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University of California San Francisco

Our Team

Chris J. Diederich, Ph.D.

Director of Clinical Hyperthermia Physics Section &
Thermal Therapy Research Group
Department of Radiation Oncology

Enjoys a good BBQ, water sports such as scuba diving and body surfing, fishing with work buddies

Meet Dr. Diederich

I am motivated by the opportunity to deliver safe and effective hyperthermia therapy in a compassionate way while striving for patient comfort.


Dr. Diederich’s clinical expertise includes treatment planning, quality assurance, and delivery of hyperthermia therapy (thermal therapy) in conjunction with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. He has over 25 years of experience as a Medical Physicist in the field of Hyperthermia Therapy, with applications of ultrasound and electromagnetic systems for delivering superficial, interstitial, and deep hyperthermia. He is Director of Clinical Hyperthermia Physics. This clinical service includes standard of care procedures, as well as scientific investigations of (1) the use of ultrasound to preferentially target ThermoDox, a thermally sensitive nanoparticle, for treatment of recurrent breast cancer, (2) catheter-based ultrasound hyperthermia in conjunction with HDR brachytherapy for the treatment of locally advanced prostate and cervix cancer, and (3) deep hyperthermia for pelvic tumors.

Research Focus

His main focus of research has been the development of ultrasound devices and treatment delivery strategies for targeted hyperthermia, thermal ablation therapies, and drug delivery. This includes integration of devices with magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound (US) imaging techniques to guide and monitor therapy delivery. Areas of expertise include ultrasound physics, bioacoustic thermal modeling and control, MR and US image guidance, and theoretical and experimental techniques to develop and evaluate thermal therapy devices prior to clinical implementation. Dr. Diederich’s lab group is investigating methods of applying hyperthermia or moderate thermal therapy (40-45 °C) to tissue to significantly enhance radiation therapy, chemotherapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy, and drug delivery/activation (e.g., nanoparticles). Further, high temperature (50-80+ °C) thermal therapy is being investigated to outright destroy tumors or permanently change the physical properties of tissue. The image-guided ultrasound devices and methods developed by his group can produce precise shaped heating patterns and are more controllable than other modalities, thus potentially providing more conformable heating, better response and lower complication rates; the technology has demonstrated potential for cancer therapy and treatment of non-malignant disease. Catheter based ultrasound devices and a delivery system developed by his group are currently being applied in an NIH sponsored clinical study at UCSF for applying hyperthermia in conjunction with HDR brachytherapy for the treatment of locally advanced prostate and cervix cancer (FDA IDE G040168). Research funded projects include development of catheter-based, endoluminal, and endocavity ultrasound technology for thermal therapy treatment of prostate cancer, cervix cancer, pancreatic cancer, uterine fibroid ablation, and bone and spinal tumor ablation.



1984 University of California, San Diego BS Bioengineering
1986 University of Arizona MSEE Electrical Engineering
1990 University of Arizona Ph.D. Electrical Engineering
Professional Experience

Professional Experience

2006-present UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology Professor
2000-2006 UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology Associate Professor
1990-2000 UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology Assistant Professor

Awards & Honors

1993   Recipient of Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Research Award

Physics Councilor (96-98), North American Hyperthermia Society (NAHS)


Vice President Elect, President-Elect, President, and Past-President of the North American Hyperthermia Society –NAHS

2000   Recipient, Norby-Smith Award for Minimally Invasive Surgery, North American Spine Society
2001-2002   17th President, North American Hyperthermia Society (Now STM)
2007-2011   Secretary Treasurer, Society of Thermal Medicine (NAHS)

Executive Board Member, International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound

2010   Recipient of the 2010 Robinson Award – Society for Thermal Medicine
2011   Targeted Drug Delivery – Steering Committee, Focused Ultrasound Surgery Fondation
2011-2015   AAPM Meeting Coordination Committee, Program, and Ultrasound Track
2013-2016   AAPM Task Group Member, TG-241 MR guided Focused Ultrasound
2014-2017   Executive Board Member, International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound
2013-2015   Co-Chair, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco Joint Bioengineering Graduate Program



Recent Significant Publications

DA Horne, PD Jones, M Adams, JC Lotz, CJ Diederich, LIPUS far-field exposimetry system for uniform stimulation of tissues in-vitro: development and validation with bovine intervertebral disc cells, Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express, 2020

Liu D, Adams M, Burdette EC, Diederich CJ. Dual-sectored transurethral ultrasound for thermal treatment of stress urinary incontinence: in silico studies in 3D anatomical models. Med Biol Eng Comput. 2020 Jun;58(6):1325-1340. doi: 10.1007/s11517-020-02152-6. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Lee JE, Diederich CJ, Bok R, Sriram R, Santos RD, Noworolski SM, Salgaonkar VA, Adams MS, Vigneron DB, Kurhanewicz J. Assessing high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment of prostate cancer with hyperpolarized 13 C dual-agent imaging of metabolism and perfusion. NMR Biomed. 2019 Oct;32(10):e3962. doi: 10.1002/nbm.3962. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

Adams MS, Diederich CJ. Deployable cylindrical phased-array applicator mimicking a concentric-ring configuration for minimally-invasive delivery of therapeutic ultrasound. Phys Med Biol. 2019 Jun 10;64(12):125001. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ab2318.

