New at UCSD Radiation Oncology 2011
Nine UCSD Professors Names 2011 AAAS Fellows
Nine professors at UCSD have been named 2011 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the nation’s largest scientific organization. The honorees included Alexandra Newton (Pharmacology), Joseph O’Connor (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Carol Padden (Communication), Dena Plemmons (Anthropology), Jim Posakony (Biology), Michael Sailor (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Lu Jeu Sham (Physics), Lisa Tauxe (Geophysics) and Paul Yu (Electrical and Computer Engineering).
UCSD Faculty Serve as Editors of Gynecologic Cancer Book
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Gynecologic Cancer Service, Loren Mell MD, Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, were guest editors of the latest edition of the book series Radiation Medicine Rounds focusing on Gynecologic Cancer. This edition focused on novel approaches to gynecologic cancer treatment including new chemotherapeutic and surgical approaches. Invited authors include Akila Visnawathan MD (Harvard), Mitch Kamrava MD (UCLA), Pedro Ramirez MD (MD Anderson Cancer Center) and Nina Myr MD (Ohio State University)
UCSD Receives Record Number of Applications for Fall 2012
UC San Diego has received a record 75,968 freshman and transfer applications for Fall 2012 including the second highest number of applicants from California among all the UC campuses. Freshman applications were up 14% with a record 60,785 applications and transfer applications were up 11%. Diversity of applicants is also increased with a 17.2% increase in underrepresented students. Freshman applications from low-income families rose 21.6% and the number of 1st-generation applicants rose to 13.2%. The mean high school grade point average for all applicants is 3.76.
UCSD Health System Achieves Nursing Magnet Status
The UC San Diego Health System has been awarded Magnet Status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC program recognizes health care organization for quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice. Designation as a Magnet Hospital is based on strengths in 5 areas: transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, new knowledge, innovation and improvements and empirical quality results.
UCSD Researcher Participate in ABS and ACR Guideline Panels
Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Gynecologic Cancer Service, participated in two guidelines panels sponsored by the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR panel focused on the role of adjuvant therapy in the management of early stage cervical cancer and the ABS panel focused on consensus guidelines for interstitial brachytherapy for vaginal cancer. Dr. Yashar is an internationally-recognized radiation oncologist in the treatment of gynecologic cancers and also serves as the Chief of the Breast Cancer Service within the Department.
UCSD Faculty Participate in the Oncology Portal Website
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, serves as the Gynecologic Oncology Radiation Therapy expert on the US Oncology-sponsored Oncology Portal. This portal allows clinicians from throughout the US Oncology network to interact with internationally-known experts in Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology, regarding the care of difficult cases and issues. Participants post questions to the experts on the web-based panel and receive answers including practical advice within 24 hours.
UCSD Faculty Participate in ARRO Symposium
Loren Mell MD, Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of the Clinical and Translational Research, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, were invited participants in a resident symposium sponsored by the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) held at the annual American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in Miami Beach Florida. The Resident Symposium consisted of a panel of 8 practicing radiation oncologists (4 academic and 4 private practice) who answered questions from the audience regarding job interviewing. Dr. Mundt also participated in the annual ASTRO/ARRO “Meet the Professor” lunch series.
Genelux Researchers Publish Novel Oncolytic Virus Studies
Genelux Researchers including Aladar Szalay PhD, Nenhai Chen PhD, Tony Yu PhD and Qian Zhang MD PhD, have published three new studies focusing on the genetically-engineered vaccinia oncolytic virus developed by Genelux Inc. in the Journal of Translational Medicine. An additional study focused on magnetic resonance imaging of tumors colonized with ferritin-expressing E Coli bacteria. Genelux is affiliated with the Department of Radiation Oncology and its researchers hold academic appointments within the Department.
Visiting Professorship at the University of Pennsylvania
Department Chair, Arno J. Mundt MD, was a visiting professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania (see photo). He delivered a lecture entitled “Gynecologic IMRT, IGRT and SBRT: Past, Present and Future” highlighting the radiotherapeutic technologic developments in gynecologic cancers over the last decade and future areas of research. A major focus of research in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCSD is on the application of novel technologies in the treatment of cervical and other gynecologic cancers. Dr. Mundt is a frequent invited speaker at prestigious academic institutions throughout the country and at symposia and scientific conferences throughout the world.
UCSD Faculty Participate in E-Contouring ASTRO Seminar
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited lecturer at the E-Contouring Seminar held at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Together with Beth Erickson MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Mundt lectured on target delineation in the female pelvis focusing on cervical and endometrial cancers. The seminar included hands-on workshops allowing participants to contour classes provided by the experts. Shown in the photo are participants contouring an endometrial cancer case during Dr. Mundt’s workshop.
CART Researchers Publish Novel Technology Research Studies
Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) researchers including Xun Jia PhD, Michael Folkerts and Steve Jiang PhD (CART Executive Director) have published three recent novel research studies in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. These studies are part of CART’s focus on the development of high-speed computer-based approaches to on-line adaptive IGRT and focus on low dose CT reconstruction, beam orientation optimization and GPU-based fast Monte Carlo simulation.
UCSD Clinician and Researchers Present at Annual ASTRO Meeting
Multiple UCSD radiation oncology faculty, researchers and students presented abstracts and oral presentations at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) held this year in Miami Beach Florida. Topics included gynecologic cancer, prostate cancer, pediatric cancer and medical physics, among others. ASTRO is the major annual meeting of Radiation Oncologists throughout the world with over 5,000 attendees each year. Next year’s meeting will be held in Boston.
UCSD Faculty Participate in ASTRO Panels in Miami Beach
Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Services, and Loren Mell MD, Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research, were invited panelists at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) held in Miami Beach Florida. Dr. Yashar participated in the Gynecologic Cancer Difficult Case Panel and Dr. Mell was an invited speaker on a panel integrating systemic therapies and radiation therapy in the treatment of gynecologic cancer. Drs. Yashar and Mell are nationally-known experts in the treatment of gynecologic cancers and currently serve as Associate Senior Editors for Gynecology for the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics.
Department Chair Named Red Journal Senior Editor
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, has been named the Senior Editor for Gynecologic Oncology for the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics (also known as the Red Journal). Dr. Mundt is an internationally-recognized expert in the application of novel radiation approaches in the treatment of gynecologic cancers and pioneered the use of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in these patients. He has published over 100 journal articles and is the editor of 4 textbooks including most recently Image Guided Radiation Therapy: A Clinical Perspective.
