Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Cancer Center Clinical Innovation Fund, Stanford University (2020)
  • SQIMM Award, Stanford University (2020)
  • Teaching Award, Stanford University (2018)
  • SQIMM Award, Stanford University (2017)
  • Stanford Medicine Faculty Innovation Program (Co-PI), Stanford University (2015)
  • Radiation Physics Impact Award, Stanford University (2014)
  • Scholarship for nanostorage research from Ministry of economic affairs, NTU (2004)
  • The AP-NFO student Award, 4th Asia-Pacific International Conference on near-field Optics (2003)

Professional Education

  • DABR, The American Board of Radiology, Therapeutic Medical Physics (2015)
  • Residency, Stanford University, Therapeutic Medical Physics (CAMPEP Accredited) (2014)
  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Biomedical Physics (CAMPEP Accredited) (2011)


All Publications

  • The benefit of using the AAPM Journal app. Journal of applied clinical medical physics Yu, A. S. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1002/acm2.13019

    View details for PubMedID 32862497

  • Patient motion tracking for non-isocentric and non-coplanar treatments via fixed frame-of-reference 3D camera. Journal of applied clinical medical physics Gasparyan, S., Ko, K., Skinner, L. B., Ko, R. B., Loo, B. W., Fahimian, B. P., Yu, A. S. 2020


    As C-arm linac radiation therapy evolves toward faster, more efficient delivery, and more conformal dosimetry, treatments with increasingly complex couch motions are emerging. Monitoring the patient motion independently of the couch motion during non-coplanar, non-isocentric, or dynamic couch treatments is a key bottleneck to their clinical implementation. The goal of this study is to develop a prototype real-time monitoring system for unconventional beam trajectories to ensure a safe and accurate treatment delivery.An in-house algorithm was developed for tracking using a couch-mounted three-dimensional (3D) depth camera. The accuracy of patient motion detection on the couch was tested on a 3D printed phantom created from the body surface contour exported from the treatment planning system. The technique was evaluated against a commercial optical surface monitoring system with known phantom displacements of 3, 5, and 7 mm in lateral, longitudinal, and vertical directions by placing a head phantom on a dynamic platform on the treatment couch. The stability of the monitoring system was evaluated during dynamic couch trajectories, at speeds between 10.6 and 65 cm/min.The proposed monitoring system agreed with the ceiling mounted optical surface monitoring system in longitudinal, lateral, and vertical directions within 0.5 mm. The uncertainty caused by couch vibration increased with couch speed but remained sub-millimeter for speeds up to 32 cm/min. For couch speeds of 10.6, 32.2, and 65 cm/min, the uncertainty ranges were 0.27- 0.73 mm, 0.15-0.87 mm, and 0.28-1.29 mm, respectively.By mounting a 3D camera in the same frame-of-reference as the patient and eliminating dead spots, this proof of concept demonstrates real-time patient monitoring during couch motion. For treatments with non-coplanar beams, multiple isocenters, or dynamic couch motion, this provides additional safety without additional radiation dose and avoids some of the complexity and limitations of room mounted systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/acm2.12842

    View details for PubMedID 32107845

  • An integrated quality assurance phantom for frameless single-isocenter multitarget stereotactic radiosurgery. Physics in medicine and biology Capaldi, D. P., Skinner, L. B., Dubrowski, P., Yu, A. S. 2020


    Purpose:Brain stereotactic-radiosurgery (SRS) treatments require multiple quality-assurance (QA) procedures to ensure accurate and precise treatment delivery. As single-isocenter multitarget SRS treatments become more popular, the quantification of off-axis accuracy of the linear-accelerator is crucial. In this study, a novel brain SRS integrated phantom was developed and validated to enable SRS QA with a single phantom to facilitate implementation of a frameless single-isocenter, multitarget SRS program. This phantom combines the independent verification of each positioning system, the Winston-Lutz, off-axis accuracy evaluation (i.e. off-axis Winston-Lutz), and the dosimetric accuracy utilizing both point-dose-measurements as well as film-measurement, without moving the phantom.Methods and Materials:A novel 3D-printed phantom, coinedOneIso, was designed with a movable insert which can switch between the Winston-Lutz test target and dose measurement without moving the phantom itself. For dose verification, eight brain SRS clinical-treatment-plans with 10MV Flattening-Filter-Free (FFF) beams were delivered on a Varian TrueBeam with a high-definition-multi-leaf-collimator (HD-MLC). Radiochromic film and pinpoint ion chamber comparison measurements were made between the OneIso and solid water (SW) phantom setups. For the off-axis Winston-Lutz measurements, a row of off-axis ball-bearings (BBs) was integrated into the OneIso. To quantify the spatial accuracy versus distance from isocenter, two-dimensional displacements were calculated between the planned and delivered BB locations relative to their respective MLC defined field border.Results:OneIso and the SW phantoms agree within 1%, for both film and point-dose measurements. OneIso identified a reduction in spatial accuracy further away from isocenter. Differences increased as distance from isocenter increased exceeding recommended SRS accuracy tolerances at 3-4cm away from isocenter.Conclusions:OneIso provides a streamlined, single-setup workflow for single-isocenter multitarget frameless linac-based SRS QA. Additionally, with the ability to quantify off-axis spatial-discrepancies, we can determine limitations on the maximum distance between targets to ensure a single-isocenter multitarget SRS program meets recommended guidelines.

