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Martina Descovich, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address1600 Divisadero
San Francisco CA 94115
Phone415-353-9844
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-6415-3415 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of Padua, ItalyBS/MS1999Physics
    University of Liverpoool, UKPh.D.2003Nuclear Physics
    Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.Postdoctoral Studies2005Nuclear Science
    University of California, San FranciscoPhysics Residency2007Radiation Oncology
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.2004Outstanding Performance Award
    American Brachytherapy Society2006Travel Grant Award
    UCSF Radiation Oncology2019Jean Pouliot’s Teaching Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Descovich specializes in the physics of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). SRS and SBRT are advanced modalities of radiation therapy, enabling high targeting accuracy. The CyberKnife system is a medical device entirely dedicated to SRS and SBRT treatments. It combines a sophisticated tracking system with a robotically mounted linear accelerator capable of delivering radiation from hundreds of different directions while synchronizing with respiratory induced target motion. Radiosurgery treatments are complex and require a team of specialized experts. Dr. Descovich has been the lead physicist responsible for the CyberKnife program since the installation of the CyberKnife VSI at Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2010.

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Faculty Mentoring

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. DoseGAN: a generative adversarial network for synthetic dose prediction using attention-gated discrimination and generation. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 06; 10(1):11073. Kearney V, Chan JW, Wang T, Perry A, Descovich M, Morin O, Yom SS, Solberg TD. PMID: 32632116.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    2. DoseNet: a volumetric dose prediction algorithm using 3D fully-convolutional neural networks. Phys Med Biol. 2018 12 04; 63(23):235022. Kearney V, Chan JW, Haaf S, Descovich M, Solberg TD. PMID: 30511663.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. A continuous arc delivery optimization algorithm for CyberKnife m6. Med Phys. 2018 Jun 01. Kearney V, Descovich M, Sudhyadhom A, Cheung JP, McGuinness C, Solberg TD. PMID: 29855038.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    
    4. Influence of respiratory motion management technique on radiation pneumonitis risk with robotic stereotactic body radiation therapy. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2018 Jul; 19(4):48-57. Chapman CH, McGuinness C, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS, Garsa AA, Anwar M, Braunstein SE, Sudhyadhom A, Keall P, Descovich M. PMID: 29700954.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Respiration-Induced Intraorgan Deformation of the Liver: Implications for Treatment Planning in Patients Treated With Fiducial Tracking. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Dec; 16(6):776-782. Paulsson AK, Yom SS, Anwar M, Pinnaduwage D, Sudhyadhom A, Gottschalk AR, Chang AJ, Descovich M. PMID: 28071340.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    6. Interfraction Anatomical Variability Can Lead to Significantly Increased Rectal Dose for Patients Undergoing Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2017 04; 16(2):178-187. Wahl M, Descovich M, Shugard E, Pinnaduwage D, Sudhyadhom A, Chang A, Roach M, Gottschalk A, Chen J. PMID: 27199276.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. An Evaluation of Robotic and Conventional IMRT for Prostate Cancer: Potential for Dose Escalation. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2017 06; 16(3):267-275. Pinnaduwage DS, Descovich M, Lometti MW, Varad B, Roach M, Gottschalk AR. PMID: 27037301.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Investigating the clinical advantages of a robotic linac equipped with a multileaf collimator in the treatment of brain and prostate cancer patients. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2015 09 08; 16(5):284–295. McGuinness CM, Gottschalk AR, Lessard E, Nakamura JL, Pinnaduwage D, Pouliot J, Sims C, Descovich M. PMID: 26699309.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Dosimetric Comparison Between 3-Dimensional Conformal and Robotic SBRT Treatment Plans for Accelerated Partial Breast Radiotherapy. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2016 06; 15(3):437-45. Goggin LM, Descovich M, McGuinness C, Shiao S, Pouliot J, Park C. PMID: 26335703.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Dose-volume analysis and the temporal nature of toxicity with stereotactic body radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2015 Sep-Oct; 5(5):e465-e472. Seymour ZA, Chang AJ, Zhang L, Kirby N, Descovich M, Roach M, Hsu IC, Gottschalk AR. PMID: 25795252.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. Comparison between target margins derived from 4DCT scans and real-time tumor motion tracking: insights from lung tumor patients treated with robotic radiosurgery. Med Phys. 2015 Mar; 42(3):1280-7. Descovich M, McGuinness C, Kannarunimit D, Chen J, Pinnaduwage D, Pouliot J, Kased N, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS. PMID: 25735283.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. Analysis of dose distribution and risk of pneumonitis in stereotactic body radiation therapy for centrally located lung tumors: a comparison of robotic radiosurgery, helical tomotherapy and volumetric modulated arc therapy. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Feb; 14(1):49-60. Kannarunimit D, Descovich M, Garcia A, Chen J, Weinberg V, Mcguinness C, Pinnaduwage D, Murnane J, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS. PMID: 24325136.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Evaluation of ray tracing and Monte Carlo algorithms in dose calculation and clinical outcomes for robotic stereotactic body radiotherapy of lung cancers. J Radiosurg SBRT. 2014; 3(1):67-79. Braunstein SE, Dionisio SA, Lometti MW, Pinnaduwage DS, Chuang CF, Yom SS, Gottschalk AR, Descovich M. PMID: 29296387.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    14. Improving plan quality and consistency by standardization of dose constraints in prostate cancer patients treated with CyberKnife. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2013 Sep 06; 14(5):162-72. Descovich M, Carrara M, Morlino S, Pinnaduwage DS, Saltiel D, Pouliot J, Nash MB, Pignoli E, Valdagni R, Roach M, Gottschalk AR. PMID: 24036869.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Comparison between prone and supine patient setup for spine stereotactic body radiosurgery. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Jun; 11(3):229-36. Descovich M, Ma L, Chuang CF, Larson DA, Barani IJ. PMID: 22468994.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. SU-E-T-446: Effect of Dose Calculation Grid Size Variability on the Specification of Spinal Cord Dose Tolerance for Spinal Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. Med Phys. 2012 Jun; 39(6Part17):3807. Gros S, Descovich M, Barani I, Ma L. PMID: 28517484.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    
    17. Temporal compartmental dosing effects for robotic prostate stereotactic body radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2011 Dec 21; 56(24):7767-75. Shiao SL, Sahgal A, Hu W, Jabbari S, Chuang C, Descovich M, Hsu IC, Gottschalk AR, Roach M, Ma L. PMID: 22107791.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. A two-step optimization method for improving multiple brain lesion treatments with robotic radiosurgery. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Aug; 10(4):331-8. Ma L, Sahgal A, Hwang A, Hu W, Descovich M, Chuang C, Barani I, Sneed PK, McDermott M, Larson DA. PMID: 21728390.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Apparatus dependence of normal brain tissue dose in stereotactic radiosurgery for multiple brain metastases. J Neurosurg. 2011 Jun; 114(6):1580-4. Ma L, Petti P, Wang B, Descovich M, Chuang C, Barani IJ, Kunwar S, Shrieve DC, Sahgal A, Larson DA. PMID: 21375377.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 18     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Stereotactic body radiotherapy as monotherapy or post-external beam radiotherapy boost for prostate cancer: technique, early toxicity, and PSA response. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jan 01; 82(1):228-34. Jabbari S, Weinberg VK, Kaprealian T, Hsu IC, Ma L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Shiao S, Shinohara K, Roach M, Gottschalk AR. PMID: 21183287.