UCSD Wraps the Coaster
As part of the new One Place marketing campaign, the UCSD Health System has obtained exclusive rights to “wrap” the Coaster Train with an advertisement highlighting the UCSD Hospitals and Clinics. The One Place campaign highlights the fact that UCSD is the one place in the region for excellence in patient care, for advancing medical discoveries and for educating health care professionals of the future. The Coaster travels between Los Angeles and San Diego along the scenic Pacific Ocean coastline.
UCSD Researcher Publishes New Basic Science Study
Professor Aladar Szalay PhD and colleagues from Genelux Corporation have published a novel analysis of MR imaging in tumors colonized with bacterial ferritin-expressioning E coli in study entitled Magnetic resonance imaging of tumors colonized by bacterial ferritin-expressing E coli (Hill et al. PLoS One 2011). Earlier, they demonstrated that human ferritin can be used as a reporter of gene expression for MRI. This study successfully demonstrated that colonization and gene expression by live vectors expressing bacterioferritin can also be monitored by MRI.
UCSD Faculty Lecture on Gynecologic Cancer in Khartoum Sudan
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was the ASTRO representative at the Regional International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)/Africa Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) Training Course on Gynaecological Cancer held in Khartoum, Sudan. The course was attended by participants throughout the African continent and focused on external beam and brachytherapy techniques used in the treatment of cervical cancer and other malignancies. Shown in the photo are attendees during a practicum on intracavitary brachytherapy in cervical cancer.
UCSD Professor Shu Chien Receives National Medal of Science
Shu Chien PhD, Professor of Bioengineering, received the National Medal of Science from President Obama at a recent White House Ceremony. Dr. Chien was recognized for his contributions to the fields of cardiovascular physiology and bioengineering. His work has led to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis and other cardiac diseases.
New Head and Neck Cancer Study Published
Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) Researchers Brent Rose MD (now a Resident at Harvard), Jong Jeong PhD, Sameer Nath MD (now a Resident at Yale), Sharon Lu and Loren Mell MD have published a new head and neck cancer study entitled “Population-based study of competing mortality in head and neck cancer” in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). This study identifies factors predicting for competing mortality in head and neck cancer patients and suggests that risk stratification may help identify patients most likely to benefit from treatment intensification.
Drs. Yashar and Mell Named Associate Editors of the Red Journal
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service, and Loren Mell MD, Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research, have been named Associate Editors for Gynecologic Oncology for 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. With the naming of Anthony Zietman MD (Harvard University) as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Red Journal, new Senior and Associate Editors have been named in all the major disease sites as well as in Biology and Physics.
CART Researchers Publish New CBCT Study
Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) researchers Riujiang Li PhD (now on faculty at Stanford), John Lewis PhD (now on faculty at Harvard), Tyler Watkins, William Song PhD and Steve Jiang PhD have published a new article entitled
“Mitigation of Motion Artifacts in CBCT of Lung Tumors Based on Tracked Tumor Motion during CBCT Acquisition” in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. This study presents a novel algorithm for removing the blurring induced by respiratory motion on CBCT and may provide more accurate information regarding the size and shape of lung tumors on the day of treatment.
New Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus Article Published
Professor Aladar Szalay PhD and fellow Genelux Researchers Qian Zhang PhD, Yong Yu PhD, and Nanhai Chen PhD have published a new article entitled Efficient Colonization and Therapy of Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Using the Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus Strain GLV-1h68. Very promising results were obtained treated human tumors implanted in mice (see photo for untreated [left] and treated [right] tumors) suggesting a possible role for this virus in patients with hepatoma.
CART Researchers Publish New Lung Cancer Study
Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) researchers Riujiang Li PhD (now on faculty at Stanford), John Lewis PhD (now on faculty at Harvard), Xun Jia PhD, Xuejun Gu PhD, Michael Folkerts, Chunhua Men PhD (now at Elekta/CMS), William Song PhD and Steve Jiang PhD have published a new article entitled “3D tumor localization through real-time volumetric x-ray imaging for lung cancer radiotherapy” in the journal Medical Physics. This study evaluates a novel algorithm for tumor localization and demonstrates a high degree of accuracy in lung cancer patients.
UCSD Researcher Publishes New Breast Cancer Study
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Breast Cancer Service, along with other UCSD investigators, has published a new breast cancer study entitled Accelerated partial breast irradiation and posttreatment imaging evaluation in the journal Radiographics. This article reviews the rationale for and the commonly used techniques for accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) as well as the mammographic findings in patients with early stage breast cancer undergoing APBI.
Department Chair Named Top Doctor by US News and World Report Magazine
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was named a Top Doctor by the US News and World Report Magazine. Drawing on data from the Castle Connelly database of Top Physicians in the United States, this is the first year US News and World Report Magazine has published a ranking of top physicians. Over 80 physicians at the University of California San Diego were included on this prestigious rank list and UCSD hospital was ranked #1 San Diego Adult Hospital and among America’s Best Hospitals by US News.
UCSD Researcher Publishes New Head and Neck Cancer Study
William Song PhD, Assistant Professor, along with colleagues from the University of Florida, have published a new head and neck cancer study entitled Severe Dry Eye Syndrome after Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Tumors in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics. In this study, the authors reported an overall risk of 5% for severe dry eye syndrome in patients whose lacrimal gland receives a threshold dose of 34 Gy.
New Residents Join UC San Diego
Daniel Simpson MD (left) and Jeremy Hoisak (right) joined the UC San Diego Department of Radiation Oncology as residents (Dr. Simpson in the Radiation Oncology Residency and Dr. Hoisak in the Medical Physics Residency). The UCSD Medical Physics Residency is under the direction of Todd Pawlicki PhD, Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics, and the Radiation Oncology Residency is under the direction of John Einck MD, Director of the Division of Clinical Radiation Oncology. To learn more about these residencies, check out the Residency Page on the Department website.
Department Chair Named Senior Editor of the Red Journal
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, has been named Senior Editor for Gynecologic Oncology for 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. With the naming of Anthony Zietman MD (Harvard University) as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Red Journal, new Senior editors have been named in all the major disease sites as well as Biology and Physics.
Department Faculty Serve as Board Examiner
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service, served as an Oral Examiner for the American Board of Radiology (ABR) annual examination in Radiation Oncology. Offered each year in Louisville, this exam is taken by new radiation oncology graduates seeking to obtain their Board Certification and encompasses 8 subjects.
UCSD Faculty Lecture in Panama City
Kevin Murphy MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Service, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, were invited speakers at the annual meeting of the Association of Latin-American Therapeutic Radiation Oncologists (ALATRO) held this year in Panama City Panama (see photo). Dr. Murphy lectured on the use of stereotactic radiosurgery in pediatrics and Dr. Mundt spoke on gynecologic cancers and the use of IMRT and IGRT.
