New at UCSD Radiation Oncology in 2008

December 2008

Ying Cui PhDDecember 2008
CART Researchers Publish New IGRT Study
Ying Cui PhD, formerly of Northeastern University and now a research scientist at Yahoo, and Steve Jiang PhD, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) and Co-Director of the Division of Medical and Technologic Research, published a new IGRT study in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. Entitled “Fluoroscopic gating without implanted fiducial markers for lung cancer radiotherapy based on support vector machines”, this study uses a well-known machine learning method, called support vector machine (SVM), to generate gating signals from fluoroscopic images for gated lung radiotherapy (see Figure 1 from this paper in the photo). This paper represents the first time that the gating problem has been recast as a “classification” problem. A former Ph.D. student of Dr. Jiang, Dr. Cui completed this work as part of her PhD thesis.

December 2008AAAS Fellows
Five UCSD Faculty Named AAAS Fellows
Five faculty members from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have been awarded the distinction of being named a “fellow” of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. In UCSD’s short history, over 75 faculty members have been named AAAS fellows. Among those elected in 2008 include Webster Cavenee PhD, Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research for “distinguished contributions to the field of medical and molecular oncology, particularly the discovery of inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and its role in hereditary predisposition”. A member of the Moores Cancer Center, his research focuses on cell signaling in glioblastoma, the identification of molecular targeted therapies and the characterization of novel drugs.

IGRT StudyDecember 2008
CART Researchers Publish New IGRT Study
Jianwei Gu, a PhD student at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy New York, and Steve Jiang PhD, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) and Co-Director of the Division of Medical and Technologic Research, published a new IGRT study in the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry. Entitled “Assessment of patient organ doses and effective doses using the VIP-Man adult male phantom for selected cone-beam CT imaging procedures during image guided radiotherapy”, this study focuses on quantifying the imaging dose from CBCT scanning using Monte Carlo simulation, which is important for the clinical application of IGRT.

December 2008IGRT Study
CART Researchers Publish New IGRT Study
Steve Jiang PhD, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) and Co-Director of the Division of Medical and Technologic Research, published a new IGRT study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics. Entitled “Quality assurance challenges for motion-adaptive radiation therapy: gating, breath holding, and four-dimensional computed tomography””, this study focused on QA challenges in a variety of IFRT techniques used in the treatment of lung cancer. Co-authors on this study include John Wolfgang PhD (Harvard University) and Gig Mageras PhD (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center).

Publishes New StudyDecember 2008
UCSD Researcher Publishes New Study
Todd Pawlicki PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics and Director of Clinical Operations, has published a new study in the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage. Entitled “Radiation Oncology Lean Six Sigma project selection based on patient and staff input into a modified quality function deployment”, this study focuses on the use of the quality function deployment methodology for the selection and prioritization of projects within a Radiation Oncology department (Figure 2 from the paper shown in the photo). Co-authors on this study include Claribel Bonilla, Leonard Perry and Brigitte Wesselink, University of San Diego).

December 2008New Post Docs
Radiation Oncology Department Welcomes New Post-Doc Fellows
The Division of Technologic and Medical Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology is pleased to welcome two Physics Post-Doc Fellows, Ruijiang Li PhD (left) and Yun Liang PhD (right). Dr. Li completed his doctoral studies in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida and is focusing his current research on Lung Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). Dr. Liang is a graduate of the BiomedicalEngineering Department at Duke University and is performing research on image-guided and dynamic adaptive radiotherapy in gynecology patients. Both Dr. Li and Dr Liang are members of the Center of Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), the research arm of the Department of Radiation Oncology.

Todd ChinaDecember 2008
Radiation Oncology Faculty Lectures in China
Todd Pawlicki PhD, Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics, was an invited speaker at the Great Wall 2008 International Congress on Medical Physics held in Beijing China. He gave two talks: one focused on establishing a medical physics residency program and the other described advanced quality assurance techniques in radiotherapy. The theme of this congress was on quality assurance and safety and was attended by over 300 physicists from throughout the world. Other invited speakers at the meeting included Charlie Ma PhD (Fox Chase Cancer Center), Di Yan PhD (Beaumont), Fang Fang Yin (Duke University), Marc Kessler (University of Michigan), Gig Mageras (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), and Cedric Yu (University of Maryland). Dr. Pawlicki is shown in the picture at right in the Beijing Olympic Aquatic Stadium alongside Arthur Boyer PhD and Joe Ho PhD.

December 2008Hochimin
UCSD Faculty Lectures in Vietnam
Kevin Murphy MD, Chief of the CNS and Pediatric Services and Director of Strategy and Business Development was an invited speaker at Choray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam (see photo of downtown Ho Chi Minh City). Sponsored by Varian Medical Systems, Dr. Murphy spoke on modern radiotherapy developments, notably stereotactic body and brain radiosurgery. Choray Hospital is the teaching hospital for the Ho Chi Minh City Medical School. Dr. Murphy is a frequent invited lecturer for Varian, the largest producer of radiotherapy equipment and has the considerable experience using the Trilogy frameless radiosurgery system in both adults and children.

PawlickiDecember 2008
UCSD Researchers Announce Plans to Publish Quality Assurance Textbook
Todd Pawlicki PhD, Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics (shown in the photo), along with Dr. Arno J. Mundt, UCSD Department Chair, Peter Dunscombe PhD (Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary Canada) and Pierre Scalliet MD (University Hospital St Luc, Brussels) will be editing a new radiation oncology textbook entitled Quality and Safety in Radiotherapy. This first comprehensive textbook on quality assurance in radiation oncology will include researchers from throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia and focus on a wide range of quality assurance issues faced by medical physicists and physicians. Expected publication date is late 2009.

December 2008Jiang Murphy
UCSD Researcher Chairs Special Session at Machine Learning Conference
Dr. Steve Jiang, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research and the Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) (shown on the right), co-chaired along with Martin Murphy PhD, Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (shown at left), a special session on radiotherapy applications at the 7th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA ’08) held in La Jolla California from December 9-11. Xiaoli Tang, Tong Lin and Steve Jiang presented their work on on-line treatment verification using cine EPID for hypofractionated radiotherapy. Dr. Kenji Suzuki spoke on segmentation of lesions with improved specificity in computer-aided diagnosis, and Martin Murphy presented on the use of neural networks to predict lung tumor motion during radiation therapy.

Demos MedDecember 2008
UCSD Faculty Joins Editorial Board
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the new hardcover periodical Radiation Medicine Rounds. The purpose of this periodical is to provide a quarterly review of a dedicated radiation medicine topic of interest to clinicians and scientists involved in the care of patients receiving radiotherapy. Published by Demos Medical Inc (see photo), three issues are planned annually, with the first issue to appear in the first quarter of 2010 dedicated to Thoracic Malignancies. The 16 member Editorial Board includes Charles Thomas MD (Editor-In-Chief), Dwight Heron MD, Karyn Goodman MD, Robert Lavey MD MPH, and Oscar Streeter MD.

December 2008Chicago
UCSD Faculty Lectures at Annual RSNA Meeting
Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service, lectured at the 94th Annual Meeting of the Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA) held at the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago. Dr. Yashar spoke on target delineation in gynecology patients undergoing intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) as well as moderated a Scientific Session on Gynecologic Cancers along with Nina Mayr MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Ohio State University. With over 60,000+ attendees, RSNA is the largest medical convention in the world with over 300 refresher courses and 700 technical exhibits. RSNA is held each year exclusively at McCormick Place, the largest convention center in the world with over 2.6M square feet of exhibit space.

Biomededical LibraryDecember 2008
UCSD Faculty Joins Editorial Board
Steve Jiang PhD, Associate Professor and Co-Director of Division of Technology and Medical Research, and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), has been invited to join the Editorial Board (Oncology Division) of the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. This journal is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research articles as well as review articles in several areas of life sciences, including cell biology, immunology, oncology, toxicology and virology. Other members of the Editorial Board in the Oncology Division include Nathan Ellis (University of Chicago), Rakesh Kumar, Macus Kuo and David Yang (MD Anderson Cancer Center) and Ronald Cannon (National Institute of Enviromental Health Science).

December 2008William Song PhD
William Song PhD Arrives at UCSD
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Dr. William Song. Dr. Song has been appointed as an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology in the Division of Clinical Medical Physics. He will also be on the faculty of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART). A graduate of the University of Western Ontario (PhD ’06), Dr. Song completed his residency in Medical Physics at theUniversity of Florida in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Song has considerable research experience and expertise with his recent work focusing on image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) in prostate cancer and other disease sites. During his training, he has presented his research at numerous national meetings and published in multiple prestigious journals including Medical Physics and the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.

 

Cancer Therapeutics Training ProgramDecember 2008
Faculty Lectures at Cancer Therapeutics Training Program
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited speaker at the UCSD Cancer Therapeutics Training Program Lecture Series. Entitled “Novel Radiation Technologies: Development and Clinical Implementation”, his lecture focused on how radiation products are brought to market and cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. Under the direction of Professor Steve Howell, the Cancer Therapeutics Training Program offers a 2-year fellowship focusing on developmental therapeutics, in particular new cancer agents. Other recent invited speakers included Susan Taylor PhD (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Richard Kolodner PhD (Ludwig Institute) and Aladar Szalay PhD (Genelux Corporation).

 

December 2008sdsc
CART Co-Director Receives Major Research Grant
We are pleased to announce that Steve Jiang PhD, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), together with researchers from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (see photo) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, is a recipient of a $1.5M research grant awarded by the University of California Lab Research Program. Entitled “Adaptive Radiotherapy Based on High Performance Computing”, the grant focuses on the development of methods to rapidly generate and deliver treatment plans accounting for changes in tumor location and position. This work may one day make it possible to perform daily on-line adaptive RT in a conventional time slot with the patient on the treatment table. Click here to see a list of the Grant Recipients at UCSD and other UC campuses.

pmbDecember 2008
UCSD Researchers Publish New IGRT Study
Huanmei Wu PhD, Assistant Professor at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, and Steve Jiang PhD, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) and Co-Director of the Division of Medical and Technologic Research, published a new IGRT study in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. Entitled “Gating Based on Internal/External Signals with Dynamic Correlation Updates”, this study focused on methods to combine internal tumor motion signals and external surrogate signals in lung cancer patients undergoing respiratory-gated radiotherapy. Dr. Wu is a former PhD student of Dr. Jiang and performed this study when she was a CART Visiting Professor at UCSD in the summer of 2007.

December 2008Modular
The Modulars Have Landed
The first modules for the Radiation Oncology expansion were set on the foundation today. This photo is of the first module being placed. For more photos of the first module being placed click here. With the modules having been prebuilt and trucked in, the construction will move forward rapidly. Within two weeks the structure will be complete and finish work and vault installation can then begin. For an up to date view check out the construction site's webcam which updates ever 10 minutes.. For more information on the modular construction please visit RadTech's website.

The new facility will include expanded clinic and office space, PET-CT, 2 new vaults with linear accelerators including a Varian research linac, and conference room space, significantly increasing the size of the current facility within the Moores Cancer Center.

