Dr. Larson is an internationally recognized authority on brain tumors and on central nervous system and body radiosurgery (Cyberknife and Gamma Knife), intensity modified radiotherapy (IMRT), and highly conformal radiotherapy (3D XRT). He holds a PhD degree in high energy physics from the University of Chicago and an MD degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed his medical internship at UCSF and his radiation oncology residency training at Harvard Medical School, where he also served as attending physician and instructor. Larson has been a member of the UCSF academic faculty since 1986, leading to joint professorial appointments in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Neurosurgery. He has mentored virtually all UCSF Gamma Knife and Cyberknife physicians. He encourages patients and referring physicians to contact him directly.
Larson lectures extensively and has authored more than 200 scientific papers, reviews, and book chapters. He was elected by his peers to the presidency of numerous professional societies, including the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), the Northern California Radiation Oncology Society (NCROS), and the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society (ISRS). He is the only physician who has served as an officer in both the Leksell Gamma Knife Society and the Cyberknife Society. In the early 1990’s he developed the first body radiosurgery program in the US and he led a Task Group of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and physicists to define United States radiosurgery standards of care and quality assurance and manpower standards. In 2005 he was awarded the ISRS Jacob I. Fabrikant Award for longstanding and significant contributions to the field of radiosurgery. He has received awards from ASTRO, the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Whittaker Foundation, and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). He is a Fellow in the American College of Radiation Oncolgy (FACRO), the American College of Radiology (FACR), and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (FASTRO). He has organized numerous national and international conferences and symposia, including providing advanced specialty training and continuing medical education (CME) credits for thousands of physicians. He serves on the editorial board of numerous medical journals. He has been recognized as one of America’s top doctors every year since 1991.
Recent Significant Publications
Sahgal A, Weinberg V, Ma L, Chang E, Chao S, Muacevic A, Gorgulho A, Soltys S, Gerszten PC, Ryu S, Angelov L, Gibbs I, Wong CS, Larson DA.,Probabilities of radiation myelopathy specific to stereotactic body radiation therapy to guide safe practice.Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Feb 1;85(2):341-7.
Ma L, Sahgal A, Nie K, Hwang A, Karotki A, Wang B, Shrieve DC, Sneed PK, McDermott M, Larson DA., Reliability of contour-based volume calculation for radiosurgery.J Neurosurg. 2012 Dec;117 Suppl:203-10.
Fogh S, Ma L, Gupta N, Sahgal A, Nakamura JL, Barani I, Sneed PK, McDermott M, Larson DA., High-precision volume-staged Gamma Knife surgery and equivalent hypofractionation dose schedules for treating large arteriovenous malformations.J Neurosurg. 2012 Dec;117 Suppl:115-9.
Ma L, Kirby N, Korol R, Larson DA, Sahgal A., Assessing small-volume spinal cord dose for repeat spinal stereotactic body radiotherapy treatments.Phys Med Biol. 2012 Dec 7;57(23):7843-51.
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.
Sahgal A, Soliman H, Larson DA., Whole-brain radiation therapy of brain metastasis. Prog Neurol Surg. 2012;25:82-95.
Sahgal A, Ma L, Weinberg V, Gibbs IC, Chao S, Chang UK, Werner-Wasik M, Angelov L, Chang EL, Sohn MJ, Soltys SG, Létourneau D, Ryu S, Gerszten PC, Fowler J, Wong CS, Larson DA., Reirradiation human spinal cord tolerance for stereotactic body radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jan 1;82(1):107-16.
Sahgal A, Ma L, Fowler J, Weinberg V, Gibbs I, Gerszten PC, Ryu S, Soltys S, Chang E, Wong CS, Larson DA., Impact of dose hot spots on spinal cord tolerance following stereotactic body radiotherapy: a generalized biological effective dose analysis. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Feb;11(1):35-40.
Masucci GL, Yu E, Ma L, Chang EL, Letourneau D, Lo S, Leung E, Chao S, Hyde D, Gorgulho A, Muacevic A, Larson DA, Fehlings MG, Sahgal A., Stereotactic body radiotherapy is an effective treatment in reirradiating spinal metastases: current status and practical considerations for safe practice. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2011 Dec;11(12):1923-33.