UCSD Researcher Lectures at Community Cancer Education Conference
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited speaker at the annual Community Cancer Education Spring Update on Cancer Care held at the Rio All Suit Casino Resort in Las Vegas Nevada. Dr. Mundt spoke on the Present Status and Future Directions of Gynecologic IMRT. Other notable invited speakers included Robert Kuske MD, Mack Roach MD and Robert Timmerman MD.
ACRO ACROSS AMERICA Campaign Launched
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, and President-Elect and Membership Committee Chair of the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO), has recently launched an educational campaign entitled ACRO ACROSS AMERICA to raise awareness of ACRO throughout the Radiation Oncology Community. This campaign includes direct mailings to prospective ACRO members highlighting the upcoming meeting in Sanibel Island in February 2012 and the benefits of ACRO membership. To learn more about ACRO and the benefits of ACRO membership, check out the ACRO website.
ACRO website http://www.acro.org/
UCSD Researchers Develop YouTube Instructional Videos
Loren Mell MD, Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research, and the Principal Investigator of the International Evaluation of Radiotherapy Technology Effectiveness in Cervical Cancer (INTERTECC) Trial, has developed a series of YouTube videos to add participants around the world in contouring normal tissues and targets in their enrolled patients. The videos focus on contouring of normal tissues (rectum, bladder, small bowel and bone marrow), target delineation in intact cervical cancer patients and treatment planning.
Loren Mell MD http://radonc.ucsd.edu/meet-our-team/faculty/Pages/mell.aspx
YouTube Videos http://radonc.ucsd.edu/research/irtoc/Pages/videos.aspx
Xuejun Gu PhD, Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) Post-Doctoral Fellow and fellow CART researchers and faculty, Xun Jia PhD and Steve Jiang PhD have published a new study in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. Entitled “A GPU-based finite-size pencil beam algorithm with 3D-density correction for radiotherapy dose calculation”, this study examines the accuracy and efficiency of a novel GPU-based Finite Size Pencil Beam (FSPB) dose calculation algorithm with a 3D density correction method. Compared to their earlier FSPB algorithm without 3D density correction, this new approach significantly improves dose calculation accuracy with only a slight reduction in computational efficiency, making it more suitable for on-line adaptive RT.
CART Researchers Publish New Lung Cancer Study
Laura Cervino PhD, Assistant Professor and Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) Researcher and Steve Jiang PhD, CART Executive Director have published a new lung cancer study in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. Entitled “MRI-guided tumor tracking in lung cancer radiotherapy”, this study examines the performance of two lung tumor tracking algorithms in cine MRI: a template matching (TM) approach in combination with tracking of the diaphragm and an artifical neural network (ANN) model based on principal components of a region of interest encompassing the tumor motion. Unlike the ANN model which was associated with poor performance, the TM approach led to highly accurate tumor tracking.
UCSD Faculty Participate in ACRO Accreditation Program
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, and Todd Pawlicki PhD, Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics, serve as chart/program reviewers for the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) Accreditation Program. Dr. Mundt is the Team Leader for Gynecologic Oncology and Dr. Pawlicki is a Physics Reviewer. The ACRO Practice Accreditation Program was established to offer Radiation Oncology private and academic practices a means to demonstrate high standards of quality practice to referring physicians, patients, regulatory agencies and payers. This is particularly important given the increased public and governmental concerns over the safety of radiation therapy in recent years. To learn more about ACRO PAP go to www.acro.org/Accreditation/index.cfm
UCSD Researchers Publish New Radiosurgery Study
Dr. Jia Zhu Wang and fellow UCSD Radiation Oncology Researchers Todd Pawlicki PhD, Roger Rice PhD, Arno Mundt MD, Ajay Sandhu MD, Joshua Lawson MD and Kevin Murphy MD published a new stereotactic radiosurgery study entitled “Intensity-modulated radiosurgery with rapidarc for multiple brain metastases: a comparison study” in the journal Medical Dosimetry. This study highlighted the dosimetric benefits of rapidarc-based radiosurgery in a cohort of patients with multiple brain metastases. Treatment time was greatly reduced by rapidarc due to fewer beams, fewer monitor units and fewer couch angles.
UCSD Researchers Publish New Lung Cancer SBRT Study
Sameer Nath MD, Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) Fellow and soon to be Radiation Oncology resident at Yale University, and fellow CART researchers and faculty, Ajay Sandhu MD, Lindsay Jensen, Joshua Lawson MD, William Song PhD and AJ Mundt MD, have published a new lung cancer study in the journal Clinical Lung Cancer. Entitled “Frameless image-guided SBRT for lung tumors with 4-D CT or 4-D PET/CT”, this study presents an analysis of the outcome of 85 primary and metastatic lung cancer patients treated with image-guided frameless SBRT using either 4D CT or 4D PET/CT-based planning. Treatment was found to be safe and effective with a 2-year actuarial local control rate of 87% and no significant acute or chronic toxicities.
UCSD Named a 'Holy Grail' College for Low Cost and High Return
UC San Diego has been ranked by Businessweek as a top college for its exceptional 30-year return on investment (ROI) based on what students spend on their undergraduate education. In the “College’s Holy Grail: Low Cost, High Returns” special report, Bloomberg highlights the top 50 universities, including UCSD, with impressive ROIs. According to Bloomberg’s calculations, UCSD has a nearly 1.2 million 30-year ROI for graduates. UCSD has an excellent ROI because the median pay for a graduate is $78,600, according to PayScale, and students receive larger than average financial aid awards, relative to the total cost of tuition and fees.
UCSD Faculty Tour and Lecture in India
Loren Mell MD, Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research, visited several Hospitals and Cancer Centers in India, including Tata Memorial Hospital (Mumbai) and Kidwai Memorial Hospital (Bangalore). At Kidwai, he presented on a lecture on Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies for Cervical Cancer. In Delhi, he attended the International Gynecologic Cancer Society meeting. Dr. Mell is currently developing an international consumer of radiation oncologists who are interested in testing novel technologies in cervical cancer and other disease sites.
UCSD Again Named Top Surf School by Surfer Magazine
A popular surfing magazine says that UCSD is one of the nation’s top colleges for surfers. Surfer Magazine cites UCSD’s proximity to Black’s Beach, commitment to protecting the world’s oceans and competitive academic offerings. Surfer noted, “UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for ocean and earth science research, education, and public service in the world. And not only does UCSD rank as the No. 7 public university in the country, but it is also located on the cliffs overlooking Black’s. An added perk: UCSD offers a 1-unit course called ‘The Physics of Surfing.’"