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November 2008

EmoryNovember 2008
UCSD Faculty Lectures at Emory University
Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited visiting professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia (see photo). He presented a lecture entitled “IMRT and IGRT in Gynecologic Malignancies: Current Status and Future Directions” to the Department and guests. Dr. Mundt reviewed the rationale and current state-of-the-art of these exciting new technologies in the treatment of women with cervical and other gynecologic cancers. A pioneer of the use of IMRT in gynecologic tumors, Dr. Mundt is a frequent invited speaker on these topics in symposia and seminars throughout the United States and the world. He also met with the faculty as well as with the residents.

November 2008CART
UCSD Awarded Varian Master Research Grant
We are pleased to announce that the UCSD Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) has been awarded a multi-year Master Research Grant by Varian Medical Systems. The research arm of the Department of Radiation Oncology, CART is under the direction of Dr. Steve Jiang and Dr. Loren Mell. This prestigious award funds research and post-doctoral students focusing on the application of novel radiation technologies to patients with lung cancer and gynecologic malignancies. CART was founded in early 2007 and has grown rapidly and presently includes multiple faculty members, 6 post-doctoral students, 3 graduate students as well as medical students, research interns and visiting professors (most recently from Jordan and Purdue University).

Moores Cancer CenterNovember 2008
Moores Cancer Center 2008 Annual Scientific Retreat
The annual Moores Cancer Center Scientific Retreat was held at the Joan Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice on the University of San Diego Campus on Saturday November 15th. Dennis Carson M.D., Moores Cancer Center Director, led off the meeting providing an overview of the Strategic Plan and Vision of the Cancer Center. Arno J. Mundt M.D., Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology, presented an update on the clinical and scientific directions of the Department of Radiation Oncology. Other speakers included Catriona Jamieson MD PhD who spoke on Stem Cell Advances at the Moores Cancer Center and Robert Mattrey MD who described the newly awarded P50 imaging award. The plenary speaker was John Lowengrub PhD, Professor and Chair of Mathematics at UC Irvine, who spoke on mathematical modeling in oncology.

November 2008Faculty Club
UCSD Welcomes New Clinical Faculty
The Annual New Clinical Faculty Welcome Reception was held in the UCSD Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club (see photo). Hosted by Deans David Brenner and Tom McAfee and Medical Center CEO Richard Liekweg, the Welcome Reception is designed to introduce new clinical faculty who have joined UCSD this year. The Department of Radiation Oncology is proud to have four new faculty members: Joshua Lawson MD, Loren Mell MD, William Song PhD and Trent Ning PhD. The Radiation Oncology Department is rapidly growing and with the arrival of these new physicians and physicists, the faculty now includes 7 physicians and 6 medical physicists. Recruitment of several additional physicians, physicists and cancer biologists is currently underway.

ThailandNovember 2008
UCSD Faculty Lectures in Thailand
Catheryn Yashar, M.D., Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology and Breast Cancer Services, was an invited lecturer at the 2008 International Gynecologic Cancer Society Meeting held in Bangkok Thailand. Dr. Yashar spoke on the role of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in intact cervical cancer and the emerging role of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) in gynecologic malignancies. A non-profit organization devoted to the prevention, treatment and study of gynecologic cancers including breast cancer, the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) sponsors biennial meetings held in different continents around the world. Dr. Yashar attended the meeting with her husband, Arny a local orthopaedic surgeon, and their three sons: Will, Jake and Drew. She is shown in the photo on a day trip to Phuket Province.

November 2008Meddos
UCSD Researcher Publishes Image-Guided Radiotherapy Study
Joshua Lawson MD, Chief of the Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery Service, authored a new image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) study in the journal Medical Dosimetry, the official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists (AAMD). Entitled “Early Clinical Experience with Kilovoltage IGRT for Interfraction Motion Management”, the study focused highlighted clinical experience using on-board imaging (OBI) in 117 patients for daily setup and was co-authored with Emory University investigators Timothy Fox PhD and Ian Crocker MD. The authors concluded that on-board imaging effectively corrects setup variability and can replace weekly port films for isocenter verification. A graduate of Emory University, Dr. Lawson was recruited to UCSD this year (see September 2008 Joshua Lawson MD Arrives at UCSD).

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October 2008

TsienOctober 2008
UCSD Researcher Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Roger Tsien PhD, Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (see photo), won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein (GFP), which has helped researchers watch the tiniest details of life within living cells. A member of the UCSD faculty since 1989, Dr. Tsien shares the prize with Martin Chaflie and Osamu Shimomura. Dr. Tsien is the 17th member of the UCSD faculty to win a Nobel Prize, an amazing statistic given that UCSD was founded in 1960. Of note, UCSD has received 3 Nobel Prizes in Physiology/Medicine: George Palade (1974), Renato Dulbeco (1975) and Sydney Brenner (2002).

October 2008Radio Tonc
UCSD Researchers Publish New Breast Cancer Study
Daniel Scanderbeg PhD (Medical Physics Senior Resident), Catheryn Yashar MD (Chief of the Breast Cancer Program and Brachytherapy Service), Roger Rice PhD (Chief of Physics UCSD Radiation Oncology North County) and Todd Pawlicki PhD (Director, Division of Clinical Medical Physics and Clinical Operations Director) presented the clinical implementation at UCSD using the SAVI Brachytherapy Device, a novel HDR brachytherapy device for partial breast irradiation in the journal Radiotherapy Oncology. This study focused on the initial 20 patients treated at UCSD and found that the treatment was associated with excellent tumor bed conformance and minimal normal tissue exposure. UCSD is the second center in the world to offer this novel treatment for breast cancer. Interested in learning more about SAVI? click here.

Doctors ParkOctober 2008
UCSD Radiation Oncology South Bay Project Rapidly Moving Forward
The UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology is moving forward with plans to open a new Radiation Oncology Treatment Facility in South Bay San Diego. The Facility will be called UCSD Radiation Oncology South Bay and will be located in Doctors Park at Eastlake (see photo), a new 5 building medical office campus 2 blocks from the new I-125 in the heart of Eastlake’s booming retail and commercial community. The Treatment Facility will include all new state-of-the-art equipment and offer South Bay patients and their families access to cutting-edge radiation technologies and UCSD physicians closer to home. The planned opening is in mid-summer 2009. UCSD Radiation Oncology South Bay is the second of several planned Community-based Radiation Oncology Centers staffed by UCSD physicians in the region. The first (UCSD Radiation Oncology North County) opened in Encinitas last month.

October 2008Gene Lux
UCSD and Genelux Institute Affiliate
Genelux Institute for Integrated Therapy and Diagnostics, the non-for-profit subsidiary of Genelux Corporation, and the University of California San Diego have signed an Affiliation Agreement. Genelux Corporation is a La Jolla-based biomedical company and manufacturer of the novel oncolytic virus GL-ONC1. Based on promising pre-clinical studies, phase I/II clinical trials have been initiated in pancreatic and other solid tumors using GL-ONC1 at prominent institutions in Germany, United Kingdom and United States. Kevin Murphy MD, Director of Strategy and Business Development and Chief of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Pediatric Oncology Programs, serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of Genelux Corporation and will oversee collaborations between the Genelux Institute and the Department of Radiation Oncology as well the recruitment of basic science research faculty.

Center LineOctober 2008
Radiation Oncology Department Featured in Centerline Magazine
The UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology was featured in the fall issue of Varian Medical System’s Centerline Magazine, a clinically-oriented magazine published for the clinical oncology community. Entitled “A Different Kind of Radiation Oncology Department at UCSD”, the article chronicled the history of the department since its inception in March 2006 and consisted of interviews with Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Chair, Steve Jiang PhD., Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research and the Center for Advanced Radiation Technologies (CART), Todd Pawlicki PhD, Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics and Kevin Murphy MD, Director of the Division of Clinical Radiation Medicine. Click here to view Centerline Magazine.

October 2008Denver
UCSD Faculty Lectures in Colorado
Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited visiting professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado in Denver Colorado (see photo). He presented a lecture entitled “IMRT and IGRT in Gynecologic Malignancies: Current Status and Future Directions” to the Department and guests. Dr. Mundt reviewed the rationale and current state-of-the-art of these exciting new technologies in the treatment of women with cervical and other gynecologic cancers. A pioneer of the use of IMRT in gynecologic tumors, Dr. Mundt is a frequent invited speaker on these topics in symposia and seminars throughout the United States and the world. He also met with the faculty as well as with the residents.

IjroOctober 2008
UCSD Faculty Co-Author Prostate Radiosurgery Study
Todd Pawlicki Ph.D., Director of the Division of Clinical Physics and Director of Clinical Operations, co-authored a new study focusing on low-risk prostate cancer patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery. This study was written with investigators from Stanford University and appeared in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physicis, the premier radiation oncology journal. Forty-one prostate cancer patients were treated with short-course (hypofractionated) radiotherapy (36.25 Gy in five 7.25 Gy fractions), using daily image-guidance. Two patients developed late grade 3 or above genitourinary sequelae; however, none experienced grade 3 or above late gastrointestinal toxicity. Promising biochemical control rates were noted, but follow-up was quite limited. Although encouraging, this approach needs to be evaluated in a larger prospective before it should be routinely performed in clinical practice.

October 2008ccc
UCSD Researcher Published Article on Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer
Joshua Lawson MD, Chief of the Gastrointestinal Tumor Service, published a study on the use of 5-flourouracil, oxaliplatin and concomitant radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer in the journal Clinical Colorectal Cancer. A total of 15 patients were treated and Dr. Lawson and co-investigators from Emory University in Atlanta reported that the combination was well tolerated and was associated with encouraging results in terms of local control and patient survival. The current standard of care in these patients is 5-flourouracil and radiotherapy alone; however, it is likely that combination with other chemotherapy agents will prove superior to single agent 5-fluorouracil alone.

amifOctober 2008
UCSD Researcher Publishes Invited Overview of Amifostine
Loren Mell M.D., Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, was the first author on an invited review of the pharmacology of the radio-protector amifostine which appeared in the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicity. The senior author was Dr. Benjamin Movsas, Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. In 2007, Dr. Mell published a meta-analysis of the impact of amifostine on tumor control in randomized trials of locally advanced lung cancer published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.

October 2008pbi
UCSD Researcher Co-Authors New Breast Cancer Study
Loren Mell M.D., Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, was a co-author with investigators from the University of Chicago on a breast cancer study published in the journal Cancer this month. Entitled “Magnetic Resonance Imaging Identifies Multifocal and Multi-centric Disease in Breast Cancer Patients Who are Eligible for Partial Breast Irradiation”, this study evaluated 110 women who were eligible for partial breast irradiation and who underwent a bilateral breast MRI as part of their initial workup. MRI identified multifocal and multi-centric tumors in 3.6% and 4.5% of patients, respectively. These tumors would not have been included in the radiotherapy field nor removed by conservative surgery. These results support the use of MRI (see photo) as part of the initial workup in women in whom partial breast irradiation is considered, a practice followed at UCSD.

