Martina Descovich, PhD

Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology
Radiation Oncology
+1 415 353-9844

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.

Publications: 

Irradiation of Nf1 mutant mouse models of spinal plexiform neurofibromas drives pathologic progression and decreases survival.

Neuro-oncology advances

Laurent D, Smith AE, Bessler WK, Mendonca M, Chin-Sinex H, Descovich M, Horvai AE, Clapp DW, Nakamura JL

Stereotactic body radiotherapy and high-dose rate brachytherapy boost in combination with intensity modulated radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer: a single-institution propensity score matched analysis.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Chen WC, Li Y, Lazar A, Altan A, Descovich M, Nano T, Ziemer B, Sudhyadhom A, Cunha A, Thomas H, Gottschalk A, Hsu IC, Roach M

Technical Note: Performance of CyberKnife® Tracking Using Low-Dose CT and kV Imaging.

Medical physics

Nano TF, Capaldi DPI, Yeung T, Chuang CF, Wang L, Descovich M

DoseGAN: a generative adversarial network for synthetic dose prediction using attention-gated discrimination and generation.

Scientific reports

Kearney V, Chan JW, Wang T, Perry A, Descovich M, Morin O, Yom SS, Solberg TD

DoseNet: a volumetric dose prediction algorithm using 3D fully-convolutional neural networks.

Physics in medicine and biology

Kearney V, Chan JW, Haaf S, Descovich M, Solberg TD

A continuous arc delivery optimization algorithm for CyberKnife m6.

Medical physics

Kearney V, Descovich M, Sudhyadhom A, Cheung JP, McGuinness C, Solberg TD

Influence of respiratory motion management technique on radiation pneumonitis risk with robotic stereotactic body radiation therapy.

Journal of applied clinical medical physics

Chapman CH, McGuinness C, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS, Garsa AA, Anwar M, Braunstein SE, Sudhyadhom A, Keall P, Descovich M

Respiration-Induced Intraorgan Deformation of the Liver: Implications for Treatment Planning in Patients Treated With Fiducial Tracking.

Technology in cancer research & treatment

Paulsson AK, Yom SS, Anwar M, Pinnaduwage D, Sudhyadhom A, Gottschalk AR, Chang AJ, Descovich M

Interfraction Anatomical Variability Can Lead to Significantly Increased Rectal Dose for Patients Undergoing Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer.

Technology in cancer research & treatment

Wahl M, Descovich M, Shugard E, Pinnaduwage D, Sudhyadhom A, Chang A, Roach M, Gottschalk A, Chen J

An Evaluation of Robotic and Conventional IMRT for Prostate Cancer: Potential for Dose Escalation.

Technology in cancer research & treatment

Pinnaduwage DS, Descovich M, Lometti MW, Varad B, Roach M, Gottschalk AR

Investigating the clinical advantages of a robotic linac equipped with a multileaf collimator in the treatment of brain and prostate cancer patients.

Journal of applied clinical medical physics

McGuinness CM, Gottschalk AR, Lessard E, Nakamura JL, Pinnaduwage D, Pouliot J, Sims C, Descovich M

Dosimetric Comparison Between 3-Dimensional Conformal and Robotic SBRT Treatment Plans for Accelerated Partial Breast Radiotherapy.

Technology in cancer research & treatment

Goggin LM, Descovich M, McGuinness C, Shiao S, Pouliot J, Park C

Dose-volume analysis and the temporal nature of toxicity with stereotactic body radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

Practical radiation oncology

Seymour ZA, Chang AJ, Zhang L, Kirby N, Descovich M, Roach M, Hsu IC, Gottschalk AR

Comparison between target margins derived from 4DCT scans and real-time tumor motion tracking: insights from lung tumor patients treated with robotic radiosurgery.

Medical physics

Descovich M, McGuinness C, Kannarunimit D, Chen J, Pinnaduwage D, Pouliot J, Kased N, 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.

Technology in cancer research & treatment

Kannarunimit D, Descovich M, Garcia A, Chen J, Weinberg V, Mcguinness C, Pinnaduwage D, Murnane J, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS

Evaluation of ray tracing and Monte Carlo algorithms in dose calculation and clinical outcomes for robotic stereotactic body radiotherapy of lung cancers.

Journal of radiosurgery and SBRT

Braunstein SE, Dionisio SA, Lometti MW, Pinnaduwage DS, Chuang CF, Yom SS, Gottschalk AR, Descovich M

Improving plan quality and consistency by standardization of dose constraints in prostate cancer patients treated with CyberKnife.