UCSD Researchers Publish New Oncolytic Viral Study
Sunil Advani MD, Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Radiobiology and Biotechnologies recently published a new basic science paper in the journal Gene Therapy. Entitled “Increased oncolytic efficacy for high grade gliomas by optimal integration of ionizing radiation into the replicative cycle of HSV-1”, this study evaluates the combination of ionizing radiation and the oncolytic herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV1) in human glioma xenografts. The authors report that radiation delivered 6-9 hours post HSV1 injection resulted in maximum viral replication and tumor regression. These results suggest that delivery of radiation during a specific time within the viral replicative cycle may represent a means of augmenting the therapeutic benefit of the oncolytic viral therapy in human cancers.
UCSD Ranked 11th Worldwide in Research Papers Published by Nature
The UCSD is ranked 11th in the world for the number of research papers published in Nature and its 16 other preeminent research journals, according to the Nature Publishing Group. UCSD was the top ranked university in the UC system. Six UC campuses are ranked in the top 50 and if all ten campuses were aggregated together, the UC system would be ranked number one. Nature journals cover a broad spectrum of basic research in the life sciences, physical and chemical sciences.
UCSD Faculty Publishes Letter in the Journal Lancet Oncology
Loren Mell MD, Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research and Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART), published a recent letter-to-the-editor in the journal Lancet Oncology. Entitled “How does TPF improve survival over PF?,” this letter raises an important question regarding the TAX324 trial in locally advanced head and neck cancer, namely how does TPF improve survival if no difference was seen in local, locoregional or distant failure between the two arms? He uses this study to point out that while event-free survival endpoints (e.g. overall and progression-free survival) are useful for assessing the net benefit of a treatment they do not provide sufficient evidence as to its specific effects. A comparison of disease-specific endpoints is essential for appropriate inferences to be made regarding the effects of docetaxel in this study and its source of a therapeutic benefit.
News Media Group Ranks UCSD Among Best Graduate Schools
Graduate programs at UCSD continue to be highly ranked as noted in America’s Best Graduate Schools, 2012 Edition released today by U.S. News Media Group, publishers of U.S. News & World Report. The Jacobs School of Engineering is ranked 14th out of 198 engineering schools; the biomedical/bioengineering program within the engineering school is ranked 2nd in the nation; computer engineering is 15th; electrical engineering is 17th; and civil engineering is 18th. The university’s School of Medicine is ranked 15th in research-intensive programs among 126 medical schools. The U.S. News Media Group’s annual nationwide ranking of college and university graduate programs recognizes excellence across a broad range of disciplines including business, education, engineering, law and medicine.
UCSD Faculty Publish Novel 4D Computed Tomography Reconstruction Algorithm
Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) Researchers Xun Jia PhD, Bin Dong PhD and Steve Jiang PhD, have published a new medical physics study in the journal Medical Physics. Entitled “Low-dose 4DCT reconstruction via temporal non-local means”, this study presents a novel reconstruction algorithm for 4D computed tomography (4DCT) scans from under-sampled projections acquired at low mAs levels which significantly lowers the imaging dose. Implementing this algorithm using a graphics processing unit (GPU) approach, the computational speed was reduced to 40-90 seconds.
UCSD Athletic Programs May Transition to Division I
A recent study concluded that UCSD intercollegiate athletic programs should be reclassified from Division II to Division I. UCSD would join the Big West Athletic Conference along with Universities including UC Irvine, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara. UCSD is one of the premier NCAA Division II athletics programs in the nation. Recently, the National Collefiate Scouting Association ranked UCSD as the top Division II institution in the country in its annual Collegiate Power Rankings. Consistently, more than 55 percent of the student-athletes earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and above unveriversity average academic standing, placing them on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Medical Physics Study
Graduate Student and Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) Researcher, Chunjoo Park (see photo), and fellow researchers Tyler Watkins and faculty advisor William Song PhD, have published a new medical physics study in the journal Medical Physics entitled “Four-dimensional CBCT and digital tomosynthesis reconstructions using respiratory signals extracted from transcutaneously inserted metal markers for liver SBRT”. In this study, the authors demonstrate that motion tracking of implanted liver fiducial markers and the subsequent 4D reconstruction of CBCT and digital tomosynthesis are possible. This novel approach may prove beneficial in patients with primary and metastatic liver tumors undergoing stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).
UCSD Faculty Publish Two New Basic Science Publications
Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and recently proposed Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, Division of Clinical and Translational Research, has published two recent publications in the journal Cancer Research and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The first is a pre-clinical study of MicroRNA-10b, a MicroRNA upregulated in human gliomas. The second focuses on the transcription factor GATA4, a negative regulator of astrocyte proliferation. Both studies provide strong support for the development of novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of these tumors.
UCSD Researchers Publish New Breast Cancer Study
Sharon Lu, UCSD Medical Student and CART Researcher, and colleagues Dan Scanderbeg PhD, William Yashar and Catheryn Yashar MD have published a breast cancer study in the journal Medical Dosimetry. Entitled “Evaluation of two intracavitary high-dose-rate brachytherapy devices for irradiation addition and irregularly shaped volumes of breast tissue”, this dosimetric study evaluated the ability of two novel breast brachytherapy devices (SAVI and Contura) to treat large and irregularly shaped volumes in breast cancer patients undergo breast conservation therapy, volumes typically reserved for interstitial brachytherapy. Their results demonstrated that both were capable of treating these volumes, albeit the SAVI device was associated with more dosimetric flexibility.
UCSD Researchers Publish New Basic Science Publication
Aladar Szalay PhD, Nanhai Chen PhD, Qian Zhang MD PhD, and Yong (Tony) Yu PhD, Genelux Researchers and Department Faculty in the Division of Radiobiology and Biotechnologies, have published a new article in the Journal of Translational Medicine. Entitled “Insertion of the human sodium idodide symporter to facilitate deep tissue imaging does not alter oncolytic or replication capability of a novel vaccinia virus”, this pre-clinical study investigates the impact of inserting human sodium idodide symporter cDNA into a novel vaccinia-based oncolytic virus as a marker for non-invasive imaging. No adverse impact was noted in terms of viral replication capability or oncolytic potential, suggesting this approach may provide an important non-invasive basis for monitoring tumor response in future human trials.