Encinitas Treatment FacilityOctober 2008
Encinitas Treatment Facility Begins Treating Patients
The new UCSD Radiation Oncology-North County Treatment Center in Encinitas is now officially open with the treatment of the first patient this month. The center is located in the San Diego Cancer Center on Garden View Road (see photo) and includes a full clinic, CT-simulation and a state-of-the-art Varian Trilogy Linear Accelerator equipped with image-guidance, intensity-modulation and radiosurgery capability. Dr. Mary Ann Rose, an experienced local radiation oncologist, has been recruited to be the Medical Director of this center, the first satellite facility of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology. Other satellite facilities are planned throughout the greater San Diego region to better serve our patients. See also July 2008 Mary Ann Rose MD is Promoted to Professor of Radiation Oncology.

October 2008Chicago
UCSD Faculty Serves on ACRO Board of Chancellors
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, attended the Board of Chancellors Meeting of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) held in Chicago, Illinois (see photo). ACRO is an important professional society for American radiation oncologists with over 800 members. Dr. Mundt is currently in his second year of a four year term as an ACRO Chancellor and serves as Vice-Chair of the Membership committee. Other ACRO Chancellors include Omar Salazar, David Beyer, David Diamond, and Paul Wallner. The 19th Annual ACRO Meeting will be held in February, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Mundt is an invited plenary speaker at the annual meeting where he will present on image-guided radiotherapy in gynecologic cancers and supervise a resident board review seminar.

KiwanisOctober 2008
UCSD Faculty Lecture at Kiwanis Club
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Scripps-Mira Mesa. Dr. Mundt spoke on advances in the field of radiation oncology and also novel non-invasive cancer treatments including stereotactic radiosurgery. He also introduced the Kiwanis is new and exciting developments at the Moores Cancer Center and the recent opening of the Encinitas Treatment facility. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers whose mission is to serve the children of the world. With over 260,000 adult and 320,000 youth members, the Kiwanis have over 8,000 clubs in 25 countries.

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September 2008

September 2008hgt
Promising Genelux Research Studies Published
Two basic science studies performed by Genelux research collaborators were published this month in the journals Human Gene Therapy (see photo) and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. One study reported promising pre-clinical results in malignant mesothelioma, the other focused on malignant thyroid carcinoma, two extremely aggressive malignancies which poorly respond to conventional therapies. Genelux Corporation is a La Jolla-based biomedical company and manufacturer of the novel oncolytic virus GL-ONC1. Kevin Murphy, Director of Strategy and Business Development and the Chief of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Pediatric Oncology Programs in the Department, has recently joined Genelux as the Chief Strategy Officer. Recruitment of basic science faculty is underway to explore novel interactions between oncolytic viruses and radiation. See also March 2008 Dr. Murphy Joins Genelux Corporation.

UC San Diego School of MedicalSeptember 2008
UC San Diego School of Medical Celebrates 40th Anniversary
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the UCSD Medical School, an event that was highlighted by a special article in the San Diego Magazine this month. Founded in 1968, UCSD is one of the youngest medical schools in the country. However, it is currently the 5th highest ranked public medical school in the country and consistently ranks in the top 15 research medical schools in the United States, alongside schools over a century old including Stanford, Harvard, Michigan and Johns Hopkins. Annual Medical School grant funding exceeds $390 million. Since the UCSD itself was founded in 1960, the University faculty has been honored with 16 Nobel Prizes including 3 in Medicine and Physiology: George Palade (1974), Renata Dulbeco (1975) and Sydney Brenner (2002).

September 2008Annual ASTRO Meeting
UCSD Faculty Present at Annual ASTRO Meeting
Department Faculty, Residents and Students presented 10 presentations at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) held in Boston. Topics included image-guided radiotherapy in Breast and Gynecologic Cancers, intensity-modulated radiotherapy in Prostate Cancer, intracavitary brachytherapy in Breast Cancer, co-morbidities in Head and Neck Cancer and hypofractionated radiotherapy in Lung Cancer. ASTRO is an international organization devoted to the field of Radiation Oncology and has over 5000 members in the United States and throughout the world.

ExpansionSeptember 2008
Groundbreaking for Department Expansion
Construction is currently underway for the Department of Radiation Oncology expansion. The new facility will include expanded clinic and office space, PET-CT, 2 new vaults with linear accelerators including a Varian research linac, and conference room space, significantly increasing the size of the current facility within the Moores Cancer Center. Adjacent to the Cancer Center, the new facility will share many design themes with the Cancer Center. A major benefit to patients will be reserved parking in front of the building. A separate entrance has been designed for ambulances and patient transport vans. In light of the pressing clinical need, rapid construction is required and thus UCSD has thus elected to use the Rad Technology solution, a novel modular approach which allows rapid construction. The new facility will open in January 2009.

September 2008Top Doctors
UCSD Faculty Selected as a Top Doctor in San Diego
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was named a “Top Doctor” by San Diego Magazine in the October 2008 issue. In conjunction with the San Diego Medical Society, San Diego Magazine publishes a list of Top Doctors in 39 specialties including radiation oncology. Overall, 449 San Diego physicians were selected including over 70 UCSD physicians, many for multiple years in a row. Other UCSD physicians on the list include Barbara Parker (Medical Oncology), John Alksne (Neurosurgery), Steve Plaxe (Gynecologic Oncology), Robert Weisman (ENT), Bill Bradley (Radiology), Michael Bouvet (Surgery), Sonia Ramamoorthy (Surgery), Mark Talamini (Surgery), and Anne Wallace (Surgery).

Joshua Lawson MDSeptember 2008
Joshua Lawson MD Arrives at UCSD
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Dr. Joshua Lawson. Dr. Lawson has been appointed an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Chief of the Gastrointestinal Tumor and the Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery Services. He will also serve as Director of the Radiation Oncology Learning Center. A graduate of Emory (BS ’97, MD ’03), Dr. Lawson completed his residency in Radiation Oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Lawson has considerable experience and interest in clinical research, particularly the application of novel radiation technologies including IMRT, IGRT and adaptive radiotherapy in a variety of disease sites. During his residency, he has presented his research at numerous national and international meetings and published in a variety of radiation and oncology journals. (See also What’s New March 2008 Joshua Lawson MD Joins the UCSD Faculty).

September 2008University of Michigan
UCSD Faculty Lecture at the University of Michigan
Catheryn Yashar M.D., Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service, was an invited guest lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She spoke on advances in radiation therapy for cervical cancer including intensity modulated andimage guided radiotherapy. Dr. Yashar completed her training in OBGYN at Michigan prior to a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology and subsequently a residency in Radiation Oncology at the University of Louisville. While in Ann Arbor, Dr. Yashar and her husband Arnie, a Michigan alumnus and local orthopaedic surgeon, took their sons to the Michigan-Wisconsin game in the historic Michigan stadium (see photo). Fortunately after trailing 19-0 at halftime, the Wolverines overcame the Badgers 27-25 after an amazing series of 4 touchdowns in 12 minutes!

BowlingSeptember 2008
UCSD Radiation Oncology Patient Honored by President Bush
Trinie Bowling, a patient of Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was awarded a special lifetime achievement award by President George Bush in a ceremony in Washington D.C. this month. A native of the Philippines, Ms. Bowling was in the resistance movement during World War II where she spied on the Japanese troops supplying the American Army with valuable intelligence information. After moving to the United States following the war, Ms. Bowling has been active in politics and a major advocate for voter registration of immigrants to this country. She is shown here in front of Air Force I with President Bush and her daughter.

September 2008bcs
UCSD Faculty Present at ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium
Dr. Catheryn Yashar, Chief of the Breast Cancer Service, presented a multi-institutional experience at the 2008 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium using the SAVI device in women with early stage breast cancer undergoing partial breast irradiation. Her presentation focused on a number of technical issues of the SAVI device but also provided early clinical outcome (click here to view the abstract). Other UCSD investigators involved with this project include Dan Scanderbeg Ph.D., Roger Rice PhD, and breast surgeons Anne Wallace M.D. and Sarah Blair M.D. UCSD was the second center in the world to offer this novel treatment device to patients and Dr. Yashar has one of the largest clinical experiences using it. Ask your physician if you are a candidate for SAVI. To learn more about this novel treatment approach, click here.

Clinical IssuesSeptember 2008
UCSD Faculty Lecture in Las Vegas
Dr. Arno Mundt, Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, was an invited speaker at Contemporary Forums’ 18th Annual Conference on Oncology: Clinical Issues and Trends held in Las Vegas Nevada September 13-15, 2008. Contemporary Forums is a national organization devoted to providing high quality continuing medical education (CME) for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Founded in 1982, Contemporary Forums has sponsored conference attended by over 250,000 attendees. Dr. Mundt participated in a session devoted to novel therapeutic options for metastatic disease management. His talk was entitled “Radiation Oncology: Advancements in the Treatment of Metastatic Disease” which focused on the evolving role of stereotactic body radiosurgery in patients with spine, lung and liver metastases.

September 2008Sandack
Chief Business Development and Administrative Office (CBDAO) Named
We are pleased to announce that Casey Sandack, M.B.A. has been named Chief Business Development and Administrative Officer for the Department of Radiation Oncology. Casey has been a valued member of the School of Medicine Dean’s Office for 10 years, first as a Principal Administrative Analyst, serving as a lead analyst and coordinating capital projects and renovations. Since 2002 he has been Assistant Dean for Capital Planning and Space Management, overseeing space management, capital budgets and core research businesses, and partnering with Chairs and faculty leaders to expand research and academic programs. He earned his B.S. in Management Science from UCSD, and his M.B.A. from San Diego State University. Among his duties, he will be responsible for the execution of the administrative requirements for developing, implementing and managing all Department business, including the establishment and management of our satellite sites, all marketing and publicity, and the development of our planned proton center. He is shown with his wife, Corinne, and their children, Madeline and Tyler.

CallinSeptember 2008
UCSD Faculty Interviewed on Radio Call-In Program
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Chair of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology, will be interviewed this month on a San Diego-based Radio program focusing on prostate cancer. “Ask Dr. Barken” is a weekly radio show hosted by the well-known San Diego Urologist, Israel Barken M.D., founder of the Prostate Cancer Research and Education Foundation (PCREF). Dr. Mundt will discuss the use of radiotherapy in prostate cancer and the role of novel radiation approaches, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). An internationally recognized expert in advanced radiation technologies, Dr. Mundt is the Co-Editor of an IMRT textbook entitled IMRT: A Clinical Perspective which includes over 175 authors from 42 institutions in 9 countries. Dr. Mundt is currently editing a second technology textbook focusing on IGRT. Click here for a schedule of upcoming and past podcasts.

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August 2008

August 2008Trent
Trent Ning PhD Joins UCSD
We are pleased to announce that Trent Ning PhD will be joining UCSD as a clinical medical physicist on September 1, 2008. A graduate of Purdue (Masters, Health Physics, ‘91) and of the University of Indiana/Purdue (PhD, Medical Physics, ’94), Dr. Ning has worked in private practice for nearly 15 years in both the Midwest and most recently in Palm Desert with 21st Century Oncology. Dr. Ning has extensive experience using Varian technologies including Trilogy and Eclipse as well with brachytherapy. He is shown here with his wife, Mahya, and their daughters Anne and Jenny, in a photo taken at Jenny’s graduation from the Wharton School of Business.

