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Martina Descovich, PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of California San Francisco
DepartmentRadiation Oncology
Address1600 Divisadero
San Francisco CA 94115
Phone415-353-9844
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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

    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 
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    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.
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    1. Chapman CH, McGuinness C, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS, Garsa AA, Anwar M, Braunstein SE, Sudhyadhom A, Keall P, Descovich M. Influence of respiratory motion management technique on radiation pneumonitis risk with robotic stereotactic body radiation therapy. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2018 Apr 26. PMID: 29700954.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Paulsson AK, Yom SS, Anwar M, Pinnaduwage D, Sudhyadhom A, Gottschalk AR, Chang AJ, Descovich M. Respiration-Induced Intraorgan Deformation of the Liver. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2017 Jan 01; 1533034616687193. PMID: 28071340.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Wahl M, Descovich M, Shugard E, Pinnaduwage D, Sudhyadhom A, Chang A, Roach M, Gottschalk A, Chen J. 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. PMID: 27199276.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Pinnaduwage DS, Descovich M, Lometti MW, Varad B, Roach M, Gottschalk AR. An Evaluation of Robotic and Conventional IMRT for Prostate Cancer: Potential for Dose Escalation. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2017 06; 16(3):267-275. PMID: 27037301.
      View in: PubMed
    5. McGuinness CM, Gottschalk AR, Lessard E, Nakamura JL, Pinnaduwage D, Pouliot J, Sims C, Descovich M. 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. PMID: 26699309.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Seymour ZA, Chang AJ, Zhang L, Kirby N, Descovich M, Roach M, Hsu IC, Gottschalk AR. 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):e465-72. PMID: 25795252.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Descovich M, McGuinness C, Kannarunimit D, Chen J, Pinnaduwage D, Pouliot J, Kased N, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS. 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. PMID: 25735283.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Kannarunimit D, Descovich M, Garcia A, Chen J, Weinberg V, Mcguinness C, Pinnaduwage D, Murnane J, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS. 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. PMID: 24325136.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Braunstein SE, Dionisio SA, Lometti MW, Pinnaduwage DS, Chuang CF, Yom SS, Gottschalk AR, Descovich M. 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. PMID: 29296387.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Descovich M, Carrara M, Morlino S, Pinnaduwage DS, Saltiel D, Pouliot J, Nash MB, Pignoli E, Valdagni R, Roach M, Gottschalk AR. 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. PMID: 24036869.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Descovich M, Ma L, Chuang CF, Larson DA, Barani IJ. Comparison between prone and supine patient setup for spine stereotactic body radiosurgery. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Jun; 11(3):229-36. PMID: 22468994.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Shiao SL, Sahgal A, Hu W, Jabbari S, Chuang C, Descovich M, Hsu IC, Gottschalk AR, Roach M, Ma L. Temporal compartmental dosing effects for robotic prostate stereotactic body radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2011 Dec 21; 56(24):7767-75. PMID: 22107791.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Ma L, Petti P, Wang B, Descovich M, Chuang C, Barani IJ, Kunwar S, Shrieve DC, Sahgal A, Larson DA. Apparatus dependence of normal brain tissue dose in stereotactic radiosurgery for multiple brain metastases. J Neurosurg. 2011 Jun; 114(6):1580-4. PMID: 21375377.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Jabbari S, Weinberg VK, Kaprealian T, Hsu IC, Ma L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Shiao S, Shinohara K, Roach M, Gottschalk AR. 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. PMID: 21183287.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Descovich M, Sneed PK, Barbaro NM, McDermott MW, Chuang CF, Barani IJ, Nakamura JL, Lijun M. A dosimetric comparison between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife treatment plans for trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2010 Dec; 113 Suppl:199-206. PMID: 21222296.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Ma L, Sahgal A, Descovich M, Cho YB, Chuang C, Huang K, Laperriere NJ, Shrieve DC, Larson DA. 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. PMID: 20159366.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Hossain S, Xia P, Huang K, Descovich M, Chuang C, Gottschalk AR, Roach M, Ma L. 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. PMID: 20133073.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Descovich M, Fowble B, Bevan A, Schechter N, Park C, Xia P. 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. PMID: 19395189.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Ma L, Sahgal A, Hossain S, Chuang C, Descovich M, Huang K, Gottschalk A, Larson DA. 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. PMID: 19647951.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Morin O, Aubry JF, Aubin M, Chen J, Descovich M, Hashemi AB, Pouliot J. Physical performance and image optimization of megavoltage cone-beam CT. Med Phys. 2009 Apr; 36(4):1421-32. PMID: 19472649.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Ma L, Verhey L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Smith V, Huang K, McDermott M, Sneed P. Effect of composite sector collimation on average dose fall-off for Gamma Knife Perfexion. J Neurosurg. 2008 Dec; 109 Suppl:15-20. PMID: 19123883.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Ma L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Petti P, Smith V, Verhey L. Whole-procedure clinical accuracy of gamma knife treatments of large lesions. Med Phys. 2008 Nov; 35(11):5110-4. PMID: 19070245.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Morin O, Gillis A, Descovich M, Chen J, Aubin M, Aubry JF, Chen H, Gottschalk AR, Xia P, Pouliot J. Patient dose considerations for routine megavoltage cone-beam CT imaging. Med Phys. 2007 May; 34(5):1819-27. PMID: 17555263.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Morin O, Chen J, Aubin M, Gillis A, Aubry JF, Bose S, Chen H, Descovich M, Xia P, Pouliot J. Dose calculation using megavoltage cone-beam CT. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Mar 15; 67(4):1201-10. PMID: 17336221.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Hansen EK, Larson DA, Aubin M, Chen J, Descovich M, Gillis AM, Morin O, Xia P, Pouliot J. 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. PMID: 16965986.
      View in: PubMed
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