    View details for DOI 10.1088/1361-6560/ab8534

    View details for PubMedID 32235050

  • FLASH Irradiation Results in Reduced Severe Skin Toxicity Compared to Conventional-Dose-Rate Irradiation. Radiation research Soto, L. A., Casey, K. M., Wang, J., Blaney, A., Manjappa, R., Breitkreutz, D., Skinner, L., Dutt, S., Ko, R. B., Bush, K., Yu, A. S., Melemenidis, S., Strober, S., Englemann, E., Maxim, P. G., Graves, E. E., Loo, B. W. 2020


    Radiation therapy, along with surgery and chemotherapy, is one of the main treatments for cancer. While radiotherapy is highly effective in the treatment of localized tumors, its main limitation is its toxicity to normal tissue. Previous preclinical studies have reported that ultra-high dose-rate (FLASH) irradiation results in reduced toxicity to normal tissues while controlling tumor growth to a similar extent relative to conventional-dose-rate (CONV) irradiation. To our knowledge this is the first report of a dose-response study in mice comparing the effect of FLASH irradiation vs. CONV irradiation on skin toxicity. We found that FLASH irradiation results in both a lower incidence and lower severity of skin ulceration than CONV irradiation 8 weeks after single-fraction hemithoracic irradiation at high doses (30 and 40 Gy). Survival was also higher after FLASH hemithoracic irradiation (median survival >180 days at doses of 30 and 40 Gy) compared to CONV irradiation (median survival 100 and 52 days at 30 and 40 Gy, respectively). No ulceration was observed at doses 20 Gy or below in either FLASH or CONV. These results suggest a shifting of the dose-response curve for radiation-induced skin ulceration to the right for FLASH, compared to CONV irradiation, suggesting the potential for an enhanced therapeutic index for radiation therapy of cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1667/RADE-20-00090

    View details for PubMedID 32853385

  • Probing Estrogen Sulfotransferase-Mediated Inflammation with [11C]-PiB in the Living Human Brain. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD Surmak, A. J., Wong, K., Cole, G. B., Hirata, K., Aabedi, A. A., Mirfendereski, O., Mirfendereski, P., Yu, A. S., Huang, S., Ringman, J. M., Liebeskind, D. S., Barrio, J. R. 2019


    BACKGROUND: 2-(4'- [11C]Methylaminophenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole ([11C]-PiB), purportedly a specific imaging agent for cerebral amyloid-beta plaques, is a specific, high affinity substrate for estrogen sulfotransferase (SULT1E1), an enzyme that regulates estrogen homeostasis.OBJECTIVE: In this work, we use positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with [11C]-PiB to assess the functional activity of SULT1E1 in the brain of moyamoya disease patients.METHODS: Ten moyamoya subjects and five control patients were evaluated with [11C]-PiB PET and structural MRI scans. Additionally, a patient with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) received [11C]-PiB PET scans before and after steroidal and immunomodulatory therapy. Parametric PET images were established to assess SULT1E1 distribution in the inflamed brain tissue.RESULTS: Increased [11C]-PiB SRTM DVR in the thalamus, pons, corona radiata, and internal capsule of moyamoya cohort subjects was observed in comparison with controls (p?

    View details for DOI 10.3233/JAD-190559

    View details for PubMedID 31884462

  • Tungsten filled 3D printed field shaping devices for electron beam radiation therapy. PloS one Skinner, L., Fahimian, B. P., Yu, A. S. 2019; 14 (6): e0217757


    PURPOSE: Electron radiotherapy is a labor-intensive treatment option that is complicated by the need for field shaping blocks. These blocks are typically made from casting Cerrobend alloys containing lead and cadmium. This is a highly toxic process with limited precision. This work aims to provide streamlined and more precise electron radiotherapy by 3D using printing techniques.METHODS: The 3D printed electron cutout consists of plastic shells filled with 2 mm diameter tungsten ball bearings. Five clinical Cerrobend defined field were compared to the planned fields by measuring the light field edge when mounted in the electron applicator on a linear accelerator. The dose transmitted through the 3D printed and Cerrobend cutouts was measured using an IC profiler ion chamber array with 6 MeV and 16 MeV beams. Dose profiles from the treatment planning system were also compared to the measured dose profiles. Centering and full width half maximum (FWHM) metrics were taken directly from the profiler software.RESULTS: The transmission of a 16MeV beam through a 12 mm thick layer of tungsten ball bearings agreed within 1% of a 15 mm thick Cerrobend block (measured with an ion chamber array). The radiation fields shaped by ball bearing filled 3D printed cutout were centered within 0.4 mm of the planned outline, whereas the Cerrobend cutout fields had shift errors of 1-3 mm, and shape errors of 0.5-2 mm. The average shift of Cerrobend cutouts was 2.3 mm compared to the planned fields (n = 5). Beam penumbra of the 3D printed cutouts was found to be equivalent to the 15 mm thick Cerrobend cutout. The beam profiles agreed within 1.2% across the whole 30 cm profile widths.CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that with a proper quality assurance procedure, 3D-printed cutouts can provide more accurate electron radiotherapy with reduced toxicity compared to traditional Cerrobend methods.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0217757

    View details for PubMedID 31216296

  • Factor 10 Expedience of Monthly Linac Quality Assurance via an Ion Chamber Array and Automation Scripts. Technology in cancer research & treatment Skinner, L. B., Yang, Y., Hsu, A., Xing, L., Yu, A. S., Niedermayr, T. 2019; 18: 1533033819876897