ExpansionAugust 2008
Department Expansion Underway
The floor plan and architectural drawings for the Department of Radiation Oncology expansion have been finalized. The new facility will include expanded clinic and office space, PET-CT, 2 new vaults with linear accelerators including a Varian research linac, and conference room space, significantly increasing the size of the current facility within the Moores Cancer Center. Adjacent to the Cancer Center, the new facility will share many design themes with the Cancer Center (see photo). A major benefit to patients will be reserved parking in front of the building. A separate entrance has been designed for ambulances and patient transport vans. The expected date for opening is January 2009.

August 2008Bewise
UCSD Faculty Participate in BE WISE Academy
Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Services, participated in all day Saturday Educational Symposium sponsored by the BE WISE program. A part of the San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA), BE WISE (Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering) is a program designed to promote education in the sciences and engineering targeting girls in high school. This year the program focused on careers in cancer research and treatment. Other UCSD faculty involved in the program included Michael McHale MD, Andrew Lowy MD, and Cheryl Saenz MD. Dr. Yashar is shown in the photo describing to attendees how radiation therapy is planned and delivered to cancer patients. Click here to see additional photos from the Saturday Symposium.

rsnaAugust 2008
UCSD Faculty Selected to Attend RSNA Advanced Course in Grant Writing
Dr. Loren Mell, Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, has been selected to attend the 2008-2009 Radiologic Society of North America’s (RSNA) Advanced Course in Grant Writing. A four multi-day workshop held at the RSNA headquarters in Chicago, attendance in this course is awarded to select young radiologists, radiation oncologists and nuclear medicine physicians from academic University centers. Goals of this advanced course include understanding the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) grant application process from conception of a potential idea, through drafting, editing and generation of a budget. This prestigious program is only available to select young academic physicians who demonstrate considerable academic potential and promise.

August 2008Rotary
Radiation Oncology Faculty Present at Carlsbad Rotary Club
Dr. Mary Ann Rose, Professor and Director of the UCSD-Encinitas Radiation Oncology Treatment Center, spoke at the monthly meeting of the Carlsbad Chapter of the Rotary Club. Dr. Rose presented on novel non-invasive approaches in the treatment of cancer as well as announced the upcoming opening of the new UCSD-Encinitas Radiation Oncology Treatment opening in September. Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders dedicated to humanitarian service. Overall, there are over 1.2 million Rotarians in the world belonging to over 33,000 chapters in 166 countries. The Carlsbad Rotary Club was chartered in 1939 and includes many notable business and professional leaders in the North County community.

TrilogyAugust 2008
Varian Trilogy Arrives in Encinitas
We are pleased announce that the Varian Trilogy Machine has just arrived in our North County Treatment Facility. The Varian Trilogy is the latest and most sophisticated of linear accelerators currently on the market capable of delivery all the latest treatment approaches, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), and stereotactic radiosurgery for both the brain and body. The Trilogy will be the centerpiece of the new UCSDNorth County Treatment Facility opening next month in Encinitas, a town approximately 20 minutes north of La Jolla. The UCSD North County facility is the first of several planned UCSD Treatment satellites in the greater San Diego region. Dr. Mary Ann Rose, Professor of Radiation Oncology, has been named Director of this new facility.

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July 2008

July 2008Yashar Sandhu
Radiation Oncology Faculty Named Cancer Center Associate Team Leaders
Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology and Breast Oncology Services, and Ajay Sandhu MD, Chief of the Lung Cancer and Urologic Oncology Services, have been named Associate Team Leaders in the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Yashar will serve as Associate Team Lead for the Gynecologic Oncology Service and Dr. Sandhu will serve as Associate Team Lead for the Lung Cancer Service. In these roles, Dr. Yashar and Sandhu will be involved in the overall direction of these two services within the Cancer Center working closely with Steve Plaxe MD (Division Chief, Gynecologic Oncology) and Lyudmila Bazhenova MD (Chief, Lung Cancer Service). This is a tremendous honor that both these radiation oncologists have been selected for these important leadership roles in the organization and is in recognition of the time and effort that both have devoted to caring for patients with these diseases.

Loren Mell MDJuly 2008
Loren Mell MD Arrives at UCSD
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Dr. Loren Mell. Dr. Mell has been appointed an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research. He will also serve as Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) and Chief of the Head & Neck and Hematologic Malignancies Services. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Mell attended Stanford University, where he received dual degrees in Mathematics (B.S.) and Economics (B.A.). Following a year performing health economics research at the National Bureau of Economic Research, he spent two years at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle. Dr. Mell received his M.D. from the University of Chicago in 2003 where he subsequently completed his residency in Radiation Oncology in June, 2008. Dr. Mell has multiple research accomplishments, including numerous publications, oral presentations, and awards. His research interests include conformal and image-guided radiation technologies and their effects on reducing bone marrow toxicity, in addition to statistical modeling of toxicity and treatment outcomes for numerous disease sites.

July 2008Rose
Mary Ann Rose MD is Promoted to Professor of Radiation Oncology
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Mary Ann Rose has been promoted to the rank of Professor of Radiation Oncology. Previously Medical Director of the Vantage Oncology Centers in Temecula and Wildomar, Dr. Rose joined UCSD in the Fall of 2007 as Director of the new UCSD-North County Radiation Oncology Treatment Center (which will be opening next month). Dr. Rose received her B.A. from Yale University in English literature and her M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine. She completed residencies in both Internal Medicine and Radiation Medicine at Harvard University. Initially a Staff Radiation Oncologist at the Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Dr. Rose was based at Beth Israel Hospital and the Breast Evaluation Clinic of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She subsequently served as Chief of Radiation Oncology at St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Massachussetts prior to relocating to San Diego. Dr. Rose has worked in private practice in the San Diego area for nearly 15 years. She has published numerous articles on the treatment of breast cancer and genitourinary cancers, and has continued interest in these areas as well as in general radiation oncology, medical ethics and palliative care.

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June 2008

University MichiganJune 2008
UCSD Faculty Lectures in Michigan
Arno J. Mundt, Department Chair, was an invited speaker in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He presented a lecture entitled “IMRT and IGRT in Gynecologic Malignancies: Current Status and Future Directions” to the Department and invited guests. Dr. Mundt reviewed the rationale and current state-of-the-art of these exciting new technologies in the treatment of women with cervical and other gynecologic cancers. Dr. Mundt pioneered the use of IMRT in gynecologic tumors and is a frequent invited speaker on these topics in symposia and seminars throughout the United States and the world. He also met with the faculty as well as with the residents. Dr. Mundt is an alumnus of the University of Michigan, having received his M.D. degree in 1987.

 

June 2008Radonc Times
Radiation Oncology Department Launches Staff NewsletteThe UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology has launched an electronic Department Newsletter for the entire staff. Published monthly under the direction of Todd Pawlicki PhD, Director of Medical Physics and Clinical Operations, the goal of this newsletter is to better inform the staff about new developments in the department and also to foster a sense of community. Various articles will appear in each issue including Team and Staff profiles, Industry News, Research Developments, and a section on new policies and procedures as well as questions from staff members. In addition, Arno J. Mundt, Department Chair, will write a short piece entitled the Chairman’s Corner. Tentatively named Rad Onc Times (see photo), a contest is being held amongst the staff to select the Newsletter’s name.

 

RadioJune 2008
UCSD Researchers Publish Article on Prostate Image-Guided Radiotherapy
Ajay Sandhu MD, Medical Director and Chief of the Urologic Cancer Service, together with UCSD colleagues from the Department of Radiation Oncology and Divisions of Urology and Medical Oncology, published a clinical study of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) in patients undergoing post-prostatectomy irradiation. Appearing in the journal Radiotherapy & Oncology (see photo), the primary journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO), this study evaluates the clinical outcome of 26 patients undergoing radical post-prostatectomy IMRT with daily image-guidance using the Varian Trilogy On-Board Imager. Daily IGRT improved the coverage of the target in these patients, with the majority experiencing only mild acute symptoms. While multiple studies have evaluated the benefit of on-line IGRT target localization in patients with an intact prostate, this is one of the few studies to evaluate post-prostatectomy patients.

June 2008Peds Book
UCSD Faculty and Staff Write a Child’s Guide to Radiation Therapy
Members of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology have produced a child’s guide to radiation therapy entitled I Need to Get Radiation Treatment (A Child’s Guide to Radiation Therapy) (see photo). Written in both English and Spanish, this book provides children and their parent’s a step by step overview of the radiation process written in the style of a children’s book complete with many photos and illustrations. UCSD Radiation Oncology is the primary treatment center for children diagnosed with benign and malignant tumors in the greater San Diego region and is closely affiliated with Rady Children’s Hospital. Many members of the Radiation Oncology Department were involved with this project including Dr. Kevin Murphy, Richard Fletcher, Dana Naughton, Carmen Ayala, Michelle Russell and Beth Mooney. Special thanks to Varian Medical Systems for sponsoring this important project.

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May 2008

EntimaginMay 2008
UCSD Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program Highlighted
Joshua Lawson MD, Chief of the Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery Service, Kevin Murphy MD, Chief of the CNS/Cranial Radiosurgery and Pediatric Oncology Services, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Department Chair, published an article describing the UCSD experience using frameless stereotactic radiosurgery in the latest issue of Enterprise Imaging & Therapeutic Radiology Management, an on-line source for medical imaging, therapeutic radiology and cardiology decision-makers (see photo). UCSD has one of the largest experiences in the world using the Varian Trilogy optically-guided frameless radiosurgery approach in both adults and children for primary and metastatic brain tumors. Click here to learn more about frameless stereotactic radiosurgery. Also highlighted in this month’s journal was William Bradley MD PhD, Chair of the UCSD Department of Radiology, who presented a review of teleradiology.

May 2008Red Journal
UCSD Faculty Publish in Quality Assurance Special Issue
Articles by two UCSD faculty appeared in a special issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics (also known as the Red Journal), a premier radiation oncology journal (see photo). The special issue focused on quality assurance (QA) challenges of advanced radiation technologies. Dr. Todd Pawlicki, Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics and Director of Clinical Operations, co-authored two papers, one focusing on CyberKnife QA and one focusing on process behavior, and Dr. Steve Jiang, Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), was the lead author on a paper highlighting the QA challenges for motion-adaptive radiotherapy, gating, breath hold and 4D computed tomography. QA is an important focus of research in CART and in the Department in general.

Technology TextbookMay 2008
UCSD Researchers Announce Plans to Publish New Technology Textbook
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, announced plans are underway to publish a new Radiation Oncology Technology textbook entitled Image-Guided Radiation Therapy: A Clinical Perspective. This textbook represents the 2nd in a series of technology-oriented textbooks co-edited by Dr. Arno Mundt and John Roeske, Ph.D., Director of Medical Physics at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. Their initial text, entitled Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy: A Clinical Perspective included over 170 radiation oncologists and medical physicists from 42 institutions in 9 countries (see photo). The IGRT text will be considerably larger focusing on all aspects of IGRT including image-guided target delineation and image-guided treatment delivery.

