Clinical Focus

  • Radiation Oncology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Fellowship:Stanford Hospital and Clinics - Radiation Oncology (2012) CA
  • Residency:Stanford Hospital and Clinics - Radiation Oncology (2011) CA
  • Internship:Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (2007) CA
  • Board Certification: Radiation Oncology, American Board of Radiology (2012)
  • Medical Education:Stanford School of Medicine (2006) CA


All Publications

  • Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Abelson, J. A., Murphy, J. D., Minn, A. Y., Chung, M., Fisher, G. A., Ford, J. M., Kunz, P., Norton, J. A., Visser, B. C., Poultsides, G. A., Koong, A. C., Chang, D. T. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2012: E595-E601


    To report the outcomes and toxicities in patients treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for pancreatic adenocarcinoma.Forty-seven patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma were treated with IMRT between 2003 and 2008. Of these 47 patients, 29 were treated adjuvantly and 18 definitively. All received concurrent 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy. The treatment plans were optimized such that 95% of the planning target volume received the prescription dose. The median delivered dose for the adjuvant and definitive patients was 50.4 and 54.0 Gy, respectively.The median age at diagnosis was 63.9 years. For adjuvant patients, the 1- and 2-year overall survival rate was 79% and 40%, respectively. The 1- and 2-year recurrence-free survival rate was 58% and 17%, respectively. The local-regional control rate at 1 and 2 years was 92% and 80%, respectively. For definitive patients, the 1-year overall survival, recurrence-free survival, and local-regional control rate was 24%, 16%, and 64%, respectively. Four patients developed Grade 3 or greater acute toxicity (9%) and four developed Grade 3 late toxicity (9%).Survival for patients with pancreatic cancer remains poor. A small percentage of adjuvant patients have durable disease control, and with improved therapies, this proportion will increase. Systemic therapy offers the greatest opportunity. The present results have demonstrated that IMRT is well tolerated. Compared with those who received three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy in previously reported prospective clinical trials, patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma treated with IMRT in our series had improved acute toxicity.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.09.035

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300980300003

    View details for PubMedID 22197234

  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Gastrointestinal Malignancies IMRT IGRT SBRT- ADVANCES IN THE TREATMENT PLANNING AND DELIVERY OF RADIOTHERAPY Minn, A. Y., Koong, A. C., Chang, D. T. 2011; 43: 412-427


    Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is an emerging treatment for pancreas cancer and liver tumors. Early data suggest excellent control rates for locally advanced pancreas cancer. However, due to the close proximity of the duodenum and stomach, steps to effectively minimize toxicities must be taken through image guidance of treatments. SBRT for liver tumors has also shown high rates of local control with low risks for hepatic toxicity. Careful selection of cases for SBRT is essential to achieve disease control and to minimize toxicity for patients. In treatment, attention must be paid to minimizing exposure of nearby normal tissues, including ribs, skin and bowel as well as the functioning organs surrounding the tumors. There is no accepted standard for the SBRT dose/fractionation schedule for these cases and the optimal strategy will likely depend on the size, number and location of lesions for each patient. However, the published data seem to suggest an overall dose-response effect. To realize the clinical potential of SBRT for these tumors, investigations are needed to determine optimum fractionation schedules and to integrate its use with systemic chemotherapy programs.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292117400021