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 35     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. A dosimetric comparison between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife treatment plans for trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2010 Dec; 113 Suppl:199-206. Descovich M, Sneed PK, Barbaro NM, McDermott MW, Chuang CF, Barani IJ, Nakamura JL, Lijun M. PMID: 21222296.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Equivalence in dose fall-off for isocentric and nonisocentric intracranial treatment modalities and its impact on dose fractionation schemes. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Mar 01; 76(3):943-8. Ma L, Sahgal A, Descovich M, Cho YB, Chuang C, Huang K, Laperriere NJ, Shrieve DC, Larson DA. PMID: 20159366.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    23. Dose gradient near target-normal structure interface for nonisocentric CyberKnife and isocentric intensity-modulated body radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Sep 01; 78(1):58-63. Hossain S, Xia P, Huang K, Descovich M, Chuang C, Gottschalk AR, Roach M, Ma L. PMID: 20133073.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Comparison between hybrid direct aperture optimized intensity-modulated radiotherapy and forward planning intensity-modulated radiotherapy for whole breast irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Jan 01; 76(1):91-9. Descovich M, Fowble B, Bevan A, Schechter N, Park C, Xia P. PMID: 19395189.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    25. Nonrandom intrafraction target motions and general strategy for correction of spine stereotactic body radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Nov 15; 75(4):1261-5. Ma L, Sahgal A, Hossain S, Chuang C, Descovich M, Huang K, Gottschalk A, Larson DA. PMID: 19647951.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Physical performance and image optimization of megavoltage cone-beam CT. Med Phys. 2009 Apr; 36(4):1421-32. Morin O, Aubry JF, Aubin M, Chen J, Descovich M, Hashemi AB, Pouliot J. PMID: 19472649.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    27. Effect of composite sector collimation on average dose fall-off for Gamma Knife Perfexion. J Neurosurg. 2008 Dec; 109 Suppl:15-20. Ma L, Verhey L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Smith V, Huang K, McDermott M, Sneed P. PMID: 19123883.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Whole-procedure clinical accuracy of gamma knife treatments of large lesions. Med Phys. 2008 Nov; 35(11):5110-4. Ma L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Petti P, Smith V, Verhey L. PMID: 19070245.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Sci-Thurs PM: Delivery-12: Correction and calibration of megavoltage cone-beam CT images for the calculation of the dose of the day. Med Phys. 2008 Jul; 35(7Part2):3401. Aubry JF, Cheung J, Yom S, Gottschalk A, Aubin M, Morin O, Descovich M, Beaulieu L, Pouliot J. PMID: 28512819.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    30. Characteristics of megavoltage cone-beam digital tomosynthesis. Med Phys. 2008 Apr; 35(4):1310-6. Descovich M, Morin O, Aubry JF, Aubin M, Chen J, Bani-Hashemi A, Pouliot J. PMID: 18491525.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    
    31. Patient dose considerations for routine megavoltage cone-beam CT imaging. Med Phys. 2007 May; 34(5):1819-27. Morin O, Gillis A, Descovich M, Chen J, Aubin M, Aubry JF, Chen H, Gottschalk AR, Xia P, Pouliot J. PMID: 17555263.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 23     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Dose calculation using megavoltage cone-beam CT. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Mar 15; 67(4):1201-10. Morin O, Chen J, Aubin M, Gillis A, Aubry JF, Bose S, Chen H, Descovich M, Xia P, Pouliot J. PMID: 17336221.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. Image-guided radiotherapy using megavoltage cone-beam computed tomography for treatment of paraspinous tumors in the presence of orthopedic hardware. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Oct 01; 66(2):323-6. Hansen EK, Larson DA, Aubin M, Chen J, Descovich M, Gillis AM, Morin O, Xia P, Pouliot J. PMID: 16965986.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. Order-to-chaos transition in rotational nuclei. Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Feb 04; 94(4):042501. Stephens FS, Deleplanque MA, Lee IY, Macchiavelli AO, Ward D, Fallon P, Cromaz M, Clark RM, Descovich M, Diamond RM, Rodriguez-Vieitez E. PMID: 15783551.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
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