Ma L, Lee L, Barani I, Hwang A, Fogh S, Nakamura J, McDermott M, Sneed P, Larson DA, Sahgal A., Shot sequencing based on biological equivalent dose considerations for multiple isocenter Gamma Knife radiosurgery.
Larson DA, Cilento BW., Systematic functional assessment of nasal dyspnea: surgical outcomes and predictive ability. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Nov;145(5):845-50.
Petti PL, Kunwar S, Larson DA., A theoretical investigation of optimal target-dose conformity in gamma knife radiosurgery. Med Phys. 2011 May;38(5):2812-9.
Ma L, Sahgal A, Hwang A, Hu W, Descovich M, Chuang C, Barani I, Sneed PK, McDermott M, Larson DA., 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, 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.
Larson DA, Han JK., Microbiology of sinusitis: does allergy or endoscopic sinus surgery affect the microbiologic flora? Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jun;19(3):199-203.
Sahgal A, Bilsky M, Chang EL, Ma L, Yamada Y, Rhines LD, Létourneau D, Foote M, Yu E, Larson DA, Fehlings MG., Stereotactic body radiotherapy for spinal metastases: current status, with a focus on its application in the postoperative patient. J Neurosurg Spine. 2011 Feb;14(2):151-66.
Ma L, Sahgal A, Cozzi L, Chang E, Shiu A, Letourneau D, Yin FF, Fogliata A, Kaissl W, Hyde D, Laperriere NJ, Shrieve DC, Larson DA., Apparatus-dependent dosimetric differences in spine stereotactic body radiotherapy. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Dec;9(6):563-74.
Larson DA, Derkay CS., Epidemiology of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. APMIS. 2010 Jun;118(6-7):450-4. Review.
Sahgal A, Barani IJ, Novotny J Jr, Zhang B, Petti P, Larson DA, Ma L., Prescription dose guideline based on physical criterion for multiple metastatic brain tumors treated with stereotactic radiosurgery.
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 1;76(3):943-8.
Potters L, Kavanagh B, Galvin JM, Hevezi JM, Janjan NA, Larson DA, Mehta MP, Ryu S, Steinberg M, Timmerman R, Welsh JS, Rosenthal SA; American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology; American College of Radiology., American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) and American College of Radiology (ACR) practice guideline for the performance of stereotactic body radiation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Feb 1;76(2):326-32.
Sahgal A, Ma L, Gibbs I, Gerszten PC, Ryu S, Soltys S, Weinberg V, Wong S, Chang E, Fowler J, Larson DA., Spinal cord tolerance for stereotactic body radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Jun 1;77(2):548-53.
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.
Sahgal A, Ma L, Chang E, Shiu A, Larson DA, Laperriere N, Yin FF, Tsao M, Menard C, Basran PS, Létourneau D, Heydarian M, Beachey D, Shukla V, Cusimano M, Hodaie M, Zadeh G, Bernstein M, Schwartz M., Advances in technology for intracranial stereotactic radiosurgery. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Aug;8(4):271-80.
Daftari IK, Petti PL, Larson DA, O'Brien JM, Phillips TL., A noninvasive eye fixation monitoring system for CyberKnife radiotherapy of choroidal and orbital tumors. Med Phys. 2009 Mar;36(3):719-24.
Barbaro NM, Quigg M, Broshek DK, Ward MM, Lamborn KR, Laxer KD, Larson DA, Dillon W, Verhey L, Garcia P, Steiner L, Heck C, Kondziolka D, Beach R, Olivero W, Witt TC, Salanova V, Goodman R., A multicenter, prospective pilot study of gamma knife radiosurgery for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: seizure response, adverse events, and verbal memory. Ann Neurol. 2009 Feb;65(2):167-75.
Lee KH, Larson DA, Shott G, Rasmussen B, Cohen AP, Benton C, Halsted M, Choo D, Meinzen-Derr J, Greinwald JH Jr., Audiologic and temporal bone imaging findings in patients with sensorineural hearing loss and GJB2 mutations. Laryngoscope. 2009 Mar;119(3):554-8.
Petti PL, Larson DA, Kunwar S., Use of hybrid shots in planning Perfexion Gamma Knife treatments for lesions close to critical structures.