    PURPOSE: While critical for safe and accurate radiotherapy, monthly quality assurance of medical linear accelerators is time-consuming and takes physics resources away from other valuable tasks. The previous methods at our institution required 5 hours to perform the mechanical and dosimetric monthly linear accelerator quality assurance tests. An improved workflow was developed to perform these tests with higher accuracy, with fewer error pathways, in significantly less time.METHODS: A commercial ion chamber array (IC profiler, Sun Nuclear, Melbourne, Florida) is combined with automation scripts to consolidate monthly linear accelerator QA. The array was used to measure output, flatness, symmetry, jaw positions, gated dose constancy, energy constancy, collimator walkout, crosshair centering, and dosimetric leaf gap constancy. Treatment plans were combined with automation scripts that interface with Sun Nuclear's graphical user interface. This workflow was implemented on a standard Varian clinac, with no special adaptations, and can be easily applied to other C-arm linear accelerators.RESULTS: These methods enable, in 30 minutes, measurement and analysis of 20 of the 26 dosimetric and mechanical monthly tests recommended by TG-142. This method also reduces uncertainties in the measured beam profile constancy, beam energy constancy, field size, and jaw position tests, compared to our previous methods. One drawback is the increased uncertainty associated with output constancy. Output differences between IC profiler and farmer chamber in plastic water measurements over a 6-month period, across 4 machines, were found to have a 0.3% standard deviation for photons and a 0.5% standard deviation for electrons, which is sufficient for verifying output accuracy according to TG-142 guidelines. To minimize error pathways, automation scripts which apply the required settings, as well as check the exported data file integrity were employed.CONCLUSIONS: The equipment, procedure, and scripts used here reduce the time burden of routine quality assurance tests and in most instances improve precision over our previous methods.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1533033819876897

    View details for PubMedID 31707931

  • Does 2-FDG-PET Accurately Reflect Quantitative In vivo Glucose Utilization? Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Barrio, J. R., Satyamurthy, N., Huang, S. C., Scafoglio, C., Yu, A., Alavi, A., Krohn, K. A. 2019


    2-Deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (2-FDG) with positron emission tomography (2-FDG-PET) is undeniably useful in the clinic, among other uses, to monitor change over time using the 2-FDG standardized uptake values (SUV) metric. This report suggests some potentially serious caveats for this and related roles for 2-FDG PET. Most critical is the assumption that there is an exact proportionality between glucose metabolism and 2-FDG metabolism, called the lumped constant, LC. This report describes that LC is not constant for a specific tissue and may be variable before and after disease treatment. The purpose of this work is not to deny the clinical value of 2-FDG PET; it is a reminder that when one extends the use of an appropriately qualified imaging method, new observations may arise and further validation would be necessary. Current understanding of glucose-based energetics in vivo is based on the quantification of glucose metabolic rates with 2-FDG PET, a method that permits the non-invasive assessment in various human disorders. However, 2-FDG is only a good substrate for facilitated-glucose transporters (GLUTs) but not for sodium-dependent glucose co-transporters (SGLTs), which have recently been shown to be distributed in multiple human tissues. Thus, the GLUT-mediated in vivo glucose utilization measured by 2-FDG PET would be blinded to the potentially substantial role of functional SGLTs in glucose transport and utilization. Therefore, in these circumstances the 2-FDG LC used to quantify in vivo glucose utilization should not be expected to remain constant. 2-FDG LC variations have been especially significant in tumors, particularly at different stages of cancer development, affecting the accuracy of quantitative glucose measures and potentially limiting the prognostic value of 2-FDG, as well as its accuracy in monitoring treatments. SGLT-mediated glucose transport can be estimated using ?-methyl-4-deoxy-4-[18F]fluoro-D-glucopyranoside (Me-4FDG). Utilizing both 2-FDG and Me-4FDG should provide a more complete picture of glucose utilization via both GLUT and SGLT transporters in health and disease stages. Given the widespread use of 2-FDG PET to infer glucose metabolism, appreciating the potential limitations of 2-FDG as a surrogate for glucose metabolic rate and the potential reasons for variability in LC is relevant. Even when the readout for the 2-FDG PET study is only an SUV parameter, variability in LC is important, particularly if it changes over the course of disease progression (e.g., an evolving tumor).

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.119.237446

    View details for PubMedID 31676728

  • A novel-integrated quality assurance phantom for radiographic and nonradiographic radiotherapy localization and positioning systems. Medical physics Yu, A. S., Fowler, T. L., Dubrowski, P. 2018


    PURPOSE: Various localization and positioning systems utilizing radiographic or nonradiographic methods have been developed to improve the accuracy of radiation treatment. Each quality assurance (QA) procedure requires its own phantom and is independent from each other, so the deviation between each system is unavailable. The purpose of this work is to develop and evaluate a single-integrated QA phantom for different localization and positioning systems.METHODS: The integrated phantom was designed in three-dimensional (3D) CAD software and 3D printed. The phantom was designed with laser alignment marks, a raised letter "S" on the anterior surface for optical surface monitoring system registration, a core for radiofrequency (RF) tracking system alignment, eight internal fiducials for image alignment, and an isocentric bearing for Winston-Lutz test. Tilt legs and rotational stage were designed for rotational verification of optical surface mapping system and RF tracking system, respectively. The phantom was scanned using a CT scanner and a QA plan was created. This prototype phantom was evaluated against established QA techniques.RESULTS: The QA result between the proposed procedure and established QA technique are 1.12 ± 0.31 and 1.14 ± 0.31 mm, respectively, for RF tracking system and 0.18 ± 0.06 and 0.18 ± 0.05 mm for Winston-Lutz test. There is no significant difference for the QA results between the established QA and proposed procedure (P > 0.05, t test). The accuracy of rotational verification for surface mapping system and RF tracking system are less than 0.5 and 1° compared the predefined value. The isocenter deviation of each location system is around l mm.CONCLUSION: We have designed and evaluated a novel-integrated phantom for radiographic and nonradiographic localization and positioning systems for radiotherapy. With this phantom, we will reduce the variation in measurements and simplify the QA procedures.