May 2008Indianapolis
UCSD Faculty Lecture in Indianapolis
Dr. Catheryn Yashar, Assistant Professor and Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Services, lectured on partial breast irradiation at a CME-sponsored event in Indianapolis earlier this month (see photo). Dr. Yashar has considerable experience in the treatment of breast cancer and is an expert on the use of the SAVI breast brachytherapy system, a novel multi-channel intracavitary brachytherapy approach. An early adopter of SAVI, Dr. Yashar has one of the largest experiences using this system in the world and hosts a SAVI Breast Brachytherapy school for physicians and physicists interested in adopting this novel technology. Click here to learn more about Dr. Yashar and the Breast Cancer program at UCSD.

erican Brachytherapy Society MeetingMay 2008
UCSD Researchers Present at the American Brachytherapy Society Meeting
Dan Scanderbeg, Ph.D., Senior Physics Resident, and Catheryn Yashar MD, Assistant Professor and Chief of the Breast Oncology Service, presented their clinical experience using the SAVI brachytherapy system in patients undergoing partial breast irradiation at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Brachytherapy Society held at the Marriot Copley Place in Boston in early May (see photo). SAVI is a novel breast brachytherapy system which allows treatment of lesions throughout the breast even in close proximity to the skin and chest wall, difficult sites for other commonly used systems. UCSD was the second center in the world to adopt the SAVI system and hosts a “SAVI Brachytherapy School” for physicians and physicists interested in learning how to perform this novel treatment (see UCSD Inaugurates SAVI Brachytherapy School April 2008).

 

May 2008Varian Patient Video
UCSD Faculty to Appear in Varian Patient Video
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, will be highlighted in a Varian Patient Video entitled “What Matters Most”. Filmed during the American Radium Society Annual Meeting in Laguna Beach this past month, this video also includes Tim Guertin, President and CEO Varian Medical Systems, James Bonner MD, University of Alabama Birmingham, and Ritsuko Komaki MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Several patients treated on Varian equipment are also interviewed. This patient-focused video highlights many of Varian’s exciting technological developments over the last two decades including IMRT, IGRT and RapidArc. RapidArc allows complicated IMRT treatments to be delivered in 2 minutes or less with a single revolution of the treatment gantry.

Tri-City Medical Center StaffMay 2008
UCSD Faculty Join Tri-City Medical Center Staff
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, and Dr. Mary Ann Rose, Medical Director of the UCSD Radiation Oncology Encinitas Facility, are now members of the Tri-City Medical Staff. Founded in 1957, Tri-City Medical Center is a 400-bed hospital serving North Coastal San Diego County (Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and San Marcos) (see photo, red star marks location). Tri-City Medical Center is the primary admitting hospital for many North County Oncologists, Surgeons and Primary Care physicians. UCSD is committed to forming a close relationship with physicians in North County to better serve our patients.

May 2008Chicago
UCSD Presents at Varian Midwest Users Meeting
Kevin Murphy, M.D., Chief of the CNS, Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Pediatric Oncology Services, presented at the Midwest Varian Users Meeting held in Chicago (see photo). He presented his experience using frameless stereotactic cranial and body radiosurgery in both adults and children. The Symposium was attended by Radiation Oncologists and Neurosurgeons in the Chicago-land area interested in the stereotactic radiosurgery and new Varian products including RapidArc. Dr. Murphy is a frequent invited speaker at Radiosurgery Conferences and Symposium in the United States and abroad and has one of the largest experiences in the world of frameless SRS on the Varian Trilogy.

Bronx, New YorkMay 2008
UCSD Faculty Lectures in New York City
Arno J. Mundt, Department Chair, was an invited speaker at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center Radiation Oncology Grand Rounds held at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx (see photo). He presented a lecture entitled “IMRT and IGRT in Gynecologic Malignancies: Current Status and Future Directions” to the Department and invited guests. Dr. Mundt reviewed the rationale and current state-of-the-art of these exciting new technologies in the treatment of women with cervical and other gynecologic cancers. Dr. Mundt pioneered the use of IMRT in gynecologic tumors and is a frequent invited speaker on these topics in symposia and seminars throughout the United States and the world. Interested in learning more about IMRT and IGRT in general and their application in gynecology patients? Check out the UCSD Radiation Oncology website.

May 2008Gynecologic IMRT Consensus Guidelines
UCSD Investigators Publish Gynecologic IMRT Consensus Guidelines
Loren K. Mell MD, Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Department Chair, were co-authors on a landmark article published this month in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, the premier radiation oncology journal in the world. Entitled “Consensus guidelines for delineation of clinical target volumes for intensity-modulated pelvic radiotherapy in postoperative treatment of endometrial and cervical cancer” (see photo), this article provides the first published consensus recommendations for target delineation in gynecology patients undergoing IMRT and represents one of only a handful of consensus guidelines published in IMRT in the literature. Dr. Mundt pioneered the use of IMRT in the treatment of women with gynecologic tumors and, together with Dr. Mell, has published numerous outcome reports, book chapters and reviews on the subject. Currently at the University of Chicago, Dr. Mell will be joining our department in July 2008.

Cell MicroMay 2008
Genelux Research Studies Highlighted on the Cover of Two Journals
Two basic science studies performed by Genelux research collaborators were highlighted on the cover of two prominent scientific journals this month: Clinical Cancer Research and Cellular Microbiology (see photo). Genelux Corporation is a La Jolla-based biomedical company and manufacturer of the novel oncolytic virus GL-ONC1. Kevin Murphy, Director of Strategy and Business Development and the Chief of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Pediatric Oncology Programs in the Department, has recently joined Genelux as the Chief Strategy Officer. Recruitment of basic science faculty is underway to explore novel interactions between oncolytic viruses and radiation. See also March 2008 Dr. Murphy Joins Genelux Corporation.

May 2008San Diego Union Tribune
UCSD Patient and Faculty Featured in San Diego Union Tribune
An article in the April 19th issue of the San Diego Union Tribune featured a Moores Cancer Center Radiation Oncology patient who benefits from the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Transportation Program. This program consists of volunteer drivers, some of whom are themselves cancer patients or relatives of cancer patients, who help transport oncology patients to and from their treatments and other medical appointments. In this article entitled They’re Riding to Recuperation, one of our patients, Michael Wilson, was interviewed along with Dr. Ajay Sandhu, Medical Director and Chief of the Urological Cancer Service in our Department (see photo). Transportation is a major barrier to receiving radiation therapy, particularly among elderly. Such programs go along way to help patients receive the treatments they need. Click here to see the entire article.

Ritz CarltonMay 2008
New UCSD Faculty Awarded Young Oncologist Essay Award
Loren Mell MD, who will be joining the UCSD faculty in July 2008, was awarded a Young Oncologist Essay Award at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Radium Society held May 3-7 at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Resort in Dana Point, California (see photo). His essay entitled Factors Associated with Non-Cancer Mortality in Early Breast Cancer: A Competing Risks Analysis, was one of four essays receiving this prestigious award. Other award winners included James Yu (Yale University), Mark McDonald (Emory University) and Beth Beadle (MD Anderson Cancer Center). Dr. Mell will serve as Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research and also as Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), the technologic research arm of the Department of Radiation Oncology. See related story May 2008 UCSD Faculty Present at American Radium Society Meeting.

May 2008Ritz Carlton
UCSD Faculty Present at American Radium Society Meeting
Arno J. Mundt MD, Department Chair, and two new UCSD faculty members, Loren Mell MD and Joshua Lawson MD, presented at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Radium Society held May 3-7 at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Resort in Dana Point, California (see photo). Dr. Mundt moderated the Monday Morning Scientific Session on Gynecologic Cancers and Lymphoma as well as hosted a symposium on Cervical Cancer at which he presented on the role of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) in cervical cancer patients. Dr. Mell (who will be joining the faculty in July 2008) presented on factors associated with non-cancer mortality in women with early stage breast cancer, and Dr. Lawson (who will be joining the faculty in September 2008) presented on treatment planning in lung cancer.

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April 2008

112th Boston MarathonApril 2008
Dan Scanderbeg runs 112th Boston Marathon
Dan Scanderbeg, chief medical physics resident, ran in the 112th annual Boston Marathon on April 21st , 2008 along with roughly 25,000 other participants. With the near perfect weather conditions and a slight headwind for the duration of the course, Dan set a new personal record for a marathon with a time of 2:52:54. The course started in Hopkinton, a rural town west of downtown, and traveled east into the city finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square. One of this year’s race participants was 7 time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who is seen running along side Dan in the picture on the right.

April 2008bats
UCSD Researchers Participate in Varian Research Partnership Symposium
Steve Jiang PhD, Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Department Chair, participated in the Varian Research Partnership Symposium in Austin Texas. Designed to provide interaction between Varian Management, Marketing, Engineering and Varian Research Partners such as UCSD, the symposium was attended by researchers from around the world who have research partnerships with Varian, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Stanford University, and Harvard University. Dr. Jiang presented an update of his work on markerless respiratory gating in lung cancer using Machine Learning techniques and Dr. Mundt presented an overview of the image-guided adaptive RT program in gynecologic cancers. The conference was held at the Austin Hyatt Regency adjacent to the famous Congress Avenue Bridge, home to over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, the largest urban population of bats in the world. Each night beginning in February, scores of tourists gather to watch as the bats head out in search of insects at sunset (see photo).

AAPM MeetingApril 2008
UCSD Researchers to Present at AAPM Meeting
Many post-docs and students in the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) in the Department of Radiation Oncology will be presenting their work at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) to be held in Houston Texas in July. In all, 11 abstracts were accepted as 4 oral presentations and 7 posters. These presentations span a wide variety of topics including motion management and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). Abstract authors include Lily Tang PhD, Tong Lin PhD, Neelam Tyagi PhD, Laura Cervino PhD, Alex Mackenzie, John Lewis and Nan Hu. Steve Jiang, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, serves as the Co-Director of CART. Loren Mell MD, who will be joining the faculty in July, has been named Co-Director of CART.

April 2008SAVI Brachytherapy School
UCSD Inaugurates SAVI Brachytherapy School
The inaugural class for radiation oncologists and medical physicists interested in learning to perform breast brachytherapy using the SAVI intracavitary device was held in the Radiation Oncology Conference Center in the Moores Cancer Center earlier this month. Taught by Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Breast Cancer and Brachytherapy Services, Medical Physicist Roger Rice PhD and Medical Physics Resident Dan Scanderbeg PhD, along with representatives from Cianna Medical, the manufacturer of the SAVI device (see photo), the 2-day, hands-on course focused on all aspects of SAVI treatment including patient selection, treatment simulation and planning, treatment delivery and quality assurance. The SAVI School is the first of several planned courses to be taught in the UCSD Learning Center on the La Jolla campus and will be held several times per year. Other courses will highlight other technologies including IGRT and stereotactic body and brain radiosurgery.