Dobšíček Trefná H, Schmidt M, van Rhoon GC, Kok HP, Gordeyev SS, Lamprecht U, Marder D, Nadobny J, Ghadjar P, Abdel-Rahman S, Kukiełka AM, Strnad V, Hurwitz MD, Vujaskovic Z, Diederich CJ, Stauffer PR, Crezee J. Quality assurance guidelines for interstitial hyperthermia. Int J Hyperthermia. 2019;36(1):277-294. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2018.1564155. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Yao X, Adams MS, Jones PD, Diederich CJ, Verkman AS. Noninvasive, Targeted Creation of Neuromyelitis Optica Pathology in AQP4-IgG Seropositive Rats by Pulsed Focused Ultrasound. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2019 Jan 1;78(1):47-56. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nly107.

Liu D, Adams MS, Diederich CJ. Endobronchial high-intensity ultrasound for thermal therapy of pulmonary malignancies: simulations with patient-specific lung models. Int J Hyperthermia. 2019;36(1):1108-1121. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2019.1683234.

Liu D, Adams MS, Burdette EC, Diederich CJ. Transurethral high-intensity ultrasound for treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI): simulation studies with patient-specific models. Int J Hyperthermia. 2018 Dec;34(8):1236-1247. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2018.1456679. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Ozhinsky E, Salgaonkar VA, Diederich CJ, Rieke V. MR thermometry-guided ultrasound hyperthermia of user-defined regions using the ExAblate prostate ablation array. J Ther Ultrasound. 2018;6:7. doi: 10.1186/s40349-018-0115-5.

Adams MS, Salgaonkar VA, Scott SJ, Sommer G, Diederich CJ. Integration of deployable fluid lenses and reflectors with endoluminal therapeutic ultrasound applicators: Preliminary investigations of enhanced penetration depth and focal gain. Med Phys. 2017 Oct;44(10):5339-5356. doi: 10.1002/mp.12458. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Trefná HD, Crezee H, Schmidt M, Marder D, Lamprecht U, Ehmann M, Hartmann J, Nadobny J, Gellermann J, van Holthe N, Ghadjar P, Lomax N, Abdel-Rahman S, Bert C, Bakker A, Hurwitz MD, Diederich CJ, Stauffer PR, van Rhoon GC. Quality assurance guidelines for superficial hyperthermia clinical trials: I. Clinical requirements. Int J Hyperthermia. 2017 Jun;33(4):471-482. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2016.1277791. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Dobšíček Trefná H, Crezee J, Schmidt M, Marder D, Lamprecht U, Ehmann M, Nadobny J, Hartmann J, Lomax N, Abdel-Rahman S, Curto S, Bakker A, Hurwitz MD, Diederich CJ, Stauffer PR, Van Rhoon GC. Quality assurance guidelines for superficial hyperthermia clinical trials : II. Technical requirements for heating devices. Strahlenther Onkol. 2017 May;193(5):351-366. doi: 10.1007/s00066-017-1106-0. Epub 2017 Mar 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 28251250;

Adams MS, Salgaonkar VA, Plata-Camargo J, Jones PD, Pascal-Tenorio A, Chen HY, Bouley DM, Sommer G, Pauly KB, Diederich CJ. Endoluminal ultrasound applicators for MR-guided thermal ablation of pancreatic tumors: Preliminary design and evaluation in a porcine pancreas model. Med Phys. 2016 Jul;43(7):4184. doi: 10.1118/1.4953632. PubMed PMID: 27370138; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4912561.

Zagar TM, Vujaskovic Z, Formenti S, Rugo H, Muggia F, O’Connor B, Myerson R, Stauffer P, Hsu IC, Diederich C, Straube W, Boss MK, Boico A, Craciunescu O, Maccarini P, Needham D, Borys N, Blackwell KL, Dewhirst MW. Two phase I dose-escalation/pharmacokinetics studies of low temperature liposomal doxorubicin (LTLD) and mild local hyperthermia in heavily pretreated patients with local regionally recurrent breast cancer. Int J Hyperthermia. 2014 Aug; 30(5):285-94.

Myerson RJ, Moros EG, Diederich CJ, Haemmerich D, Hurwitz MD, Hsu IC, McGough RJ, Nau WH, Straube WL, Turner PF, Vujaskovic Z, Stauffer PR. Components of a hyperthermia clinic: recommendations for staffing, equipment, and treatment monitoring. Int J Hyperthermia. 2014 Feb; 30(1):1-5.


Redefining Possible