    View details for PubMedID 29730884

  • Using a handheld stereo depth camera to overcome limited field-of-view in simulation imaging for radiation therapy treatment planning MEDICAL PHYSICS Jenkins, C., Xing, L., Yu, A. 2017; 44 (5): 1857-1864


    A correct body contour is essential for reliable treatment planning in radiation therapy. While modern medical imaging technologies provide highly accurate patient modeling, there are times when a patient's anatomy cannot be fully captured or there is a lack of easy access to computed tomography (CT) simulation. Here, we provide a practical solution to the surface contour truncation problem by using a handheld stereo depth camera (HSDC) to obtain the missing surface anatomy and a surface-surface image registration to stich the surface data into the CT dataset for treatment planning.For a subject with truncated simulation CT images, a HSDC is used to capture the surface information of the truncated anatomy. A mesh surface model is created using a software tool provided by the camera manufacturer. A surface-to-surface registration technique is used to merge the mesh model with the CT and fill in the missing surface information thereby obtaining a complete surface model of the subject. To evaluate the accuracy of the proposed approach, experiments were performed with the following steps. First, we selected three previously treated patients and fabricated a phantom mimicking each patient using the corresponding CT images and a 3D printer. Second, we removed part of the CT images of each patient to create hypothetical cases with image truncations. Next, a HSDC was used to image the 3D-printed phantoms and the HSDC-derived surface models were registered with the hypothetically truncated CT images. The contours obtained using the approach were then compared with the ground truth contours derived from the original simulation CT without image truncation. The distance between the two contours was calculated in order to evaluate the accuracy of the method. Finally, the dosimetric impact of the approach is assessed by comparing the volume within the 95% isodose line and global maximum dose (Dmax ) computed based on the two surface contours for the breast case that exhibited the largest contour variation in the treated breast.A systematic strategy of using a 3D HSDC to compensate for missing surface information caused by the truncation of CT images was established. Our study showed that the proposed technique was able to reliably provide the full contours for treatment planning in the case of severe CT image truncation(s). The root-mean-square error for the registration between the aligned HDSC surface model and the ground truth data was found to be 2.1 mm. The average distance between the two models was 0.4 ± 1.7 mm (mean ± SD). Maximum deviations occurred in areas of high concavity or when the skin was close to the couch. The breast tissue covered by 95% isodose line decreased by 3% and Dmax increased by 0.2% with the use of the HSDC model.The use of HSDC for obtaining missing surface data during simulation has a number of advantages, such as, ease of use, low cost, and no additional ionizing radiation. It may provide a clinically practical solution to deal with the longstanding problem of CT image truncations in radiation therapy treatment planning.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/mp.12207

    View details for Web of Science ID 000401154000024

    View details for PubMedID 28295413

  • Dapagliflozin Binds Specifically to Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 in the Proximal Renal Tubule JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEPHROLOGY Ghezzi, C., Yu, A. S., Hirayama, B. A., Kepe, V., Liu, J., Scafoglio, C., Powell, D. R., Huang, S., Satyamurthy, N., Barrio, J. R., Wright, E. M. 2017; 28 (3): 802-810


    Kidneys contribute to glucose homeostasis by reabsorbing filtered glucose in the proximal tubules via sodium-glucose cotransporters (SGLTs). Reabsorption is primarily handled by SGLT2, and SGLT2-specific inhibitors, including dapagliflozin, canagliflozin, and empagliflozin, increase glucose excretion and lower blood glucose levels. To resolve unanswered questions about these inhibitors, we developed a novel approach to map the distribution of functional SGLT2 proteins in rodents using positron emission tomography with 4-[(18)F]fluoro-dapagliflozin (F-Dapa). We detected prominent binding of intravenously injected F-Dapa in the kidney cortexes of rats and wild-type and Sglt1-knockout mice but not Sglt2-knockout mice, and injection of SGLT2 inhibitors prevented this binding. Furthermore, imaging revealed only low levels of F-Dapa in the urinary bladder, even after displacement of kidney binding with dapagliflozin. Microscopic ex vitro autoradiography of kidney showed F-Dapa binding to the apical surface of early proximal tubules. Notably, in vivo imaging did not show measureable specific binding of F-Dapa in heart, muscle, salivary glands, liver, or brain. We propose that F-Dapa is freely filtered by the kidney, binds to SGLT2 in the apical membranes of the early proximal tubule, and is subsequently reabsorbed into blood. The high density of functional SGLT2 transporters detected in the apical membrane of the proximal tubule but not detected in other organs likely accounts for the high kidney specificity of SGLT2 inhibitors. Overall, these data are consistent with data from clinical studies on SGLT2 inhibitors and provide a rationale for the mode of action of these drugs.