Cancer JournalApril 2008
UCSD Investigators Publish Commentary in the Cancer Journal
An invited commentary by Loren Mell M.D., Co-Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, and Arno J. Mundt M.D., Department Chair, will appear in the upcoming issue of the Cancer Journal. Entitled Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy in Gynecologic Cancers: Growing Support, Growing Acceptance, their commentary highlights a recent clinical study of IMRT in cervical cancer patients reported by investigators in Taiwan and discusses the current status and future directions of IMRT research in gynecology. Dr. Mundt pioneered the use of IMRT in the treatment of women with gynecologic tumors and, together with Dr. Mell, has published numerous outcome reports, book chapters and reviews on the subject. Currently at the University of Chicago, Dr. Mell will be joining our department in July 2008.

April 2008Dallas
UCSD Proton Technology Advisory Group Meets in Dallas
The UCSD Proton/Particle Working Group which consists of representatives from the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical Center and the University are rapidly moving forward with plans to develop a Proton Center on the La Jolla Campus of UCSD. This month the Proton Technology Advisory Group (TAG) consisting of physicians, physicists and administrators from various academic proton centers throughout the United States including Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Florida met in Dallas (see photo) to help select the equipment vendor for the UCSD project. Earlier, representatives of the UCSD Working Group travelled to the University of Florida and the University of Pennsylvania to tour their facilities (see March 2008 UCSD Proton/Particle Working Group Visits University of Florida Proton Center and September 2007 Press Release Announces UCSD Proton/Particle Treatment and Research Center for additional details).

RoseApril 2008
UCSD Faculty Provide Staff Oncology Lectures
Dr. Mary Ann Rose, Medical Director of the new Radiation Oncology Encinitas Treatment Center, has implemented a lecture series for the UCSD Radiation Oncology Department Staff. This series highlights different cancers, focusing on their causes, presenting symptoms, workup and treatment, including the role and process of radiotherapy. This series provides valuable information for our staff members who are intimately involved in the care of patients from scheduling their consultation and other appointments, to obtaining authorizations and scheduling radiology procedures and laboratory tests. Click here for her latest lecture on Pancreatic Cancer. Dr. Rose joined our faculty in mid 2007 (see July 2007 Mary Ann Rose MD Joins UCSD Faculty)

April 2008Expansion
Department Expansion Design and Layout Finalized
We are pleased to announce the final design and layout of our new approximately 15,000 square foot expansion to our department, to be located adjacent to the UCSD Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla. This facility will greatly increase our space and capacity, with new offices, new clinic space, 2 additional treatment vaults and a PET-CT for treatment planning and diagnosis. Using the novel modular approach developed by Rad Technology, the facility is expected to begin treating patients in the fall of 2008. An artist rendition of the new facility is shown above. Also see October 2007 UCSD Has Kickoff Meeting for New Facility for more details.

HSApril 2008
Encinitas Radiation Oncology Center Highlighted in UCSD Newsletter
An article highlighting the ground-breaking of the new UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology Encinitas Treatment Center appeared in the March/April 2008 issue of UCSD Health Sciences News, a newsletter covering the School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the UC San Diego Health System. The Encinitas facility is the first of several regional radiation oncology satellites planned and is expected to open in September 2008. Dr. Mary Ann Rose will serve as the Medical Director of this center. Click here to see the full March/April newsletter. See also February 2008 Groundbreaking Ceremony Held in Encinitas.

April 2008Entimagin
UCSD Investigators Publish Breast Cancer Article
Dan Scanderbeg Ph.D., Medical Physics resident, and Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Breast Cancer Service in the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology, published on article in the April issue of Enterprise Imaging & Therapeutic Radiology Management, a print and on-line journal focusing management strategies, clinical and technologic updates and industry trend coverage for imaging and oncology administrators, physicians, and medical physicists (see below). Entitled “About Face” the article reviewed the literature on the treatment of breast cancer patients in the prone position, a beneficial approach in select women with breast cancer particularly women with large, pendulous breasts. UCSD routinely offers prone breast treatment in patients with breast cancer (see What’s New September 2007 Prone Breast Board Used to Improve Treatment of Breast Cancer).

Miami BeachApril 2008
UCSD Faculty Lecture in Miami Beach
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was the keynote speaker at the Aptium Radiation Oncology Best Practices Conference held at Mount Sinai Medical Center (see photo) in Miami Beach on April 17th. Aptium specializes in the development and management of cancer centers including centers in Florida, California and New York. This conference is held yearly to review new radiation oncology technologies and approaches. Dr. Mundt spoke on the role of IMRT in the treatment of anal carcinoma, focusing on the current state-of-the-art and potential future directions. Other speakers included Leonard Toonkel MD, Patrick Swift MD, and Anthony Berson MD.

 

April 2008Encinitas Treatment Facility
Construction Underway of Encinitas Treatment Facility
Construction continues of the treatment vault at the new UCSD Radiation Oncology treatment facility in Encinitas. Shown in the photo are workers from Weller Construction laying the foundation of the treatment vault and control room to be located in the lower level of the San Diego Cancer Center on Garden View Road. Expected date for the first patient treatment is September 2008. Dr. Mary Ann Rose has been recruited to be the Medical Director of this center, the first satellite facility of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology. Other satellite facilities are planned throughout the greater San Diego region to better serve our patients.

 

Celebrity Chefs Cook GalaApril 2008
Annual Celebrity Chefs Cook Gala
The 27th Annual Celebrity Chefs Cook Gala, benefitting the Moores UCSD Cancer Center was held on April 11th at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. This year’s Italian-themed black tie gala (“Bella Notte”), showcased award-winning local chefs whose signature dishes were paired with fine wines from selected wineries throughout California and beyond. Last year alone the Gala raised over 1.1 Million for the Cancer Center including $360,000 for the purchase of AlignRT, a novel IGRT technology (see May 2007 Radiation Oncology Highlighted at Cancer Center Gala). Local celebrity chefs included Orion Balliet (Azul La Jolla), Jean Michel Diot (Tapenade), and Damaso Lee (Trattoria Acqua). Highlighted wineries included Chappellet, Maison Drouhin and Tantara. Dr. Arno Mundt, Department Chair, served on the Honorary Gala Planning Committee.

April 2008New York City
UCSD Faculty Speak at New York Roentgen Society Meeting
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited speaker at the Annual Meeting of the New York Roentgen Society held in New York City. An expert in the radiotherapeutic treatment of gynecologic tumors, Dr. Mundt spoke on the role of IMRT and IGRT in the treatment of cervical and uterine cancers. Organized by Johnny Kao MD (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine), other invited speakers included Nancy Lee (Memorial Sloan Kettering), Ezra Cohen (University of Chicago), Mack Roach (UCSF), and Jeff Bradley (Washington University). The keynote speaker was Samuel Hellman MD, an internationally recognized radiation oncologist and mentor of UCSD faculty members Arno Mundt, Kevin Murphy, and Loren Mell. Speakers stayed at the acclaimed Alex Hotel in midtown Manhattan (see photo).

Red JournalApril 2008
UCSD Faculty Article Highlighted in the Red Journal
A recent study by new faculty member Loren Mell MD, who will be joining the UCSD faculty in July 2008, was selected as the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Article of the Month in the April 1st issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics (also known as the “Red Journal”), the most prestigious journal in the field of radiation oncology. Entitled an “Association between Bone Marrow Dosimetric Parameters and Acute Hematologic Toxicity in Anal Cancer Patient Treated with Chemotherapy and IMRT”, this study included authors from multiple institutions including the University of Chicago, Mayo Clinic, Emory University and UCSD. The CME Article of the Month program highlights studies, according to the Red Journal Editors, with important information about recent advancements in cancer treatment. Bone marrow-sparing IMRT techniques are a major research focus of Dr. Mell and the subject of his recent ASCO Young Investigator Award (see March 2008 New UCSD Faculty Receives 2008 ASCO Young Investigator Grant).

April 2008Cancer Outreach Event
UCSD Faculty Host Pancreas Cancer Outreach Event
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited speaker at a Rebecca and John Moores Cancer Center Outreach Seminar on Pancreatic Cancer held at the UCSD Cancer Center (see photo) in La Jolla on the evening of April 10th. Dr. Mundt presented an overview of the role and state-of-the-art of radiation therapy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Other speakers included Michael Bouvet MD (pancreatic surgeon), Andrew Lowy MD (pancreatic surgeon) and Tony Reid, MD PhD (medical oncologist and director of the clinical trials office). The seminar was held in the Goldberg Auditorium and was attended by patients, families and others interested in learning about pancreatic cancer, treatment options and novel therapies available at UCSD.

ICMLAApril 2008
Seventh International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications
Dr. Steve Jiang, Associate Professor and Director of Research, together with Dr. Martin Murphy at Virginia Commonwealth University, is organizing a special session on Applications of Machine Learning in Radiotherapy for the Seventh International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA’ 08), which will be held December 11-13, 2008 in San Diego, California. Dr. Jiang is also the Local Arrangements Chair for the conference. Machine Learning has been increasingly used in radiotherapy to help accurately localize the tumors in images, precisely target the radiation to the tumors, analyze treatment outcomes, and improve treatment quality and patient safety, etc.

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March 2008

March 2008Visiting Professorship at the University of Chicago
Visiting Professorship at the University of Chicago
Dr. Steve Jiang, Associate Professor and Director of Research, was a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago on March 27th. He was invited by the Committee on Medical Physics, a graduate medical physics program jointly sponsored by the Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Radiology. He spoke to several faculty members and presented an overview of the state-of-the-art of image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) in the treatment of lung cancer to the students and faculty, in addition to having dinner with the faculty and lunch with students. Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, Dr. Jiang is an expert in the application of advanced technologies in the treatment of lung cancer and serves as the Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), the research arm of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology.

BeachMarch 2008
UCSD Faculty Participate in ASTRO IGRT Practicum
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited faculty lecturer at the 2008 American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) IGRT Practicum held in Newport Beach (see photo) at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa, March 28-30. An annual event, this symposium was attended by over 300 radiation oncologists, medical physicists and dosimetrists from throughout the country and abroad. Together with Charlie Pan, M.D. (University of Michigan) and Peter Munro Ph.D. (Varian Medical Systems), Dr. Mundt supervised the hands-on break-out sessions for Varian users focusing on brain tumors and head & neck cancers (Day 1), thorax and abdominal tumors (Day 2) and pelvic tumors (male and female) (Day 3). Other faculty included James Balter Ph.D. (University of Michigan), John Buatti MD (University of Iowa), Laura Dawson MD (Princess Margaret Hospital) and Lei Dong PhD (MD Anderson Cancer Center).

