Joshua Gruhl, MD


Radiation Oncologist

Joshua Gruhl, MD | Oncologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers

Thornton Radiation

8820 Huron St.
Thornton, Colorado 80260

303-386-7622

Request an Appointment


SECONDARY LOCATION(S)

Littleton

22 W. Dry Creek Cir.
Littleton, Colorado 80120

303-730-4700

Request an Appointment

Littleton Radiation

22 W. Dry Creek Cir.
Littleton, Colorado 80120

303-730-4700

Request an Appointment

Thornton

8820 Huron St.
Thornton, Colorado 80260

303-386-7622

Request an Appointment

About Joshua Gruhl, MD

Dr. Gruhl is a board-certified radiation oncologist, specializing in the use of external beam radiation for the treatment of multiple types of malignancies. He completed specialized training in radiation oncology at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, one of the preeminent cancer centers in the United States. Through this training and his years of experience treating cancer patients with radiation therapy, he brings extensive hands-on experience with the most advanced radiation treatment techniques. He is adamant that his patients get the absolute best possible treatments, which are backed up by the most up-to-date clinical trials and research studies.

His areas of expertise include external beam radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), 3D conformal radiation therapy, brachytherapy, skin radiotherapy, and accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). He treats a wide variety of cancers, with a special interest in breast cancer, prostate cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer (rectal, anal, esophageal, pancreatic, gall bladder), skin cancer, and oligometastatic cancer (metastatic cancers that have spread to a limited number of sites).

Dr. Gruhl participates in many tumors boards where he collaborates closely with other cancer specialists using a multi-disciplinary approach to care. This allows him to seek opinions from many specialists (surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and other radiation oncologists), which improves the quality of care for each of his patients. He believes in a compassionate, patient-centered approach. He enjoys educating his patients about their diagnoses so they can participate in a shared decision-making process about their cancer treatment plan, which he feels is crucial to optimizing his patients’ outcomes.

Dr. Gruhl takes a “whole person” approach to cancer treatment. He understands that to get the best possible outcomes for his patients, he needs to consider more than just the radiation treatment plan; this includes diet and nutrition, exercise, wellness practices (including meditation, yoga, etc.), spirituality and religion, and each patient’s unique family life and social situation. He has a personal interest in nutrition, diet, and exercise, and how these factors relate to cancer. He is a strong believer that optimizing a patient’s diet and nutrition prior to and during cancer treatments makes it much more likely that they’ll be able to successfully complete treatment and feel as good as possible doing so. Furthermore, it’s common for patients to experience eating problems (decreased appetite and weight loss, nausea, pain, loss of taste, swallowing difficulties) and digestive problems (diarrhea, constipation, etc.) during chemotherapy and radiation, and he is committed to helping his patients address these symptoms by using dietary and nutrition strategies if possible. He is also interested in providing his patients guidance on how supplements, vitamins and minerals, and alternative cancer therapies can be beneficial at times, and harmful at other times, as they’re going through their cancer treatments.

Board Certifications

Radiation Oncology

Specialties

  • Breast Cancer
  • Benign/Non-Cancerous Diseases
    • Keloids
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumors
    • Adenomas
    • Gliomas
    • Meningiomas
    • Schwannomas
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers
  • General Radiation Oncology
    • 3D Conformational Radiation Therapy
    • Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (ABPI)
    • Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
    • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
    • High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
    • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
    • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS, brain and spine)
    • Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
  • Genitourinary Cancers
  • Gynecologic Cancers
    • Cervical Cancer
    • Uterine Cancer
    • Vaginal Cancer
    • Vulvar Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancers
    • Laryngeal Cancer
    • Nasopharyngeal Cancer
    • Oral Cavity Cancer
    • Oropharyngeal Cancer
    • Salivary Gland Cancer
    • Sinonasal Cancer
    • Thyroid Cancer
    • Tongue Cancer
  • Lymphomas
    • Non-Hodkin Lymphoma
    • Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Oligometastatic Cancers
  • Radionuclide Therapy
  • Sarcoma
  • Skin Cancers
    • Basal Cell Cancer
    • Melanoma
    • Merkel Cell Cancer
    • Squamous Cell Cancer
  • Thoracic Cancers

Education

Residency

Radiation Oncology, University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT

Medical School

University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha, NE

Patient Care Philosophy

I chose oncology as a career because I love connecting with people. I am honored when they allow me to partner with them to navigate some of the most difficult and vulnerable times in their lives. It is incredibly satisfying meeting with my patients and their families for the first time, building trust over the course of many face-to-face visits and forming long-term relationships which extend far beyond talking about cancer treatments.

I believe the best radiation oncologists are also the best communicators. Someone who listens well, works hard to understand where patients are coming from--their fears, hopes, and goals for treatment--and who puts their patients’ priorities ahead of their own. I take enormous pride in my bedside manner and believe one of my core strengths is my ability to effectively communicate with my patients and their families. When I meet with patients for the first time, my goal is to get to know them as a person first and to understand how their unique background and experiences may help shape their goals for treatment.  