    View details for DOI 10.1681/ASN.2016050510

    View details for Web of Science ID 000395049000012

    View details for PubMedID 27620988

  • Intrafractional Tracking Accuracy of a Transperineal Ultrasound Image Guidance System for Prostate Radiotherapy. Technology in cancer research & treatment Yu, A. S., Najafi, M., Hristov, D. H., Phillips, T. 2017; 16 (6): 1067?78


    The aim of this study is to evaluate the tracking accuracy of a commercial ultrasound system under relevant treatment conditions and demonstrate its clinical utility for detecting significant treatment deviations arising from inadvertent intrafractional target motion.A multimodality male pelvic phantom was used to simulate prostate image-guided radiotherapy with the system under evaluation. Target motion was simulated by placing the phantom on a motion platform. The tracking accuracy of the ultrasound system was evaluated using an independent optical tracking system under the conditions of beam-on, beam-off, poor image quality with an acoustic shadow introduced, and different phantom motion cycles. The time delay between the ultrasound-detected and actual phantom motion was investigated. A clinical case example of prostate treatment is presented as a demonstration of the utility of the system in practice.Time delay between the motion phantom and ultrasound tracking system is 223 ± 45.2 milliseconds including video and optical tracking system frame rates. The tracking accuracy and precision were better with a longer period. The precision of ultrasound tracking performance in the axial (superior-inferior) direction was better than that in the lateral (left-right) direction (root mean square errors are 0.18 and 0.25 mm, respectively). The accuracy of ultrasound tracking performance in the lateral direction was better than that in the axial direction (the mean position errors are 0.23 and 0.45 mm, respectively). Interference by radiation and image quality do not affect tracking ability significantly. Further, utilizing the tracking system as part of a clinical study for prostate treatment further verified the accuracy and clinical appropriateness.It is feasible to use transperineal ultrasound daily to monitor prostate motion during treatment. Our results verify the accuracy and precision of an ultrasound system under typical external beam treatment conditions and further demonstrate that the tracking system was able to identify important prostate shifts in a clinical case.

    View details for PubMedID 29332454

  • Chest wall dose reduction using noncoplanar volumetric modulated arc radiation therapy for lung stereotactic ablative radiation therapy. Practical radiation oncology Yu, A. S., Maxim, P. G., Loo, B. W., Gensheimer, M. F. 2017


    Stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) to lung tumors close to the chest wall can cause rib fractures or chest wall pain. We evaluated and propose a clinically practical solution of using noncoplanar volumetric modulated arc radiation therapy (VMAT) to reduce chest wall dose from lung SABR.Twenty lung SABR VMAT plans in which the chest wall volume receiving 30 Gy or higher (V30) exceeded 30 mL were replanned by noncoplanar VMAT with opposite 15° couch kicks. Dosimetric parameters including chest wall V30 and V40; lung V5, V10, V20, and mean dose; Paddick high-dose conformity index; intermediate-dose conformity index; and monitor units (MU) for each plan were used to evaluate the plan quality. The treatment time was also estimated by delivering the entire treatment. Two-sided paired t test was used to evaluate the difference of the dosimetric parameters between coplanar 1 arc (cVMAT1), coplanar 2 arcs (cVMAT2), and noncoplanar two arcs (nVMAT2) plans; differences with P < .05 were considered statistically significant.V30 and V40 for chest wall were reduced on average by 20% ± 9% and 15% ± 11% (mean ± standard deviation) from cVMAT2 plans to nVMAT2 plans (P < .01 for both comparisons) and by 8% ± 7% and 16% ± 13% from cVMAT1 plans to cVMAT2 plans (P < .003 for both comparisons). The differences in lung mean dose were <0.2 Gy among cVMAT1, cVMAT2, and nVMAT2. There were no significant differences in lung V5, V10, and V20. On average, the number of MU increased 14% for nVMAT2 compared with cVMAT2. The Paddick high-dose conformity indexes were 0.88 ± 0.03, 0.89 ± 0.04, and 0.91 ± 0.03, and intermediate-dose conformity indexes were 3.88 ± 0.49, 3.80 ± 0.44 and 3.51 ± 0.38 for cVMAT1, cVMAT2, and nVMAT2, respectively.We found that noncoplanar VMAT plans are feasible, clinically practical to deliver, and significantly reduce V30 and V40 of chest wall without increasing lung dose.

    View details for PubMedID 29452868

  • A Robust and Affordable Table Indexing Approach for Multi-isocenter Dosimetrically Matched Fields. Cureus Yu, A., Fahimian, B., Million, L., Hsu, A. 2017; 9 (5): e1270


    Purpose  Radiotherapy treatment planning of extended volume typically necessitates the utilization of multiple field isocenters and abutting dosimetrically matched fields in order to enable coverage beyond the field size limits. A common example includes total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) treatments, which are conventionally planned using dosimetric matching of the mantle, para-aortic/spleen, and pelvic fields. Due to the large irradiated volume and system limitations, such as field size and couch extension, a combination of couch shifts and sliding of patients are necessary to be correctly executed for accurate delivery of the plan. However, shifting of patients presents a substantial safety issue and has been shown to be prone to errors ranging from minor deviations to geometrical misses warranting a medical event. To address this complex setup and mitigate the safety issues relating to delivery, a practical technique for couch indexing of TLI treatments has been developed and evaluated through a retrospective analysis of couch position. Methods The indexing technique is based on the modification of the commonly available slide board to enable indexing of the patient position. Modifications include notching to enable coupling with indexing bars, and the addition of a headrest used to fixate the head of the patient relative to the slide board. For the clinical setup, a Varian Exact Couch(TM) (Varian Medical Systems, Inc, Palo Alto, CA) was utilized. Two groups of patients were treated: 20 patients with table indexing and 10 patients without. The standard deviations (SDs) of the couch positions in longitudinal, lateral, and vertical directions through the entire treatment cycle for each patient were calculated and differences in both groups were analyzed with Student's t-test. Results The longitudinal direction showed the largest improvement. In the non-indexed group, the positioning SD ranged from 2.0 to 7.9 cm. With the indexing device, the positioning SD was reduced to a range of 0.4 to 1.3 cm (p < 0.05 with 95% confidence level). The lateral positioning was slightly improved (p < 0.05 with 95% confidence level), while no improvement was observed in the vertical direction. Conclusions The conventional matched field TLI treatment is error-prone to geometrical setup error. The feasibility of full indexing TLI treatments was validated and shown to result in a significant reduction of positioning and shifting errors.