March 2008Erica Kinsey
Erica Kinsey Joins the Medical Physics Residency Program
We are excited to announce that our second resident has been accepted into the UCSD medical physics residency program. The (soon to be) Dr. Kinsey is completing her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a graduate student researcher at UCSF in the Department of Radiation Oncology under Ping Xia Ph.D. Her thesis work focuses on the use of adaptive intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer. Erica is pictured here with her husband Adam, a Scientific Advisor in the Patents and Innovation Strategy Group at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. They both enjoy the outdoors and look forward to new adventures hiking and biking around San Diego, skiing at Mammoth Mountain, surfing and sailing in their 16’ Hobie Cat. Erica will start with us in July 2008 for the two-year program.

ChinaMarch 2008
UCSD Faculty Lectures in China
Kevin Murphy M.D., Chief of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Pediatric Oncology Programs, was an invited speaker at the International Chinese Federation of Neurological Sciences Annual Meeting held in Dongguan China. He spoke on frameless stereotactic radiosurgery in primary and metastatic adult and pediatric brain tumors. Dr. Murphy has one of the largest experiences in the world using the Varian frameless stereotactic radiosurgical approach. Sponsored by Varian Medical Systems, Dr. Murphy also lectured in Shanghai and Beijing. He was accompanied by David Barba MD, UCSD Neurosurgeon, who spoke on the Neurosurgeon’s perspective using the Varian Trilogy Frameless approach. Dr. Murphy is shown here in front of the Great Wall outside Beijing. Click here for additional photos of his trip.

March 2008Sandhu
New Department Medical Director
Ajay Sandhu M.D. has been named the new Department Medical Director, overseeing the La Jolla clinical facility of the Department. Chief of the Genitourinary, Lung and Head/Neck Cancer Services, Dr. Sandhu is also Principal Investigator of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), a national cooperative group focusing on clinical trials in radiation oncology. As Medical Director, he will oversee the policies and standards of the department, work closely with Director of Clinical Operations on quality assurance and quality improvement programs, and serve as the Department liaison with the Medical Center. Dr. Sandhu succeeds Dr. Kevin Murphy who served as Medical Director from May 2005 to March 2008. We are excited that Dr. Sandhu has accepted this key Department Leadership position.

 

BirminghamMarch 2008
UCSD Faculty Speak at AAPM Southeast Chapter Meeting
Steve Jiang Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Research, was an invited speaker at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Southeast Chapter Symposium entitled Emerging Technologies in Radiation Therapy: Impact on the Community Practice Medical Physicist held in Birmingham, Alabama (see photo). Dr. Jiang spoke on “Image Guided Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer”. Director of the Division of Technologic and Medical Research, Dr. Jiang is an expert in the application of advanced technologies in the treatment of lung cancer and serves as the Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), the research arm of the Department of Radiation Oncology.

March 2008Catheryn Yashar, M.D.
|UCSD Faculty Lecture in India
Catheryn Yashar, MD, Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Services, was an invited speaker at a cancer symposium held at Batra Hospital in New Delhi, India. She spoke on both IMRT for cervical cancer and treatment planning for breast cancer. Sponsored by Varian Medical Systems, her visit was hosted by Radiation Oncologist Dr. Sapna Nangia. Pictured here are Dr. Yashar and her husband, Arnold, an orthopedic surgeon, in front of the Taj Mahal. Click here for additional photos of her visit.

 

ASTRO and AAPM AbstractsMarch 2008
ASTRO and AAPM Abstracts Submitted
Multiple research abstracts were submitted by faculty, researchers and students in the Department of Radiation Oncology to two upcoming national meetings: the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). ASTRO will be held in Boston in September and AAPM in Houston in July. ASTRO and AAPM are major scientific meetings for Radiation Oncologists, Medical Physicists and other researchers. Departmental abstracts focused on a wide variety of disease sites and procedures including prostate cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, stereotactic radiosurgery of the brain and spine, and Align RT for breast cancer. These submissions represent the major commitment the Department has to clinical and translational research.

 

March 2008Genelux Corporation
Dr. Murphy Joins Genelux Corporation
Kevin Murphy MD, Director of Strategy and Business Development and Chief of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Pediatric Oncology Programs, has been recruited to be the Chief Strategy Officer of Genelux Corporation, a La Jolla-based biomedical company and manufacturer of the novel oncolytic virus GL-ONC1. Based on promising pre-clinical studies, Phase I/II clinical trials have been initiated in pancreatic and other solid tumors using GL-ONC1 at prominent institutions in Germany, United Kingdom and United States. Dr. Murphy will remain on faculty at UCSD where he will oversee collaborations between biomedical companies such as Genelux and the new Division of Radiation and Biotechnologies as well as the recruitment of basic science research faculty.

ASCO Young Investigator GrantMarch 2008
New UCSD Faculty Receives 2008 ASCO Young Investigator Grant
Loren Mell MD, who will be joining our faculty in July, has been awarded the 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award. This prestigious grant is awarded to promising young oncology researchers to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. He will be awarded this grant at the 2008 Annual ASCO Meeting to be held in Chicago in early June. Founded in 1964, ASCO is the largest professional organization in the world devoted to oncology with over 25,000 members in the USA and abroad. His grant focuses on image-guided techniques to augment bone marrow sparing in patients with cervical and anal cancer undergoing intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Dr. Mell has been named the Director of Medical Research and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) (see October 2007 Loren Mell MD Joins UCSD Faculty).

March 2008Joshua Lawson MD
Joshua Lawson MD Joins the UCSD Faculty
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Josh Lawson is joining our faculty. A graduate of Emory (BS ’97, MD ’03), Dr. Lawson is currently completing his residency in Radiation Oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Lawson has considerable experience and interest in clinical research, particularly the application of novel radiation technologies including IMRT, IGRT and adaptive radiotherapy in a variety of disease sites. During his residency, he has presented his research at numerous national and international meetings and published in a variety of radiation and oncology journals (see resume). He will serve as Chief of the Gastrointestinal Tumor Service beginning in September 2008. His practice will also include stereotactic radiosurgery (cranial and extra-cranial). He is shown here with his wife Erin and their new twins, Evelyn and Collier. Erin is an Anesthesiologist specializing in pain management who will also be on faculty at UCSD in the Department of Anesthesiology.

Speak at Colorectal Cancer EventMarch 2008
Radiation Oncology Faculty Speak at Colorectal Cancer Event
Arno J. Mundt MD, Department Chair, was an invited speaker at a Colorectal Cancer Public Education Event entitled Focus on Families: Prevention, Screening and Treatment held at the Rebecca and John Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center on Saturday March 15th. Dr. Mundt spoke on the role of Radiation Therapy in colorectal cancer and the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for the treatment of metastastic disease to the liver and lung (see photo). Held in the Goldberg Auditorium, the event was sponsored by a generous grant from Quidel Corporation. Other speakers included John Carethers MD, Division Chief of Gastroenterology (“Screening Strategies”), Giovanna Casola MD, Professor of Radiology (“Virtual Colonography”), Tony Reid MD PhD, Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology (“Clinical Research”), Sonia Ramamoorthy MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery (“HNPCC/Lynch Syndrome”) and Lisa Madlensky PhD, Genetic Counselor, Family and Preventive Medicine (“Genetic Testing”).

March 2008SGO Meeting
UCSD Faculty Speak at Annual SGO Meeting
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Department Chair, was an invited speaker at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) held in Tampa, Florida. Founded in 1968, SGO is a national medical multidisciplinary organization of physicians specializing in the comprehensive management of female reproductive cancers. An internationally recognized expert in the radiotherapeutic treatment of gynecologic tumors, Dr. Mundt was an invited discussant in the Cervical Cancer Plenary Session focusing on the application of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in cervical cancer. Dr. Mundt pioneered the use of IMRT in gynecology and has one of the largest experiences using this technology in these patients in the world.

Xoft Electronic Brachytherapy SystemsMarch 2008
UCSD to Purchase Xoft Electronic Brachytherapy Systems
The Department of Radiation Oncology has announced plans to purchase the Xoft Electronic Brachytherapy system for clinical and research use. Xoft is the manufacturer of a novel, miniaturized x-ray tube technology, an alternative to conventional brachytherapy sources. Unlike conventional approaches, the Xoft technology obviates the need for radioactive sources and room shielding. UCSD plans to use of this technology at its new Encinitas and other planned regional satellite sites. The UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology also plans to team up with Xoft as a research partner to develop novel uses of this exciting technology. See February 2008 Xoft Representatives Present at UCSD for additional details.

March 2008Proton/Particle Working Group
UCSD Proton/Particle Working Group Visits University of Florida Proton Center
The UCSD Proton/Particle Working Group which consists of representatives from the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology, UCSD Medical Center and the University visited the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute (UFPTI) in Jacksonville (see photo of a treatment room). The UCSD Working Group is currently in the process of selecting an equipment vendor for the proposed UCSD Proton/Particle Treatment and Research Center which will be on the La Jolla campus of UCSD. UFPTI is equipped by IBA Inc., other equipment vendors include Varian and Hitachi. Planning is rapidly moving forward for the UCSD Proton/Particle Facility with groundbreaking expected in 2009. See September 2007 Press Release Announces UCSD Proton/Particle Treatment and Research Center for additional details).

 

San Diego Daily TranscriptMarch 2008
San Diego Daily Transcript Highlights Encinitas Facility Groundbreaking
The official groundbreaking of our new Encinitas Radiation Oncology Treatment Facility was highlighted in a recent report in the San Diego Daily Transcript. The Daily Transcript is a “vertical” market newspaper and website dedicated to reporting on the business of San Diego community focusing on events which concern decision-makers, movers and shakers of the San Diego region. The article entitled “UCSD Radiation Oncology Services Come to North County” described the exciting joint venture underway between the Department of Radiation Oncology, UCSD and the Medical Center in Encinitas. The new 7500 foot treatment facility is expected to open later this summer. See February 2008 Groundbreaking Ceremony Held in Encinitas for additional details).

March 2008srs1
UCSD Frameless Radiosurgery Approach for Trigeminal Neuralgia Highlighted
The UCSD Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) program and its Director, Kevin Murphy MD, were highlighted in a recent edition of AuntMinnie.com, the first comprehensive community internet site for radiologists, radiation oncologists and related professionals. Founded in 1999, AuntMinnie.com strives to bring together radiologists, oncologists, business managers, technologists and members of industry to meet, research and collaborate on various current topics. In an article entitled Headgear: Is Radiosurgery the Right Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia? staff contributor Sydney Shuster reviewed all the current SRS technologies used in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Dr. Murphy and his colleagues have pioneered the use of frameless SRS in these patients using the Varian Trilogy machine. Unlike conventional frame-based techniques, their approach uses a bite block with mounted infrared markers which are continuously monitored during treatment to detect patient movement (see photo) obviating the need for a frame attached to the patient’s skull. Promising results using this technique have been achieved. Click here to see the complete article.

Urologic Oncology CourseMarch 2008
UCSD Faculty Host Urologic Oncology Course
Arno J. Mundt MD, Department Chair, was the co-Director (along with Christopher Kane MD and Frederick Millard MD) of the 1st Annual UCSD Post-Graduate Course in Urologic Oncology. Entitled Challenging Cases in Urologic Oncology, the course focused on prostate and renal cancers and was attended by physicians and allied health care professors from throughout Southern California. Invited speakers included Alan Pollack MD PhD, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Peter Carroll MD, Professor and Chair of Urology at the University of California San Francisco, and Tomasz Beer MD, Head of Solid Tumor Oncology at the Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Mundt spoke on the Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) in Prostate Cancer. Dr. Ajay Sandhu, Chief of Genitourinary Oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology, spoke on the role of radiotherapy in early stage seminoma patients.