I embrace the roles of teacher and coach. By understanding what is most important to patients and their families, I can tailor the discussion to their expectations and provide a unique treatment recommendation for each situation. Ultimately, my goal is to provide patients and their families with as much information as possible about their specific cancer diagnosis and treatment options. I believe in treating every patient like I would want one of my own family members treated.

Additional Information

American College of Radiation Oncology
American Radium Society
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

Gruhl JD, Peterson J, Davis S, Olsen J, Parsons M, Kann B, Stoddard G, Johnson S. Utilization of online
crowdfunding for alternative cancer treatments at home and abroad. American Society of Clinical
Oncology (ASCO) 2020 Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL. May 29-June 2, 2020. Presented.

Gruhl JD, Torgeson A, McComas K, Monroe M, Hitchcock Y. In Patients with Lateralized Oral Cavity and
Oropharynx Squamous Cell Carcinoma with N2b Disease, is it Safe to Omit Radiotherapy to the
Contralateral Clinical N0 Neck? American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Multidisciplinary Head
and Neck Cancers 2020 Symposium. Scottsdale, AZ. February 27-29, 2020. Digital Poster Presentation.

Gruhl JD, Francis S, Lee J, Sparenborg J, Bishoff J, Sause W. Variation in Prostate Cancer Treatment
Across the State of Utah—Impact of Population Density on Primary Treatment Modality. American
Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2019 Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL. September 15-18, 2019.
Poster Viewing Q&A Oral Presentation.

Gruhl JD, Francis S, Ager B, Scheick S, Tao R, Garrido-Laguna I, Lloyd, S. Prognostic factors affecting
overall survival in non-metastatic, primary squamous cell carcinoma of the pancreas. American Radium
Society (ARS) 2019 Annual Meeting. Dana Point, CA. April 6-9, 2019. Poster Presentation.

Gruhl JD, Francis S, Tao R, Nevala-Plagemann C, Garrido-Laguna I, Lloyd S. The impact of histology
(adenocarcinoma vs. adenosquamous carcinoma) on outcomes in non-metastatic pancreatic cancer.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2019 GI Symposium. San Francisco, CA. January 17-19,
2019. Poster Presentation.

Ager BJ, Scheick SM, Gruhl J, Poppe M, Chalmers A, Randall LR, Jones KB, Hitchcock YJ. Prognostic
factors in adult localized chemotherapy-sensitive soft tissue sarcoma. American Society for Radiation
Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. October 21-24, 2018. Poster Viewing Q&A
Oral Presentation.

Gruhl JD. The impact of adjuvant chemotherapy on survival in pancreatic cancer after neoadjuvant
treatment. American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.
Poster Viewing Q&A Oral Presentation.

Gruhl JD, Zheng D, Longo JL, Enke C, Wahl AO. Comparing organ-at-risk doses for high-dose-rate
vaginal brachytherapy between three different planning workflows. American Society of Radiation
Oncology (ASTRO) 2015 Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. Poster Presentation.

Gruhl JD, Zheng D, Longo JL, Enke C, Wahl AO. Measuring the interfraction variation in dose to the
rectum and the bladder using CT-based treatment planning for post-operative high dose rate vaginal
brachytherapy in women with endometrial cancer. American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
2015 Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. Poster Presentation.

Gruhl, JD. Missed Appointments at the UNMC SHARING Clinics. Society for Student-Run Free Clinics
National Conference. Nashville, TN. February 2014.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Gruhl JD, Zheng D, Longo JL, Enke C, Wahl AO. Comparing organ-at-risk doses for high-dose-rate
vaginal brachytherapy between three different planning workflows. Brachytherapy. 2017 Mar –
Apr;16(2):373-377. Published.

Horstman H, Gruhl JD, Smith L, Ganti AK, Shonka NA. Safety of long-term anticoagulation in patients
with brain metastases. Med Oncol. 2018 Mar 1;35(4):43. Published.

Swords D, Francis S, Lloyd S, Garrido-Laguna I, Mulvihill S, Gruhl JD, Christensen M, Stoddard G, Firpo
M, Scaife C. Lymph Node Ratio in Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma After Preoperative Chemotherapy vs.
Preoperative Chemoradiation and Its Utility in Decisions About Postoperative Chemotherapy. Journal of
Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2019 Jul;23(7):1401-1413. Published.

Ager BJ, Scheick SM, Gruhl JD, Stoddard GJ, Tao R, Kokeny KE, Hitchcock YJ. Stereotactic Body
Radiotherapy versus Percutaneous Local Tumor Ablation for Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Lung Cancer. 2019 Sep;138: 6-12. Published.

Gruhl JD, Garrido-Laguna I, Francis SR, Affolter K, Tao R, Lloyd S. The impact of squamous cell
carcinoma histology on outcomes in nonmetastatic pancreatic cancer. Cancer Medicine. 2020
Jan; 00: 1– 9. https://doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2851. Published.

Gruhl JD, Francis S, Sause W, Sparenborg J, Bishoff J, Lee J. Variation in Prostate Cancer Treatment
Across the State of Utah—Impact of Population Density on Primary Treatment Modality. Submitted to
Cancer. [under review]