Journal of applied clinical medical physics

Descovich M, Carrara M, Morlino S, Pinnaduwage DS, Saltiel D, Pouliot J, Nash MB, Pignoli E, Valdagni R, Roach M, Gottschalk AR

Comparison between prone and supine patient setup for spine stereotactic body radiosurgery.

Technology in cancer research & treatment

Descovich M, Ma L, Chuang CF, Larson DA, Barani IJ

Temporal compartmental dosing effects for robotic prostate stereotactic body radiotherapy.

Physics in medicine and biology

Shiao SL, Sahgal A, Hu W, Jabbari S, Chuang C, Descovich M, Hsu IC, Gottschalk AR, Roach M, Ma L

A two-step optimization method for improving multiple brain lesion treatments with robotic radiosurgery.

Technology in cancer research & treatment

Ma L, Sahgal A, Hwang A, Hu W, Descovich M, Chuang C, Barani I, Sneed PK, McDermott M, Larson DA

Apparatus dependence of normal brain tissue dose in stereotactic radiosurgery for multiple brain metastases.

Journal of neurosurgery

Ma L, Petti P, Wang B, Descovich M, Chuang C, Barani IJ, Kunwar S, Shrieve DC, Sahgal A, Larson DA

Stereotactic body radiotherapy as monotherapy or post-external beam radiotherapy boost for prostate cancer: technique, early toxicity, and PSA response.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Jabbari S, Weinberg VK, Kaprealian T, Hsu IC, Ma L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Shiao S, Shinohara K, Roach M, Gottschalk AR

A dosimetric comparison between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife treatment plans for trigeminal neuralgia.

Journal of neurosurgery

Descovich M, Sneed PK, Barbaro NM, McDermott MW, Chuang CF, Barani IJ, Nakamura JL, Lijun M

Equivalence in dose fall-off for isocentric and nonisocentric intracranial treatment modalities and its impact on dose fractionation schemes.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Ma L, Sahgal A, Descovich M, Cho YB, Chuang C, Huang K, Laperriere NJ, Shrieve DC, Larson DA

Dose gradient near target-normal structure interface for nonisocentric CyberKnife and isocentric intensity-modulated body radiotherapy for prostate cancer.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Hossain S, Xia P, Huang K, Descovich M, Chuang C, Gottschalk AR, Roach M, Ma L

Comparison between hybrid direct aperture optimized intensity-modulated radiotherapy and forward planning intensity-modulated radiotherapy for whole breast irradiation.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Descovich M, Fowble B, Bevan A, Schechter N, Park C, Xia P

Nonrandom intrafraction target motions and general strategy for correction of spine stereotactic body radiotherapy.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Ma L, Sahgal A, Hossain S, Chuang C, Descovich M, Huang K, Gottschalk A, Larson DA

Physical performance and image optimization of megavoltage cone-beam CT.

Medical physics

Morin O, Aubry JF, Aubin M, Chen J, Descovich M, Hashemi AB, Pouliot J

Effect of composite sector collimation on average dose fall-off for Gamma Knife Perfexion.

Journal of neurosurgery

Ma L, Verhey L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Smith V, Huang K, McDermott M, Sneed P

Whole-procedure clinical accuracy of gamma knife treatments of large lesions.

Medical physics

Ma L, Chuang C, Descovich M, Petti P, Smith V, Verhey L

Sci-Thurs PM: Delivery-12: Correction and calibration of megavoltage cone-beam CT images for the calculation of the dose of the day.

Medical physics

Aubry JF, Cheung J, Yom S, Gottschalk A, Aubin M, Morin O, Descovich M, Beaulieu L, Pouliot J

Characteristics of megavoltage cone-beam digital tomosynthesis.

Medical physics

Descovich M, Morin O, Aubry JF, Aubin M, Chen J, Bani-Hashemi A, Pouliot J

Patient dose considerations for routine megavoltage cone-beam CT imaging.

Medical physics

Morin O, Gillis A, Descovich M, Chen J, Aubin M, Aubry JF, Chen H, Gottschalk AR, Xia P, Pouliot J

Dose calculation using megavoltage cone-beam CT.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Morin O, Chen J, Aubin M, Gillis A, Aubry JF, Bose S, Chen H, Descovich M, Xia P, Pouliot J

Image-guided radiotherapy using megavoltage cone-beam computed tomography for treatment of paraspinous tumors in the presence of orthopedic hardware.

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Hansen EK, Larson DA, Aubin M, Chen J, Descovich M, Gillis AM, Morin O, Xia P, Pouliot J

Order-to-chaos transition in rotational nuclei.

Physical review letters

Stephens FS, Deleplanque MA, Lee IY, Macchiavelli AO, Ward D, Fallon P, Cromaz M, Clark RM, Descovich M, Diamond RM, Rodriguez-Vieitez E