    View details for PubMedID 28652953

  • Automating quality assurance of digital linear accelerators using a radioluminescent phosphor coated phantom and optical imaging. Physics in medicine and biology Jenkins, C. H., Naczynski, D. J., Yu, S. S., Yang, Y., Xing, L. 2016; 61 (17): L29-37


    Performing mechanical and geometric quality assurance (QA) tests for medical linear accelerators (LINAC) is a predominantly manual process that consumes significant time and resources. In order to alleviate this burden this study proposes a novel strategy to automate the process of performing these tests. The autonomous QA system consists of three parts: (1) a customized phantom coated with radioluminescent material; (2) an optical imaging system capable of visualizing the incidence of the radiation beam, light field or lasers on the phantom; and (3) software to process the captured signals. The radioluminescent phantom, which enables visualization of the radiation beam on the same surface as the light field and lasers, is placed on the couch and imaged while a predefined treatment plan is delivered from the LINAC. The captured images are then processed to self-calibrate the system and perform measurements for evaluating light field/radiation coincidence, jaw position indicators, cross-hair centering, treatment couch position indicators and localizing laser alignment. System accuracy is probed by intentionally introducing errors and by comparing with current clinical methods. The accuracy of self-calibration is evaluated by examining measurement repeatability under fixed and variable phantom setups. The integrated system was able to automatically collect, analyze and report the results for the mechanical alignment tests specified by TG-142. The average difference between introduced and measured errors was 0.13 mm. The system was shown to be consistent with current techniques. Measurement variability increased slightly from 0.1 mm to 0.2 mm when the phantom setup was varied, but no significant difference in the mean measurement value was detected. Total measurement time was less than 10 minutes for all tests as a result of automation. The system's unique features of a phosphor-coated phantom and fully automated, operator independent self-calibration offer the potential to streamline the QA process for modern LINACs.

    View details for DOI 10.1088/0031-9155/61/17/L29

    View details for PubMedID 27514654

  • Anatomic optimization of lung tumor stereotactic ablative radiation therapy. Practical radiation oncology Yu, A. S., von Eyben, R., Yamamoto, T., Diehn, M., Shultz, D. B., Loo, B. W., Maxim, P. G. 2015; 5 (6): e607-13


    The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that anatomic optimization through selection of the degree of breath hold that yields the largest separation between the target and nearby organ at risk could result in dosimetrically superior treatment plans.Thirty patients with 41 plans were included in this planned secondary analysis of a prospective trial. Fifteen plans were created for treatment with use of natural end exhale (NEE), and 26 plans used deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH). To evaluate whether the original plan was dosimetrically optimal, we replanned treatment using the opposite respiratory state with the same beam configuration as the original plan. A treatment plan was deemed superior if it met protocol constraints when the other did not. If both plans met or violated the constraints, the plans were deemed equivalent.Of the 26 plans originally planned with DIBH and replanned with NEE, 3 plans were dosimetrically superior with NEE, 1 plan was dosimetrically superior with DIBH, and 22 plans were dosimetrically equivalent. Of the 15 plans originally planned with NEE, 4 plans were dosimetrically superior with NEE, 2 plans were dosimetrically superior with DIBH, and 9 plans were dosimetrically equivalent.For 10 of 41 plans, planning with 1 respiratory state was superior. To obtain uniformly optimal plans, individual anatomic optimization would be needed.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.prro.2015.05.008

    View details for PubMedID 26231596

  • Noninvasive pulmonary nodule elastometry by CT and deformable image registration. Radiotherapy and oncology Negahdar, M., Fasola, C. E., Yu, A. S., von Eyben, R., Yamamoto, T., Diehn, M., Fleischmann, D., Tian, L., Loo, B. W., Maxim, P. G. 2015; 115 (1): 35-40


    To develop a noninvasive method for determining malignant pulmonary nodule (MPN) elasticity, and compare it against expert dual-observer manual contouring.We analyzed breath-hold images at extreme tidal volumes of 23 patients with 30 MPN treated with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy. Deformable image registration (DIR) was applied to the breath-hold images to determine the volumes of the MPNs and a ring of surrounding lung tissue (ring) in each state. MPNs were also manually delineated on deep inhale and exhale images by two observers. Volumes were compared between observers and DIR by Dice similarity. Elasticity was defined as the absolute value of the volume ratio of the MPN minus one normalized to that of the ring.For all 30 tumors the Dice coefficient was 0.79±0.07 and 0.79±0.06 between DIR with observers 1 and 2, respectively, close to the inter-observer Dice value, 0.81±0.1. The elasticity of MPNs was 1.24±0.26, demonstrating that volume change of the MPN was less than that of the surrounding lung.We developed a noninvasive CT elastometry method based on DIR that measures the elasticity of biopsy-proven MPN. Our future direction would be to develop this method to distinguish malignant from benign nodules.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.radonc.2015.03.015

    View details for PubMedID 25824979

  • Monitoring external beam radiotherapy using real-time beam visualization. Medical physics Jenkins, C. H., Naczynski, D. J., Yu, S. S., Xing, L. 2015; 42 (1): 5-?