UCSD Ranked 11th in the Number of Articles Published in the Journal Nature
UC San Diego is ranked 11th in the world in terms of the number of papers published in the journal Nature. Several other UC Campuses were also ranked in the top 50 and thus taken together the University of California System as a whole is ranked #1. Nature and affiliated journals cover a broad spectrum of basic research in the life sciences, physical and chemical sciences. According to Nature, “The journals are a preeminent platform for publication of the very best international research and it is fitting that this portfolio of high quality journals serve as a benchmark for research success and achievement.”
UCSD Ranked #1 Metro San Diego Hospital by US News & World Report
In the first ever Best Hospital Metro Area Ranking, US News and World Report ranked UCSD Hospital the #1 hospital in the greater San Diego area. The number one ranking is no surprise given the large number of top programs in a wide variety of disciplines including Cancer and the fact that UCSD is the only academic medical center in the San Diego region.
UCSD Faculty Speak at NCI Physical Sciences Oncology Symposium
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was an invited guest at the 2nd Annual National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physical Sciences Oncology Centers (PS-OCs) Network Investigator Meeting held in La Jolla CA. The Physical Sciences in Oncology initiative helps establish scientific teams and individual scientists from the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry and engineering to examine cancer approaches that have not been followed in cancer research to date. Dr. Mundt participated on a Mock Tumor Board illustrating how clinical treatment decisions are made and what controversies exist.
UCSD Students Match Highly in Radiation Oncology
This year, two graduating UCSD students “matched” in Radiation Oncology at prestigious Radiation Oncology programs, one at Harvard University (Brent Rose MD) and one at Stanford University (Todd Aguilera MD PhD). Founded in 1952, the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) determines how over 26,000 residency training positions are filled each year in this country. In this year’s match, radiation oncology remained among the most competitive programs alongside dermatology, orthopedic surgery, ENT, plastic surgery and thoracic surgery. Click here to view a YouTube video on the UCSD Match Day. The photo is from that video and shows Brent Rose with his fiancé Olga (who matched in Pediatrics at Harvard).
UCSD Ranked 30th Best University in the World
The University of California San Diego was ranked 30th in the World Reputation Rankings by the London-based Times Higher Education. The rankings measure a university’s reputation for excellence, in both teaching and research, by experienced university academics around the world. The survey was collected from more than 13,000 academics from 131 countries. The average respondent had been working at an institution of higher education for more than 16 years and had published more than 50 research papers.
Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Ready for Patients
The doors of the UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center will welcome patients from across the country and world beginning April 3rd. Six years after receiving a naming gift from the Sulpizio family, the center will open as the region’s first comprehensive, state-of-the-art cardiovascular patient care and research facility. The four-story, 128,000 square foot building includes 4 operating rooms, 4 catheterization suites, 22 day beds, 27 acute care beds and an expanded emergency department.
Clinton Global Initiative Conference to Be Held on Campus
The opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference will be help April 1 on the UCSD campus and will include remarks by former President Bill Clinton and UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, as well as various leaders who have tackled global challenges in their respective fields. Numerous celebrities are also expected to attend including Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman.
UCSD Faculty Edit New Radiation Oncology Textbook
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, is the co-editor of a new radiation oncology technology textbook entitled Image-Guided Radiation Therapy: A Clinical Perspective. Co-edited with John Roeske PhD, Director of Medical Physics at Loyola University, this text brings together contributions from over 275 radiation oncologists and physicists from 18 countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States). Overall 18 UCSD faculty contributed to the project.
UCSD Ranked in Top 15 Research-Intensive Medical Schools
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine was ranked 15th in the Research-Intensive Medical School category in the Best Graduate Schools Edition of the U.S. News and World Report. This annual list is compiled based on expert opinions about program excellence as well as statistical indicators which measure quality of the faculty, research and students. Other top-ranked UCSD schools and programs were the Jacobs School of Engineering, Biological Sciences, Mathematics, Biochemistry, Neurosciences and Chemistry.
UCSD Faculty Elected ACRO President-Elect
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was elected President-elect of the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) at the 21st Annual Meeting of the ACRO held at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. A long-term supporter of ACRO, Dr. Mundt currently serves as Director of the Membership Committee as well as on the Board of Chancellors. The 2012 Meeting will be held February 23-25 at the Sanibel Harbor Marriot in Fort Myers, Florida.
UCSD Acquires the San Diego Cancer Center
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) has announced its acquisition of the San Diego Cancer Center including its practices in Encinitas and Vista. San Diego Cancer Center faculty will be appointed UCSD faculty and the cancer center programs will be combined, offering UCSD patients added choice for Cancer Services in the North County Region. The Department of Radiation Oncology has operated a North County treatment facility within the Encinitas San Diego Cancer Center building (see photo) since 2008 offering North County patients state-of-the-art treatment including stereotactic radiosurgery, IMRT and image-guided radiation therapy.
UCSD Researchers Publish New Prostate Cancer Study
Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and recently proposed Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, has published a new prostate cancer study in the journal Medical Oncology. Entitled “Durable remission of leptomeningeal metastases from hormone-response prostate cancer”, this is a case report and review of the literature is focused on a prostate cancer patient with leptomeningeal metastases who had an excellent and durable response to hormonal therapy suggesting that leptomeningeal metastases may be effectively treated with hormonal therapy in select patients.
UCSD Researchers Publish New Lung SBRT Study
Sameer Nath MD, Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) researcher and future Yale University Radiation Oncology Resident (see photo), and co-authors Ajay Sandhu MD, Polly Nobiensky RN, Joshua Lawson MD, William Song PhD and Arno J. Mundt MD, have published a new Lung SBRT paper in the journal Radiotherapy Oncology. Entitled “Locoregional and distant failure following image-guided stereotactic body radiation for early stage primary lung cancer”, this paper reviews our department’s clinical experience using image-guided stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for early stage lung cancer. Of the 48 patients treated, local failure was noted in only 2 resulting in a 2-year actuarial local control rate of 95%. Treatment was well tolerated with only 1 grade 3 toxicity observed.
UCSD Faculty Participate at Annual ACRO Meeting
Catheryn Yashar MD, Director of the Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Programs, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, were invited faculty at the 21st Annual Meeting of the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) held at the Hotel del Coronado (see photo) in San Diego. Dr. Yashar spoke at the Women in Radiation Oncology Forum as well as moderated the Plenary Scientific Session. Dr. Mundt spoke at a Rad Technology-Sponsored Breakfast on the development of new cancer centers, a Varian-Sponsored Lunch on TrueBeam Technologies, hosted a job interview workshop as well as was a guest at a Meet the Professor Luncheon.