    View details for PubMedID 21625166



    As the spinal cord tolerance often precludes reirradiation with conventional techniques, local recurrence within a previously irradiated field presents a treatment challenge.We retrospectively reviewed 51 lesions in 42 patients treated from 2002 to 2008 whose spinal metastases recurred in a previous radiation field (median previous spinal cord dose of 40 Gy) and were subsequently treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).SRS was delivered to a median marginal dose of 20 Gy (range, 10-30 Gy) in 1-5 fractions (median, 2), targeting a median tumor volume of 10.3 cm(3) (range, 0.2-128.6 cm(3)). Converting the SRS regimens with the linear quadratic model (?/? = 3), the median spinal cord maximum single-session equivalent dose (SSED) was 12.1 Gy(3) (range, 4.7-19.3 Gy(3)). With a median follow-up of 7 months (range, 2-47 months), the Kaplan-Meier local control and overall survival rates at 6/12 months were 87%/73% and 81%/68%, respectively. A time to retreatment of ?12 months and the combination of time to retreatment of ?12 months with an SSED of <15 Gy(10) were significant predictors of local failure on univariate and multivariate analyses. In patients with a retreatment interval of <12 months, 6/12 month local control rates were 88%/58%, with a SSED of >15 Gy(10), compared to 45%/0% with <15 Gy(10), respectively. One patient (2%) experienced Grade 4 neurotoxicity.SRS is safe and effective in the treatment of spinal metastases recurring in previously irradiated fields. Tumor recurrence within 12 months may correlate with biologic aggressiveness and require higher SRS doses (SSED >15 Gy(10)). Further research is needed to define the partial volume retreatment tolerance of the spinal cord and the optimal target dose.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.07.1727

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282147000028

    View details for PubMedID 20133079

  • Early Treatment Failure in Intermediate-Risk Rhabdomyosarcoma: Results From IRS-IV and D9803-A Report From the Children's Oncology Group JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Minn, A. Y., Lyden, E. R., Anderson, J. R., Million, L., Arndt, C. A., Brown, K., Hawkins, D. S., Donaldson, S. S. 2010; 28 (27): 4228-4232


    The goal of this study was to determine the frequency and clinical features of early treatment failure during induction chemotherapy before protocol radiation therapy for children with intermediate-risk rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS).Patients with intermediate-risk RMS enrolled onto the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study-IV and the Children's Oncology Group D9803 study were reviewed for an early treatment failure. Early failure was defined as failure caused by progressive disease, death as a result of progressive disease, or death as a result of other causes occurring fewer than 120 days from study entry. Patients with parameningeal site RMS with high-risk features who received radiation therapy at week 1 were excluded from analysis. Overall survival (OS) was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Fisher's exact test was used to compare differences between groups. Cumulative incidence of progression was estimated.Of 916 patients, 20 (2.2%) were found to have an early disease progression and did not receive planned protocol radiotherapy. Three additional early failures resulted from treatment-related death without progression. Median time to failure was 48 days (range, 7 to 106 days). Nineteen (95%) of the 20 patients experienced progression at their primary site. Five-year OS was 32% (95% CI, 12% to 54%) for patients experiencing an early progression.A small proportion of patients with intermediate-risk RMS suffer an early failure as a result of early progression (2.2%) or treatment-related mortality (0.3%). The majority of patients with early progression had a local failure. Earlier radiotherapy could potentially improve outcome by preventing early local progression.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2010.29.0247

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281909700020

    View details for PubMedID 20713850

  • Comparison of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy and 3-Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy as Adjuvant Therapy for Gastric Cancer Minn, A. Y., Hsu, A., La, T., Kunz, P., Fisher, G. A., Ford, J. M., Norton, J. A., Visser, B., Goodman, K. A., Koong, A. C., Chang, D. T. JOHN WILEY & SONS INC. 2010: 3943-3952


    The current study was performed to compare the clinical outcomes and toxicity in patients treated with postoperative chemoradiotherapy for gastric cancer using intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) versus 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D CRT).Fifty-seven patients with gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer were treated postoperatively: 26 with 3D CRT and 31 with IMRT. Concurrent chemotherapy was capecitabine (n=31), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (n=25), or none (n=1). The median radiation dose was 45 Gy. Dose volume histogram parameters for kidney and liver were compared between treatment groups.The 2-year overall survival rates for 3D CRT versus IMRT were 51% and 65%, respectively (P=.5). Four locoregional failures occurred each in the 3D CRT (15%) and the IMRT (13%) patients. Grade>or=2 acute gastrointestinal toxicity was found to be similar between the 3D CRT and IMRT patients (61.5% vs 61.2%, respectively) but more treatment breaks were needed (3 vs 0, respectively). The median serum creatinine from before radiotherapy to most recent creatinine was unchanged in the IMRT group (0.80 mg/dL) but increased in the 3D CRT group from 0.80 mg/dL to 1.0 mg/dL (P=.02). The median kidney mean dose was higher in the IMRT versus the 3D CRT group (13.9 Gy vs 11.1 Gy; P=.05). The median kidney V20 was lower for the IMRT versus the 3D CRT group (17.5% vs 22%; P=.17). The median liver mean dose for IMRT and 3D CRT was 13.6 Gy and 18.6 Gy, respectively (P=.19). The median liver V30 was 16.1% and 28%, respectively (P<.001).Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy was well tolerated. IMRT was found to provide sparing to the liver and possibly renal function.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.25246