Sahgal A, Ames C, Chou D, Ma L, Huang K, Xu W, Chin C, Weinberg V, Chuang C, Weinstein P, Larson DA., Stereotactic body radiotherapy is effective salvage therapy for patients with prior radiation of spinal metastases. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Jul 1;74(3):723-31. Epub 2008 Dec 25.
Huang K, Sneed PK, Kunwar S, Kragten A, Larson DA, Berger MS, Chan A, Pouliot J, McDermott MW., Surgical resection and permanent iodine-125 brachytherapy for brain metastases. J Neurooncol. 2009 Jan;91(1):83-93.
Sahgal A, Larson DA, Chang EL., Stereotactic body radiosurgery for spinal metastases: a critical review. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Jul 1;71(3):652-65. Review. No abstract available. Erratum in: Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 May 1;74(1):323.
Chuang CF, Larson DA, Zytkovicz A, Smith V, Petti PL., Peripheral dose measurement for CyberKnife radiosurgery with upgraded linac shielding. Med Phys. 2008 Apr;35(4):1494-6.
de Alba Campomanes AG, Larson DA, Horton JC., Immediate shrinkage of optociliary shunt vessels after fractionated external beam radiation for meningioma of the optic nerve sheath. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2008 Aug;29(7):1360-2.
Larson DA, Rubenstein JL, McDermott MW. Metastatic cancer to the brain. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, and Rosenberg SA (eds.). Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 8th edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2008.
Sahgal A, Larson DA, Chang EL. Stereotactic radiosurgery for spinal metastases: a critical review. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 71:652-665, 2008.
Kased N, Huang K, Nakamura JL, Sahgal A, Larson DA, McDermott MW, Sneed PK. Gamma Knife radiosurgery for brainstem metastases: the UCSF experience. J Neuro-Oncol 86:195-205, 2008.
Chuang C, Sahgal A, Lee L, Larson D, Huang K, Petti P, Verhey L, Ma L. Effects of residual target motion for image-tracked spine radiosurgery. Med Phys 34:4484-4490, 2007.
Sahgal A, Chou D, Ames C, Ma L, Lamborn K, Huang K, Chuang C, Aiken A, Petti P, Weinstein P, Larson D. Image-guided robotic radiosurgery for benign spinal tumors: the University of California San Francisco preliminary experience. Technol Cancer Res Treat 6:595-604, 2007.
Sahgal A, Chou D, Ames C, Ma L, Lamborn K, Huang K, Chuang C, Aiken A, Petti P, Weinstein P, Larson D. Image-guided robotic stereotactic body radiotherapy for benign spinal tumors: the University of California San Francisco preliminary experience. Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment 6:595-604, 2007.
Chen AM, Chang S, Pouliot J, Sneed PK, Prados MD, Lamborn KR, Malec MK, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Larson DA. Phase I trial of gross total resection, permanent Iodine -125 brachytherapy, and hyperfractionated radiotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme. Int Jour Radiat Biol Phys 69:825-830, 2007.
Chuang C, Chan A, Larson D, Verhey L, McDermott M, Nelson S, Pirzkall A. Potential value of MR spectroscopic imaging for the radiosurgical management of patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas. Technol Cancer Res Treat 6:375-382, 2007.
Chen AM, Chang S, Pouliot J, Sneed PK, Prados MD, Lamborn KR, Malec M, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Larson DA. Phase I trial of gross total resection, permanent iodine-125 brachytherapy, and hyperfractionated radiotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme. Int J Radiat Onc Biol Phys 69:825-830, 2007.
Chen AM, Jahan TM, Jablons DM, Garcia J, Larson DA. Risk of cerebral metastases and neurological death after pathological complete response to neoadjuvant therapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer: clinical implications for the subsequent management of the brain. Cancer 109:1668-1675, 2007.
Ma L, Larson D, Petti P, Chuang C, Verhey L. Boosting central target dose by optimizing embedded dose hot spots for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Sterotact Funct Neurosurg 85:259-263, 2007.
Petti PL, Coleman J, McDermott M, Smith V, Larson DA. Anatomic landmarks versus fiducials for volume-staged Gamma Knife radiosurgery for large arteriovenous malformations. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 67:1578-85, 2007.