UCSD Researchers Publish New SBRT Study
Hubert Pan MS, Second Year Medical Student at UCSD (see photo), and co-authors Daniel Simpson MD, Loren Mell MD, Arno J. Mundt MD and Joshua Lawson MD, have published a new SBRT paper in the journal Cancer. Entitled “A survey of stereotactic body radiotherapy use in the United States” this article summarizes the results of a national survey evaluating the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). A total of 1600 practicing radiation oncologists were surveyed and 63.9% of respondents reported using SBRT of whom nearly half had adopted it in 2008 or later. Most common disease sites treated were lung (89%), spine (68%) and liver (54%). Of note, 3/4s of current users planned to increase their use and the majority of non-users planned to adopt it in the future.
UCSD Faculty Visit Varian Headquarters
Department Leadership including Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Chair, Casey Sandack MBA, Administrative Vice-Chair, Todd Pawlicki PhD, Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics, Steve Jiang PhD, Professor and Director of the Division of Technology Research, and Joshua Lawson MD, Assistant Professor and Chief of the CNS and Radiosurgery Services visited Varian Medical Systems Headquarters in Palo Alto California. This annual visit consists of an all-day meeting between UCSD leadership and Varian executives exploring clinical and research initiatives.
UCSD Learning Center Launches SBRT On-Line Course
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) Department of Radiation Oncology has recently launched an on-line tutorial for radiation oncologists, medical physics and other support staff focused on stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). This course is the first of several planned on-line courses to be offered through the UCSD Learning Center which is sponsored by the Department of Radiation Oncology. Under the direction of Co-Directors Joshua Lawson MD and Carol Shostak CMD, the UCSD Learning Center will be offering on-line classes in a number of subjects in the near future including stereotactic radiosurgery, IGRT and IMRT. To learn more about the UCSD Learning Center and its on-line classes check out the UCSD Radiation Oncology Website http://radonc.ucsd.edu/
CART Faculty Publish New Brain Tumor Study
Dan Scanderbeg PhD, Assistant Professor and Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) researcher, and co-authors Joshua Lawson MD and Kevin Murphy MD, have published a new brain tumor study in the journal Medical Dosimetry. Entitled “Novel use of the contura for high dose rate cranial brachytherapy”, this study is a case study and discussion of the use of the contura brachytherapy device in patients with brain tumors. Originally developed for breast brachytherapy, this is the first reported use of the contura device in the treatment of an intracranial tumor. Unlike the Gliasite system which was commonly used at UCSD, the contura system allows dose to be better conformed to the shape of the target, potentially improving tumor control and patient outcomes.
Faculty Receives Prestigious KL2 Award
Loren Mell MD, Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research received a KL2 Award from the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI). Dr. Mell’s research proposal focuses on the development of an international consortium for the study of novel technologies in the treatment of cervical cancer and other diseases known as International Radiotherapy Technology and Oncology Consortium (IRTOC). IRTOC currently consists of over 20 institutions worldwide and plans are underway to launch a phase II/III trial evaluating the impact of IMRT in patients with cervical cancer.
IRTOC = http://radonc.ucsd.edu/research/Pages/clinical-and-translational-research.aspx
Phase II/III trial = http://radonc.ucsd.edu/research/irtoc/Pages/trials.aspx
UCSD Faculty to Serve as Guest Editors for Radiation Medicine Rounds
Arno J Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, Catheryn Yashar MD, Chief of the Gynecologic Oncology Service, and Loren Mell MD, Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research will be guest editors on an upcoming issue of Radiation Medicine Rounds. This special issue will be a special issue on gynecologic oncology and will focus on novel technologies and treatment controversies.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Brain Tumor Study
Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and recently proposed Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, and Joshua Lawson MD, Assistant Professor and Chief of the CNS/Stereotactic Radiosurgery Service, have published a new brain tumor study in the Journal of Neuroncology. Entitled “Longitudinal MRI evidence for descreased survival among periventricular glioblastoma,” this clinical study examined the prognostic significance of subventricular zone (SVZ) proximity in patients with glioblastoma multiforme tumors undergoing serial MRI imaging prior to and following therapy. SVZ proximity was found to be an independent predictor of poor patient outcomes in these patients. These results may help explain observed outcome differences in these highly malignant tumors and potentially may help guide their therapy.
CART Researchers Publish New Prostate Cancer Study
Sameer Nath MD, Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) researcher, and fellow co-authors Ajay Sandhu MD, Lindsay Jensen, Steve Jiang PhD, Roger Rice PhD, Todd Pawlicki PhD, and AJ Mundt MD have published a new prostate cancer study in the journal Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment. Entitled “Target localization and toxicity in dose-escalated prostate radiotherapy with image-guided approach using daily planar kilovoltage imaging”, this study evaluates the outcomes of 100 consecutive prostate cancers cancer patients treated in our department using daily on-line kilovoltage planar image-guided radiotherapy. Daily on-line image-guidance is extremely popular particularly in prostate cancer; however, limited data has been published in patients treated using this technique. A former CART NIH fellow and UCSD medical student, Dr. Nath will be beginning his radiation oncology residency at Yale University in July 2011.
UCSD Faculty Serves on National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, participated in the recent meeting of the Radiation Therapeutics and Biology (RTB) Study Section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland outside of Washington DC. The RTB Study Section reviews grant applications focused on a variety of subjects ranging from pre-clinical studies of DNA damage and repair to clinical and animal studies.
Proton Treatment Center and Cancer Center Expansion Projects Combined
Two major expansion projects currently underway at UCSD (the Proton Therapy Treatment and Research Center and the Moores Cancer Center expansion) have been combined into a single larger project to be known as the Proton Therapy Biomedical Research Institute (PTBRI). As envisioned, the PTBRI (see schematic drawing) will be comprised of nearly 180,000 sq feet of space devoted to Proton Treatment and Research, Cancer Center laboratory expansion, and Biotech Drug Development. The UCSD Department of Radiation Oncology has long been committed to bringing Proton Therapy to San Diego. Financing of the project is nearly complete.
UCSD Researchers Publish New Oncolytic Viral Study
Aladar Szalay PhD and Yong (Tony) Yu PhD, Genelux Researchers and Department Faculty in the Division of Radiobiology and Biotechnologies, have published a new laboratory study journal BMC Cancer. Entitled “Viral-mediated oncolysis is the most critical factor in the late-phase of the tumor regression process upon vaccinia virus infection”, this pre-clinical study investigates potential mechanisms of tumor regression following oncolytic viral therapy in breast cancer xenografts. It was found that the primary mechanism of tumor regression in these cells was viral-mediated oncolysis not vascular endothelial damage or anti-tumor immune response. These results will help guide strategies to further optimize viral oncolytic therapies in the treatment of cancer in humans.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Breast Cancer Study
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Services, has published a new breast cancer study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics. Entitled “ACR appropriateness criteria on advanced cervical cancer expert panel on radiation oncology-gynecology”, this study summarizes the results of the American College of Radiology (ACR) gynecologic cancer expert panel on the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer. Founded in 1990, the ACR Appropriateness Project brings together experts in radiation oncology and radiology to publish appropriateness criteria to be used by referring and treating physicians. Dr. Yashar is a nationally-known expert in gynecologic radiation oncology and is a frequent invited speaker at many national and international symposia and seminars.