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280677100025

    View details for PubMedID 20564136



    To compare the interfractional variation in pancreatic tumor position using bony anatomy and implanted fiducial markers.Five consecutively treated patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma who received definitive intensity-modulated radiation therapy at Stanford University (Stanford, CA) underwent fiducial seed placement and treatment on the Varian Trilogy system (Varian, Palo Alto, CA) with respiratory gating. Daily orthogonal kilovoltage imaging was performed to verify patient positioning, and isocenter shifts were made initially to match bony anatomy. Next, a final shift to the fiducial seeds was made under fluoroscopic guidance to confirm the location of the pancreatic tumor during the respiratory gated phase. All shifts were measured along three axes, left (+)-right (-), anterior (-)-posterior (+), and superior (+)-inferior (-), and the overall interfractional tumor movement was calculated based on these values.A total of 140 fractions were analyzed. The mean absolute shift to fiducial markers after shifting to bony anatomy was 1.6 mm (95th percentile, 7 mm; range, 0-9 mm), 1.8 mm (95th percentile, 7 mm; range, 0-13 mm), and 4.1 mm (95th percentile, 12 mm; range, 0-19 mm) in the anterior-posterior, left-right, and superior-inferior directions, respectively. The mean interfractional vector shift distance was 5.5 mm (95th percentile, 14.5 mm; range, 0-19.3 mm). In 28 of 140 fractions (20%) no fiducial shift was required after alignment to bony anatomy.There is substantial residual uncertainty after alignment to bony anatomy when radiating pancreatic tumors using respiratory gating. Bony anatomy matched tumor position in only 20% of the radiation treatments. If bony alignment is used in conjunction with respiratory gating without implanted fiducials, treatment margins need to account for this uncertainty.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.06.029

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274121500040

    View details for PubMedID 19879062

  • Multimodality treatment with intensity modulated radiation therapy for esophageal cancer DISEASES OF THE ESOPHAGUS La, T. H., Minn, A. Y., Su, Z., Fisher, G. A., Ford, J. M., Kunz, P., Goodman, K. A., Koong, A. C., Chang, D. T. 2010; 23 (4): 300-308


    The objective of this study is to determine the feasibility and report the outcome of patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer treated with preoperative or definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) using intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Between 2003 and 2007, 30 patients with non-cervical esophageal cancer received concurrent chemotherapy and IMRT at Stanford University. Eighteen patients were planned for definitive CRT and 12 were planned for preoperative CRT. All patients had computed tomography-based treatment planning and received IMRT. The median dose delivered was 50.4 Gy. Patients planned for preoperative CRT underwent surgery 4-13 weeks (median 8.3 weeks) following completion of CRT. Median follow-up of surviving patients from start of RT was 24.2 months (range 8.2-38.3 months). The majority of tumors were adenocarcinomas (67%) and poorly differentiated (57%). Tumor location was 7% upper, 20% mid, 47% lower, and 27% gastroesophageal junction. Actuarial 2-year local-regional control (LRC) was 64%. High tumor grade was an adverse prognostic factor for LRC and overall survival (OS) (P= 0.015 and 0.012, respectively). The 2-year LRC was 83% vs. 51% for patients treated preoperatively vs. definitively (P= 0.32). The 2-year disease-free and OS were 38% and 56%, respectively. Twelve patients (40%) required feeding tube placement, and the average weight loss from baseline was 4.8%. Twelve (40%) patients experienced grade 3+ acute complications and one patient died of complications following feeding tube placement. Three patients (10%) required a treatment break. Eight patients (27%) experienced grade 3 late complications. No grade 4 complications were seen. IMRT was effective and well tolerated. Disease recurrence remains a challenge and further investigation with dose escalation to improve LRC and OS is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2009.01004.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278109300005