    To characterize the performance of a novel radiation therapy monitoring technique that utilizes a flexible scintillating film, common optical detectors, and image processing algorithms for real-time beam visualization (RT-BV).Scintillating films were formed by mixing Gd2O2S:Tb (GOS) with silicone and casting the mixture at room temperature. The films were placed in the path of therapeutic beams generated by medical linear accelerators (LINAC). The emitted light was subsequently captured using a CMOS digital camera. Image processing algorithms were used to extract the intensity, shape, and location of the radiation field at various beam energies, dose rates, and collimator locations. The measurement results were compared with known collimator settings to validate the performance of the imaging system.The RT-BV system achieved a sufficient contrast-to-noise ratio to enable real-time monitoring of the LINAC beam at 20 fps with normal ambient lighting in the LINAC room. The RT-BV system successfully identified collimator movements with sub-millimeter resolution.The RT-BV system is capable of localizing radiation therapy beams with sub-millimeter precision and tracking beam movement at video-rate exposure.

    View details for DOI 10.1118/1.4901255

    View details for PubMedID 25563243

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4265127

  • Regional distribution of SGLT activity in rat brain in vivo AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-CELL PHYSIOLOGY Yu, A. S., Hirayama, B. A., Timbol, G., Liu, J., Diez-Sampedro, A., Kepe, V., Satyamurthy, N., Huang, S., Wright, E. M., Barrio, J. R. 2013; 304 (3): C240-C247


    Na(+)-glucose cotransporter (SGLT) mRNAs have been detected in many organs of the body, but, apart from kidney and intestine, transporter expression, localization, and functional activity, as well as physiological significance, remain elusive. Using a SGLT-specific molecular imaging probe, ?-methyl-4-deoxy-4-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucopyranoside (Me-4-FDG) with ex vivo autoradiography and immunohistochemistry, we mapped in vivo the regional distribution of functional SGLTs in rat brain. Since Me-4-FDG is not a substrate for GLUT1 at the blood-brain barrier (BBB), in vivo delivery of the probe into the brain was achieved after opening of the BBB by an established procedure, osmotic shock. Ex vivo autoradiography showed that Me-4-FDG accumulated in regions of the cerebellum, hippocampus, frontal cortex, caudate nucleus, putamen, amygdala, parietal cortex, and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Little or no Me-4-FDG accumulated in the brain stem. The regional accumulation of Me-4-FDG overlapped the distribution of SGLT1 protein detected by immunohistochemistry. In summary, after the BBB is opened, the specific substrate for SGLTs, Me-4-FDG, enters the brain and accumulates in selected regions shown to express SGLT1 protein. This localization and the sensitivity of these neurons to anoxia prompt the speculation that SGLTs may play an essential role in glucose utilization under stress such as ischemia. The expression of SGLTs in the brain raises questions about the potential effects of SGLT inhibitors under development for the treatment of diabetes.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpcell.00317.2012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314632400005

    View details for PubMedID 23151803

  • Functional expression of SGLTs in rat brain AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-CELL PHYSIOLOGY Yu, A. S., Hirayama, B. A., Timbol, G., Liu, J., Basarah, E., Kepe, V., Satyamurthy, N., Huang, S., Wright, E. M., Barrio, J. R. 2010; 299 (6): C1277-C1284


    This work provides evidence of previously unrecognized uptake of glucose via sodium-coupled glucose transporters (SGLTs) in specific regions of the brain. The current understanding of functional glucose utilization in brain is largely based on studies using positron emission tomography (PET) with the glucose tracer 2-deoxy-2-[F-18]fluoro-D-glucose (2-FDG). However, 2-FDG is only a good substrate for facilitated-glucose transporters (GLUTs), not for SGLTs. Thus, glucose accumulation measured by 2-FDG omits the role of SGLTs. We designed and synthesized two high-affinity tracers: one, ?-methyl-4-[F-18]fluoro-4-deoxy-D-glucopyranoside (Me-4FDG), is a highly specific SGLT substrate and not transported by GLUTs; the other one, 4-[F-18]fluoro-4-deoxy-D-glucose (4-FDG), is transported by both SGLTs and GLUTs and will pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB). In vitro Me-4FDG autoradiography was used to map the distribution of uptake by functional SGLTs in brain slices with a comparable result from in vitro 4-FDG autoradiography. Immunohistochemical assays showed that uptake was consistent with the distribution of SGLT protein. Ex vivo 4-FDG autoradiography showed that SGLTs in these areas are functionally active in the normal in vivo brain. The results establish that SGLTs are a normal part of the physiology of specific areas of the brain, including hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortices. 4-FDG PET imaging also established that this BBB-permeable SGLT tracer now offers a functional imaging approach in humans to assess regulation of SGLT activity in health and disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpcell.00296.2010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284822100008