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February 2008

February 2008GBC7
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held in Encinitas
A formal groundbreaking ceremony for the new Encinitas UCSD Radiation Oncology treatment facility was held on February 26th. Shown in the photo are representatives from the Department of Radiation Oncology, UC San Diego Health System, the University, the San Diego Cancer Center and Weller Construction. Expected date for the first patient treatment is September 2008. Dr. Mary Ann Rose has been recruited to be the Medical Director of this center, the first satellite facility of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology. Other satellite facilities are planned throughout the greater San Diego region to better serve our patients.

miamiFebruary 2008
UCSD Faculty Serves on ACRO Board of Chancellors
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Department Chair, is the newest member of the Board of Chancellors for the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO). ACRO is an important professional society for American radiation oncologists with over 800 members. At the 2008 Annual Meeting held in Miami Florida (see photo) this month, Dr. Mundt moderated a plenary session focusing on head and neck cancer and lung tumors. A comprehensive review of the staging and treatment of laryngeal cancer was provided by Jonathan Beitler MD MBA (Emory University) and an overview of stereotactic body radiosurgery was presented by Brian Kavanagh MD (University of Colorado). A long-time member and supporter of ACRO, Dr. Mundt also serves as co-Director of the ACRO Membership Committee.

February 2008Xoft Representatives
Xoft Representatives Present at UCSD
Randy Holt and Mark Carol of the Xoft Corporation presented in the Department of Radiation Oncology on electronic brachytherapy at the weekly Center for Advanced Radiotherapy (CART) Seminar Series. Xoft is the manufacturer of a novel, miniaturized x-ray tube technology (see photo), an alternative to conventional brachytherapy sources. Unlike conventional approaches, the Xoft technology obviates the need for radioactive sources and room shielding. Recently approved by the FDA in the treatment of breast cancer, electronic brachytherapy is an exciting and novel technology has potential applications in multiple tumor sites.

CARTFebruary 2008
Fox Chase Medical Physicist Presents at CART Seminar
Robert Price Ph.D., Chief Clinical Physicist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in suburban Philadelphia, was an invited speaker at the weekly Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) Seminar Series. His lecture focused on the treatment of prostate cancer at Fox Chase, a center with one of the largest experiences in the world using IMRT and IGRT in prostate patients. Dr. Price reviewed his IMRT experience and described areas of current research at Fox Chase including the use of implanted electromagnetic transponders (Calypso) to track prostate motion during treatment.

February 2008CART
CART Inaugurates IGRT Journal Club
The Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), the research arm of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology, has inaugurated a journal club focusing on image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). Held twice monthly in the Department of Radiation Oncology Conference Center, this journal club will highlight cutting edge research published in leading radiation oncology journals including Medical Physics, Physics in Medicine and Biology and the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics. Attendees include staff physicians, physicists, post-doctoral students and graduate students in the department.

Attendees include staff physicians, physicists, post-doctoral students and graduate students in the department (see photo).

DisneyworldFebruary 2008
UCSD Faculty Participate in Annual ASTRO IMRT Practicum
Dr. Arno J. Mundt, Department Chair, and Dr. Todd Pawlicki, Director of Medical Physics and Clinical Operations, were invited faculty at the 2008 American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) IMRT Practicum held in Orlando, Florida (see photo). An annual event, this symposium was attended by over 300 radiation oncologists, medical physicists and dosimetrists from throughout the country and abroad. Dr. Mundt lectured on the role of IMRT in gynecologic malignancies and supervised a gynecologic IMRT hands-on session. Dr. Pawlicki supervised several treatment planning sessions for physicists and dosimetrists. Other invited faculty included Alan Pollack MD (Fox Chase Cancer Center), Nancy Lee MD (Memorial Sloan Kettering), Avi Eisbruch MD (University of Michigan), and Ping Xia PhD (University of California San Francisco).

February 2008
UCSD Faculty NameDr. Catheryn Yashard Principal Investigator of a National Uterine Cancer Study
Dr. Catheryn Yashar, Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service, has been named principal investigator for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) on a national clinical trial focusing on the treatment of women with early stage endometrial cancer. Conducted jointly with the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), this study will compare two adjuvant approaches in stage I-II patients: whole pelvic irradiation versus chemotherapy plus vaginal brachytherapy. All patients will undergo definitive surgery with pelvic lymph node assessment prior to randomization. This important trial will help define the optimal approach in the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States.

DallasFebruary 2008
UCSD Faculty Present at Dallas IGRT Symposium
Dr. Arno Mundt, Department Chair, was an invited speaker at a Varian Medical Systems IGRT Symposium held in Dallas, Texas (see photo). His presentation focused on the IMRT, IGRT and adaptive radiotherapy. Attendees included radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists from throughout the southwest. Other speakers highlighted the newest Varian technology, Rapid Arc. Rapid Arc is a revolutionary technology whereby a highly conformal IMRT plan is delivered on a Varian linear accelerator in approximately 1-2 minutes. Rapid Arc will be available at select centers including UCSD later this year.

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January 2008

January 2008ioop
An Article of UCSD Research Team is Selected as One of the Best
An article of Dr. Lily Tang, postdoctoral fellow, and Dr. Steve Jiang, Director of Research, has been selected as one of 30 articles that highlight the very best research published in Physics in Medicine and Biology in 2007. According to the journal, "Articles were selected for their presentation of outstanding new research, receipt of the highest praise from our international referees, and the highest number of downloads from the journal Website." Dr. Tang is the first author and Jiang is the senior author of the article that describes research on tumor motion tracking. Another article from this team was selected as one of the best in 2006 by the same journal. Click here to view thelisting and article.

venetianJanuary 2008
UCSD Faculty Present at the Compensator Based IMRT Symposium
Dr. Steve Jiang, Associate Professor and Director of Research, was an invited speaker at the Compensator Based IMRT Symposium sponsored by .Decimal, the leading manufacturer of customized compensators for radiation oncology treatment. Held in the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas on January 25 and 26, 2008, the conference focused on compensator-based IMRT. Dr. Jiang spoke on SBRT/SSRT with compensators.

January 2008hyatt
UCSD Faculty Attend RTOG Meeting
UCSD Radiation Oncology Faculty, Arno J. Mundt MD and Catheryn Yashar MD, attended the semi-annual meeting of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, a national cooperative group devoted to the study of radiation therapy in the treatment of benign and malignant tumors. The Meeting was held at the Manchester Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego (see photo). Drs. Mundt and Yashar are members of the RTOG Gynecologic Cancer Working Group which focuses on clinical trials for women with cervical and other malignancies. Founded in 1968, RTOG is now comprised of over 250 institutions throughout the United States and Canada and currently has over 40 active trials. Since its inception, RTOG has sponsored over 300+ protocols with over 60,000 patients. Interested in participating in a RTOG clinical trial? Check out the list of active protocols, several of which are open at UCSD.

dopplerJanuary 2008
UCSD Hosts Informed Prostate Cancer Support Group Lecture
Dr. Duke Bahn, Medical Director of the Prostate Institute of America in Ventura California was an invited speaker at the January Meeting of the Informed Prostate Cancer Support Group (IPCSG) held at the Rebecca and John Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center and hosted by the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Bahn has one of the largest experiences in the world using color-doppler ultrasound in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer (see photo). Investigators at UCSD are exploring the application of color-doppler ultrasound as a means of targeting prostate cancer undergoing external beam radiation therapy.

January 2008UC Irvine
Dr. Mundt Lectures at UC Irvine
Arno J. Mundt MD, Chair of the UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology, was an invited visiting professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of California, Irvine. He presented a lecture entitled “IMRT and IGRT in Gynecologic Malignancies: Current Status and Future Directions” to the Department and invited guests from the Cancer Center and Gynecologic Oncology. Dr. Mundt reviewed the rationale and current state-of-the-art of these exciting new technologies in the treatment of women with cervical and other gynecologic cancers. Dr. Mundt pioneered the use of IMRT in gynecologic tumors and is a frequent invited speaker on these topics in symposia and seminars throughout the United States and the world. Interested in learning more about IMRT and IGRT in general and their application in gynecology patients? Check out the UCSD Radiation Oncology website.

US Grant HotelJanuary 2008
Second Annual Department Party Held at US Grant Hotel
The 2nd Annual UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology Party was held at the historic US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego on January 19th. Attended by Radiation Oncology Faculty and Staff, and invited guests from throughout the UCSD Cancer Center, other departments including Medicine, Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology and Pediatrics and friends from Industry, the Party was held in the Palm Court Ballroom. Opened in 1910, the US Grant Hotel recently underwent a $52M renovation is on the National Register of Historic Places and received the Conde Nast Award for Top Hot Hotel of the World in 2007.

January 2008Ritz Carlton
New UCSD Faculty Receives American Radium Society Essay Award
Dr. Loren Mell, who will be joining the UCSD faculty in July 2008, will receive the Young Oncologist Essay Award at the 2008 American Radium Society to be held May 3-7 at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California (see photo). Entitled “Factors Associated with Non-Cancer Mortality in Early Breast Cancer: A Competing Risks Analysis”, his research essay will also be presented as an oral presentation at the meeting. Founded in 1916, the American Radium Society is the oldest society devoted to the study and treatment cancer in the world. Members are drawn from all oncology disciplines including radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgical oncology and gynecologic oncology.

Varian 2008 National Sales MeetingJanuary 2008
UCSD Hosts Varian 2008 National Sales Meeting
The Annual North American National Sales Meeting of Varian Medical Systems was held in La Jolla at the Rebecca and John Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center. Founded in 1948, Varian is the largest manufacturer of radiation oncology equipment in the world, with over 3600 employees. Featured speakers at the meeting included Arno J. Mundt MD, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Kevin Murphy MD, Todd Pawlicki PhD, Mickey Goldman and Marcy Kaufman. The Department is a frequent showsite for potential Varian customers who are interested in how the latest Varian technologies are used clinically. Varian also sponsors a number of research projects focusing on advanced radiotherapy technologies, including IMRT and IGRT.

January 2008Alignrt
MGH Researchers Lecture at CART Seminar Series
David Gierga Ph.D. and Marco Riboldi Ph.D., researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital, were invited speakers at the UCSD Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) lecture series. Their lecture focused on 3D Surface Imaging, using the AlignRT device, a sophisticated video-based image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) approach which provides the ability to perform real-time tracking of the 3-dimensional surface of a patient for both treatment setup and real-time monitoring (see photo). AlignRT is manufactured by VisionRT Incorporated and has been recently installed at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. UCSD Researcher Steve Jiang Ph.D., Director of CART, is focuses on the clinical utility of AlignRT in a number of disease sites including breast cancer and pediatric cancers.

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