracted me to the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center. I look forward to being part of a team that integrates the full continuum of cancer care, while offering patients top-of-the-line precision radiotherapy and access to major clinical trials.”

Dr. Banks received his MD from Stanford University in 1993, served his internship in Internal Medicine with Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, and then returned to Stanford for his residency training in Radiation Oncology, where he and Dr. David Tate worked together for over three years. Board certified in Radiation Oncology, Dr. Banks sought out additional training through the California Endocurie Therapy Center, Long Beach Memorial Hospital and the Seattle Prostate Institute. He has personally performed more than 1200 prostate seed implants, with outstanding results which have been presented at national meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals. He currently works on a national level as a proctor training other physicians on how to perform prostate brachytherapy. 

In 1997, he joined Inova Alexandria Cancer Center (IACC), an American College of Surgeons accredited community cancer center just outside Washington, D.C., as a Radiation Oncologist. Becoming Director of Brachytherapy in 2004 and Medical Director in 2006, Dr. Banks developed IACC into one of the mid-Atlantic’s premier centers for treatment of prostate cancer. While there, he also led the development of a program of comprehensive treatment and support for men dealing with prostate cancer, a program he has brought to the North Bay. In addition to academic recognition, he was named a Top Doctor by Washingtonian Magazine for seven consecutive years. Dr. Banks is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the American Brachytherapy Society.

“Stephen is one of the best radiation oncologists I’ve worked with,” says Dr. Tate, leader of the Radiation Oncology Program. “His extensive experience with prostate cancer treatment, and his innovative work with Brachytherapy in particular, make him a valuable addition to our radiation oncology team.”

Originally from Connecticut, Dr. Banks decided to return to Northern California in 2008, and was recruited as the Director of the Redwood Regional Medical Group’s Prostate Cancer Program. A wine enthusiast since his years at Stanford, Dr. Banks, looks forward to working in the Napa Valley. He and his wife, Lisa, and their two daughters, Sarah and Anna, enjoy exploring the natural beauty of the region.

About St. Helena Hospital: With its many innovative wellness programs and other top quality health care services, including the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center and Coon Joint Replacement Institute, St. Helena Hospital, situated in the heart of the Napa Valley, is one of the nation’s premier health care destinations. The hospital serves its local communities with comprehensive medical care, including cancer, cardiovascular and behavioral health. For more information, visit