    View details for PubMedID 20826762

  • Quantification of Cerebral Glucose Metabolic Rate in Mice Using F-18-FDG and Small-Animal PET JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Yu, A. S., Lin, H., Huang, S., Phelps, M. E., Wu, H. 2009; 50 (6): 966-973


    The aim of this study was to evaluate various methods for estimating the metabolic rate of glucose utilization in the mouse brain (cMR(glc)) using small-animal PET and reliable blood curves derived by a microfluidic blood sampler. Typical values of (18)F-FDG rate constants of normal mouse cerebral cortex were estimated and used for cMR(glc) calculations. The feasibility of using the image-derived liver time-activity curve as a surrogate input function in various quantification methods was also evaluated.Thirteen normoglycemic C57BL/6 mice were studied. Eighteen blood samples were taken from the femoral artery by the microfluidic blood sampler. Tissue time-activity curves were derived from PET images. cMR(glc) values were calculated using 2 different input functions (one derived from the blood samples [IF(blood)] and the other from the liver time-activity curve [IF(liver)]) in various quantification methods, which included the 3-compartment (18)F-FDG model (from which the (18)F-FDG rate constants were derived), the Patlak analysis, and operational equations. The estimated cMR(glc) value based on IF(blood) and the 3-compartment model served as a standard for comparisons with the cMR(glc) values calculated by the other methods.The values of K(1), k(2), k(3), k(4), and K(FDG) estimated by IF(blood) and the 3-compartment model were 0.22 +/- 0.05 mL/min/g, 0.48 +/- 0.09 min(-1), 0.06 +/- 0.02 min(-1), 0.025 +/- 0.010 min(-1), and 0.024 +/- 0.007 mL/min/g, respectively. The standard cMR(glc) value was, therefore, 40.6 +/- 13.3 micromol/100 g/min (lumped constant = 0.6). No significant difference between the standard cMR(glc) and the cMR(glc) estimated by the operational equation that includes k(4) was observed. The standard cMR(glc) was also found to have strong correlations (r > 0.8) with the cMR(glc) value estimated by the use of IF(liver) in the 3-compartment model and with those estimated by the Patlak analysis (using either IF(blood) or IF(liver)).The (18)F-FDG rate constants of normal mouse cerebral cortex were determined. These values can be used in the k(4)-included operational equation to calculate cMR(glc). IF(liver) can be used to estimate cMR(glc) in most methods included in this study, with proper linear corrections applied. The validity of using the Patlak analysis for estimating cMR(glc) in mouse PET studies was also confirmed.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.108.060533

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272488000026

    View details for PubMedID 19443595

  • In vivo quantitation of glucose metabolism in mice using small-animal PET and a microfluidic device JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Wu, H., Sui, G., Lee, C., Prins, M. L., Ladno, W., Lin, H., Yu, A. S., Phelps, M. E., Huang, S. 2007; 48 (5): 837-845


    The challenge of sampling blood from small animals has hampered the realization of quantitative small-animal PET. Difficulties associated with the conventional blood-sampling procedure need to be overcome to facilitate the full use of this technique in mice.We developed an automated blood-sampling device on an integrated microfluidic platform to withdraw small blood samples from mice. We demonstrate the feasibility of performing quantitative small-animal PET studies using (18)F-FDG and input functions derived from the blood samples taken by the new device. (18)F-FDG kinetics in the mouse brain and myocardial tissues were analyzed.The studies showed that small ( approximately 220 nL) blood samples can be taken accurately in volume and precisely in time from the mouse without direct user intervention. The total blood loss in the animal was <0.5% of the body weight, and radiation exposure to the investigators was minimized. Good model fittings to the brain and the myocardial tissue time-activity curves were obtained when the input functions were derived from the 18 serial blood samples. The R(2) values of the curve fittings are >0.90 using a (18)F-FDG 3-compartment model and >0.99 for Patlak analysis. The (18)F-FDG rate constants K(1)(*), k(2)(*), k(3)(*), and k(4)(*), obtained for the 4 mouse brains, were comparable. The cerebral glucose metabolic rates obtained from 4 normoglycemic mice were 21.5 +/- 4.3 mumol/min/100 g (mean +/- SD) under the influence of 1.5% isoflurane. By generating the whole-body parametric images of K(FDG)(*) (mL/min/g), the uptake constant of (18)F-FDG, we obtained similar pixel values as those obtained from the conventional regional analysis using tissue time-activity curves.With an automated microfluidic blood-sampling device, our studies showed that quantitative small-animal PET can be performed in mice routinely, reliably, and safely in a small-animal PET facility.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.106.038182

    View details for Web of Science ID 000246326100031

    View details for PubMedID 17475972

  • Bright fluorescent nanodiamonds: No photobleaching and low cytotoxicity JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Yu, S. J., Kang, M. W., Chang, H. C., Chen, K. M., Yu, Y. C. 2005; 127 (50): 17604-17605


    Diamond nanocrystals emit bright fluorescence at 600-800 nm after irradiation by a 3 MeV proton beam (5 x 1015 ions/cm2) and annealing at 800 degrees C (2 h) in vacuum. The irradiation/annealing process yields high concentrations of nitrogen-vacancy defect centers ( approximately 107 centers/mum3), making possible visualization of the individual 100 nm diamond crystallites using a fluorescence microscope. The fluorescent nanodiamonds (FND) show no sign of photobleaching and can be taken up by mammalian cells with minimal cytotoxicity. The nanomaterial can have far-reaching biological applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ja0567081

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234008900018

    View details for PubMedID 16351080

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