Department Holds Residency Interviews
The Department of Radiation Oncology held two separate days of interviews for candidates applying to be radiation oncology residents beginning in July 2012. The Department recently received accreditation for a 4 year Radiation Oncology program and candidates will be determined through an electronic matching program in mid-March. Each day included a full day of interviews, tours and presentations, and concluded with a reception at the downtown home of Arno J. Mundt MD, the department chair. Radiation Oncology is currently one of the most competitive of all medical specialties and UCSD received a large quantity of excellent applications.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Cervical Cancer Study
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Services, and fellow department colleagues Sameer Nath MD and Daniel Scanderbeg PhD have published a new study in the journal Radiotherapy Oncology. Entitled “Evaluation of intra- and inter-fraction movement of the cervix during intensity modulated radiation therapy”, this study evaluates the degree of intra- and inter-fraction cervical motions in patients undergoing IMRT at UCSD. Planar images taken before, after and between treatments illustrating changes in the position of seeds implanted into the cervix of an individual patient are shown below. This analysis has important implications on the use of highly conformal fields and on the eventual clinical application of adaptive radiotherapy.
Faculty Appointed Co-Chair of Cancer Center Director Search Committee
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, has been appointed Co-Chair of the Search Committee for the new UCSD Moores Cancer Center Director. The Committee will be co-chaired by Webster Cavenee PhD, a noted basic scientist in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Dennis Carson MD, current Cancer Center Director, has recently announced his plans to step down as Director prompting the establishment of this committee. The Search Committee will be comprised of clinicians, basic scientists and administrators from throughout the Health Sciences and the University.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Brain Tumor Pre-Clinical Study
Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and recently proposed Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, has published a new study in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology. Entitled “Lonafarnib (SCH66336) improves the activity of temozolomide and radiation for orthotopic malignant gliomas”, this pre-clinical study evaluates the ability of the oral farnesyl transferase inhibiter, Lonafarnib, to inhibit tumor cell proliferation in a murine glioblastoma model. While lonafarnib alone had only modest acitivity, the combination of radiation, temozolomide and lonarnib exhibited higher rates of tumor cell proliferation than the combination (which is current standard of care) of radiation and temozolomide alone. This study supports the development of a clinical trial evaluating the addition of lonafarnib to standard radiation and temozolomide therapy in patients with these highly malignant tumors.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Laboratory Study
Aladar Szalay PhD, Professor in the Division of Radiobiology and Biotechnologies and founder of the La Jolla-based Biotechnology company Genelux, has published a new study in the International Journal of Oncology. Entitled “Vaccinia virus GLV-1h37 carrying a Walker A motif mutation of mouse Cdc6 protein enhances human breast tumor therapy in mourse xenografts, “ this study evaluates the anti-tumor activity of a genetically-engineered oncolytic vaccinia virus, GLV-1h68, containing a gene for a mutant of the cell cycle protein Cdc6 against human breast cancer cell lines. This virus demonstrated higher anti-tumor activity than virus without the mutant gene. These results illustrate the potential value of combining oncolytic viral therapy with agents interfering with host cell DNA synthesis.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Brain Tumor Study
Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and recently proposed Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, has a new publication in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology. Entitled “Characterization of a human tumorsphere glioma orthotopic model using magnetic resonance imaging”, this study evaluates the MRI characteristics of a novel human tumor stem cell-derived glioma model in mice. Unlike conventional glioma models, this new xenograft model demonstrates many of the characteristics seen in human brain tumors including invasion of surrounding normal brain. These results support its use in the assessment of novel brain tumor treatments as well as the development of novel MR imaging.
Todd Pawlicki PhD is Promoted to Full Professor
Todd Pawlicki PhD, Division Director of Clinical Medical Physics, has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Recruited from Stanford in 2006 as the founding Director of the Division of Clinical Medical Physics, Dr. Pawlicki is an internationally-recognized medical physicist with over 50 peer-reviewed publications, reviews and book chapters. His research focus is on quality assurance and serves on multiple national committees including the AAPM Work Group on Error Prevention, the ASTRO Evaluation Subcommittee on Emerging Technologies and is the Co-Chair of the ASTRO Quality Assurance Sub-Committee, among many others. Of note, he is the lead editor of the first and only international comprehensive quality assurance textbook in medical physics entitled Quality and Safety in Radiotherapy, with over 100 contributors throughout the USA, Canada, Asia and Europe.
CART Researchers Publish New GPU Study
Xuejun Gu PhD, Center for Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies (CART) post-doctoral fellow, and her fellow CART colleagues Xun Jia PhD and Steve Jiang PhD, on their recent publication in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. Entitled “GPU-based fast gamma index calculation”, this study examines the utility of a novel computer graphics processing unit (GPU) approach to reducing the time required for the so-called γ-index dose comparison tool, a computationally intensive tool for comparing 3D dose distributions. Using the GPU approach, all test cases were performed in a few seconds. This study is another important step to developing fast computational tools which can be used in patients undergoing on-line adaptive radiotherapy.
UCSD Faculty Publish Basic Science Article in PNAS
Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and recently proposed Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, has published a new paprt in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS). Entitled “Transdifferentiation of gliobloastoma cells into vascular endothelial cells”, this pre-clinical study explored potential mechanisms of anti-VEGF therapy resistance in the highly malignant brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This paper was a feature article in the PNAS editors’ series highlighting articles of exceptional significance.