    View details for PubMedID 19732129

  • Pancreatic Tumor Motion on a Single Planning 4D-CT Does Not Correlate With Intrafraction Tumor Motion During Treatment AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY-CANCER CLINICAL TRIALS Minn, A. Y., Schellenberg, D., Maxim, P., Suh, Y., McKenna, S., Cox, B., Dieterich, S., Xing, L., Graves, E., Goodman, K. A., Chang, D., Koong, A. C. 2009; 32 (4): 364-368


    To quantify pancreas tumor motion on both a planning 4D-CT and during a single fraction treatment using the CyberKnife linear accelerator and Synchrony respiratory tracking software, and to investigate whether a single 4D-CT study is reliable for determining radiation treatment margins for patients with locally advanced pancreas cancer.Twenty patients underwent fiducial placement, biphasic pancreatic protocol CT scan and 4D-CT scan in the treatment position while free-breathing. Patients were then treated with a single 25 Gy fraction of stereotactic body radiotherapy. Predicted pancreas motion in the superior-inferior (SI), left-right (LR), and anterior-posterior (AP) directions was calculated from the maximum inspiration and maximum expiration 4D-CT scan. For CyberKnife treatments, mean respiratory cycle motion and maximum respiratory cycle motion was determined in the SI, LR, and AP directions.The range of centroid movement based on 4D-CT in the SI, LR, and AP directions were 0.9 to 28.8 mm, 0.1 to 13.7 mm, and 0.2 to 7.6 mm, respectively. During CyberKnife treatment, in the SI direction, the mean motion of the centroid ranged from 0.5 to 12.7 mm. In the LR direction, the mean motion range was 0.4 to 9.4 mm. In the AP direction, the mean motion range was 0.6 to 5.5 mm. The maximum range of movement (mean) during CyberKnife treatment in the SI, LR, and AP directions were 4.5 to 48.8 mm (mean 20.8 mm), 1.5 to 41.3 mm (mean 11.3 mm), and 1.6 to 68.1 mm (mean 13.4 mm), respectively. Neither the maximum or mean motion correlated with the 4D-CT movement.There is substantial respiratory associated motion of pancreatic tumors. The 4D-CT planning scans cannot accurately predict the movement of pancreatic tumors during actual treatment on CyberKnife.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/COC.0b013e31818da9e0

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268761600007

    View details for PubMedID 19398901

  • A syndrome of irreversible leukoencephalopathy following pediatric allogeneic bone marrow transplantation PEDIATRIC BLOOD & CANCER Minn, A. Y., Fisher, P. G., Barnes, P. D., Dahl, G. V. 2007; 48 (2): 213-217


    Despite decreases in overall mortality following bone marrow transplantation (BMT), a number of complications such as neurotoxicity have been described and often associated with immunosuppressive agents. The syndrome of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy has been described in patients receiving cyclosporin and FK-506. We report here a subset of children who developed a syndrome of previously undescribed irreversible leukoencephalopathy following allogeneic BMT.Between 1996 and 2002, 138 pediatric patients received an allogeneic BMT at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. Six cases of irreversible leukoencephalopathy were observed. Cases were defined as children who exhibited progressive and continued, severe neurologic deterioration lasting greater than 2 weeks and consistent with non-localizing, central nervous system abnormalities. Medical records and magnetic resonance images (MRIs) were reviewed.Median age of the affected patients at BMT was 7.8 years. All six received cyclosporine, and [corrected] one had elevated drug levels. Encephalopathy occurred at a median of 53 days (range 14-77) following BMT. Symptoms at onset of leukoenceophalopathy included confusion and altered mental status, sluggish pupillary responses, abnormal movements, and seizures. Two patients died during their neurologic decline. Four patients remain alive with persistent encephalopathy. MRI showed abnormalities in all patients including periventricular or subcortical white matter involvement in all, and basal ganglia lesions in three.We report a syndrome of irreversible neurologic deficits and cerebral white matter abnormalities following allogeneic BMT, yet not associated with elevated cyclosporin levels. A precise mechanism for this syndrome is lacking and warrants further consideration.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.20731

    View details for Web of Science ID 000242875800016

    View details for PubMedID 16365853

  • Postural instability in idiopathic Parkinson's disease: the role of medication and unilateral pallidotomy BRAIN Bronte-Stewart, H. M., Minn, A. Y., Rodrigues, K., Buckley, E. L., Nashner, L. M. 2002; 125: 2100-2114


    Postural instability (PI) is common in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). We measured sensory and motor contributions to PI in 50 patients with advanced IPD, off and on medication and in a subset pre- and 3, 6 and 12 months post-unilateral pallidotomy, using computerized dynamic posturography [specifically, the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) subscale PIGD (Postural Instability and Gait Disorder)]. Off medication, all patients had abnormal PIGD scores. The group could be separated into those with normal SOT equilibrium scores (SOTN) and those, the majority, with abnormal postural control when sensory feedback was limited (SOTABN). Medication improved the PIGD scores but worsened the SOT scores in the majority of patients. Increases in spontaneous sway in some patients contributed to the negative effect of medication on SOT scores. However, this could not explain the detrimental effect of medication on SOT scores in at least 40% of patients. On the other hand, pallidotomy improved both PIGD and SOT scores in both groups. A predictor of good outcome from pallidotomy concerning PI was the degree of worsening of the effect that medication had on SOT5 scores. PI in IPD appears to be multifactorial. We propose that the PIGD score reflects sensory and motor aspects of postural control, with normal sensory feedback, while the SOT equilibrium scores measure the sensory organizational process of postural control in the presence of altered sensory inputs. There is a dissociation between the effects of medication and pallidotomy on motor and sensory components of postural control, which may reflect the underlying pathophysiological mechanism responsible for these different components of PI. We suggest that patients with advanced IPD and PI on medication should consider adjuvant surgical treatment for better postural control.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177504900017

    View details for PubMedID 12183355

  • Surveillance neuroimaging to detect relapse in childhood brain tumors: A pediatric oncology group study JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Minn, A. Y., Pollock, B. H., Garzarella, L., Dahl, G. V., Kun, L. E., Ducore, J. M., Shibata, A., Kepner, J., Fisher, P. G. 2001; 19 (21): 4135-4140


    To investigate the prognostic significance of surveillance neuroimaging for detection of relapse among children with malignant brain tumors.A historical cohort study examined all children who experienced relapse from 1985 to 1999 on one of 10 Pediatric Oncology Group trials for malignant glioma, medulloblastoma, or ependymoma.For all 291 patients (median age at diagnosis, 8.2 years), median time to first relapse was 8.8 months (range, 0.6 to 115.6 months). Ninety-nine relapses were radiographic, and 192, clinical; median time to relapse was 15.7 versus 6.6 months, respectively (P = .0001). When stratified by pathology, radiographic and clinical groups showed differences in median time to relapse for malignant glioma (7.8 v 4.3 months, respectively; P = .041) and medulloblastoma (23.6 v 8.9 months, respectively; P = .0006) but not ependymoma (19.5 v 13.3 months, respectively; P = .19). When stratified by early (< 8.8 months) or late (> or = 8.8 months) time to relapse, 115 early relapses were clinical, and 32, radiographic; for late relapses, 77 were clinical, and 67, radiographic (P = .001). Overall survival (OS) from relapse was significantly longer for radiographic compared with clinical detection (median, 10.8 months; 1-year OS, 46% v median, 5.5 months; 1-year OS, 33%; P = .002), but this trend did not retain significance when analyzed by pathology subgroups.Surveillance neuroimaging detects a proportion of asymptomatic relapses, particularly late relapses, and may provide lead time for other therapies on investigational trials. During the first year after diagnosis, radiographic detection of asymptomatic relapse was infrequent. A prospective study is needed to formulate a rational surveillance schedule based on the biologic behavior of these tumors.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171901100006

    View details for PubMedID 11689581

  • Perinatal sex hormones and risk of breast and prostate cancers in adulthood EPIDEMIOLOGIC REVIEWS Shibata, A., Minn, A. Y. 2000; 22 (2): 239-248

    View details for Web of Science ID 000166573100005

    View details for PubMedID 11218375