UCSD Faculty Lectures at Gynecologic Oncology Group Meeting
Loren Mell MD, Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research, was an invited speaker at the recent San Diego Meeting of the Gynecologic Oncology Group. He spoke at the Radiation Oncology Committee Session on issues regarding tumor motion and image guidance in the treatment of intact cervical cancer patients. A focus of Dr. Mell’s research is on the use of advanced treatment modalities in women with cervical cancer, notably image-guided and intensity modulated radiation therapy. He is the founder of an international cooperative group devoted on developing and testing novel radiation technologies in gynecology patients.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Breast Cancer Editorial
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Services, has published a new breast cancer article in the journal Future Oncology. Entitled “Strut-adjusted volume implant: a targeted radiation treatment in breast cancer”, this article focused on the novel brachytherapy device known as SAVI in the treatment of early stage breast cancer patients. SAVI offers women a form of accelerated partial breast irradiation, reducing a course of adjuvant breast irradiation from 6 weeks to only 1 week. Dr. Yashar has one of the largest experiences in the world using this novel radiation approach and UCSD was the second center in the country offering SAVI treatment
UCSD Faculty Publish New Brain Tumor Study
Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and recently proposed Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, has published a new brain tumor study in the journal Genes and Cancer. Entitled “Inhibition of notch signaling blocks growth of glioblastoma cell lines and tumor neurospheres”, this study is a basic science analysis evaluating the potential role of Notch Signaling in the pathogenesis of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors. Notch signaling is an evolutionarily preserved pathway involved in multiple important cellular processes including differentiation, proliferation, and angiogenesis, in many tissues including the brain. Notch signaling was found to contribute to GBM growth, suggesting that this pathway may represent an important therapeutic target in patients with GBM.
UCSD Faculty Host 1st Annual Collaborative Brain Tumor Care Conference
Joshua Lawson MD, Assistant Professor and Chief of the Brain Tumor and Stereotactic Radiosurgery Service (see photo), spoke on Novel Radiotherapy Approaches at the 1st Annual Collaborative Brain Tumor Care Conference held at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center on January 15th 2011. The conference was a community event focusing on advances in neuro-oncology and included a variety of lectures focusing on adult brain tumors including novel surgical and chemotherapeutic treatment approaches. The Conference was hosted by Santosh Kesari MD PhD, Director of the UCSD Neuro-Oncology Program and an Associate Professor in the Radiation Oncology Department.
Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the Moores Cancer Center
Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, was the plenary speaker at the 5th Anniversary Celebration of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. This community event highlighted the contributions of the Moores Cancer Center over its past 5 years and was attended by the public including a number of local elected officials. Dr. Mundt spoke on the past, present and future of the Moores Cancer Center highlighting its origins and many of its major contributions in the treatment of cancer. The Moores Cancer Center is the sole NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Diego and offers the San Diego community access to hundreds of clinical trials in all types of cancers as well as educational and outreach events.
UCSD Faculty Publish New Cervical Cancer Study
Loren Mell MD, Director of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research, and fellow CART researchers Catheryn Yashar MD, Daniel Vo, Steve Jiang PhD and AJ Mundt MD, have published a new study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics. Entitled “Daily online cone beam computed tomography to assess interfractional motion in patients with intact cervical cancer”, this is the first analysis using daily on-line kilovoltage cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging to assess interfractional motion in women with intact cervical cancer undergoing radiation therapy. Considerable internal organ motion was noted resulting in a high risk of missing the clinical target volume (CTV) during treatment; however, the volume of CTV missed on any treatment day was small. This study supports the use of daily on-line CBCT imaging in patients undergoing intensity modulated radiotherapy and other highly conformal approaches
UCSD Faculty Lecture at Annual RTOG Meeting
Catheryn Yashar MD, Associate Professor and Chief of the Gynecologic and Breast Cancer Services, and Arno J. Mundt MD, Professor and Department Chair, were invited speakers at the annual Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) Meeting held in San Diego. Dr. Yashar spoke at the Gynecologic Oncologic Committee session providing a critique of the PORTEC-2 Trial and Dr. Mundt spoke in the education session on motion management in cervical cancer. The RTOG is the primary national cooperative group focused on the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer.
UCSD Researchers Publish New Proton Therapy Study
William Song PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Clinical Medical Physics, and fellow UCSD researchers Yun Liang PhD, Tyler Watkins, AJ Mundt MD and Loren Mell MD, have published a new proton therapy study in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics. Entitled “Dosimetric comparison study between intensity modulated radiation therapy and 3D conformal proton therapy for pelvic bone marrow sparing in the treatment of cervical cancer”, this study is a comparison of two different planning approaches in patients with cervical cancer, namely intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and 3D conformal proton therapy, with a focus on pelvic bone marrow sparing. Normal tissue sparing and target uniformity were found to be superior using proton therapy planning. Moreover, significant reductions were seen in the volume of pelvic bone marrow irradiated at the 10 Gy and 20 Gy levels, suggesting that proton therapy may be superior to IMRT in terms of hematologic toxicity.
Radiation Oncology Expansion Building Featured in HealthCare Design Magazine
The UCSD Radiation Oncology/PET-CT Center building was highlighted in the annual Architectural Showcase section in the latest issue of HealthCare Design Magazine. Each year HealthCare Design showcases over 100 healthcare projects around the country in a variety of categories including ambulatory care centers, community hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers and medical office buildings. The UCSD facility was highlighted in the Cancer Center category. Other cancer centers recognised included the University of Wisconsin Radiotherapy Treatment Center and the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute.
UCSD Faculty Serve as Red Journal Guest Editors
Multiple UCSD Radiation Oncology faculty members were recently acknowledged as 2010 Red Journal Guest Reviewers in the December issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics. These faculty members included: Loren Mell MD, Catheryn Yashar MD. AJ Mundt MD, Todd Pawlicki PhD, Sunil Advani MD, Laura Cervino PhD, Steve Jiang PhD, and William Song PhD. Each year the Red Journal senior editors select recognized experts in radiation oncology and medical physics to review submitted manuscripts. Guest reviewers voluntarily provide their time and help ensure the publication of highest quality articles and reviews
UCSD is much more than a prestigious academic/research University. It has received numerous other awards.
University of California, San Diego Medical School
The entire UC system is the host to 5 medical schools (Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco). A 6th medical school (Riverside) is currently under development.
The UC Medical system is one of the largest in California with over 138,000 inpatient discharges, 261,000 ER visits and and 3.6M outpatients visits per year.
UCSD School of Medicine Founded in 1968. Its present Dean is David Brenner, who joined UCSD in 2007.
David Brenner MD
UCSD is one of the top research medical schools in the United States, and is one of the largest recipients of NIH funding.
UCSD Medical Center
Rebecca and John Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center
UCSD Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA
Opened May 2005, the Moores Cancer Center is a 270,000 sq foot facility and one of only 41 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/
in the country.
The current Cancer Center Director is Scott Lippman MD, formerly of MD Anderson Cancer center.
Cancer Center, Entrance
First floor, Near Medical Oncology Clinics
Aerial View, Central Bamboo Garden
Interior Food Court, Upper Level
Goldberg Auditorium, 2nd Floor
Basic Science Labs
Entrance, Early Evening