University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Soonmee Cha, MD

Soonmee Cha, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Neurologic Oncology

Research Summary

Soonmee Cha, MD, is a Professor In Residence of Radiology and Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program Director, and she is Radiology's Vice-Chair of Education. Dr. Cha has focused on the importance of validating the usefulness of MRI as a tool for brain tumor diagnosis, monitoring and identifying therapy endpoints. She obtained her medical degree from Georgetown University, School of Medicine, Washington in 1991. She completed her Diagnostic Radiology residency from North Shore University Hospital, Cornell University Medical College in New York, followed by a fellowship in Neuroradiology from New York University Medical Center in 1998.

Dr. Cha is committed to a career dedicated to patient-oriented research in the field of brain tumor imaging. She believes that non-invasive imaging technology will make important contributions to the health of patients through improving the specificity and precision of diagnosis and treatment monitoring, which will have significant impact on therapeutic decisions.

The main focus of Dr. Cha’s research is to identify reliable surrogate markers of prognosis and therapeutic efficacy by quantitative MR imaging methods in patients with brain tumors. She believes that by using MR imaging techniques such perfusion MR imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, and 3-dimensional proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, detection of changes in tumor angiogenesis, cellularity, invasion, tumor hypoxia, and metabolic burden can be accurately measured and will provide more specific information about patient’s early response to therapy in the context of tumor growth.

Dr. Cha has been awarded several NIH grants, serving as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator on many NIH projects. She has published 87 articles, and she has written 77 peer-reviewed articles and 4 book chapters.

Expertise:

Neuroradiology

Specialty:

Brain tumor imaging

Professional Interests:

Brain tumor, brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, gliomas, primary cerebral lymphoma, angiogenesis, hypoxia, invasion, perfusion MR imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, molecular imaging, biomarkers, microarray, genomics, neural stem cell

Education and Training:

• Medical School: Georgetown University, College of Arts and Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia

• Internship: Georgetown University Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church

• Residency: North Shore University Hospital, Cornell University Medical College, Manhasset, New York - Diagnostic Radiology

• Fellowship: New York University Medical Center, New York - Neuroradiology

Education

Georgetown University, Washington, DC, B.S., 1983-1987, Chemistry
Georgetown University, Washington, DC, M.D., 1987-1991, Medicine
Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, Internship, 1991-1992, Transitional Internship
North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY, Residency, 1992-1996, Diagnostic Radiology
New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, Fellowship, 1996-1998, Neuroradiology


Professional Experience

  • 1997-1998
    Clinical Instructor of Neuroradiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY
  • 1998-2000
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, New York University School of Medicine
  • 2001-present
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • April 2000
    ASNR Outstanding Presentation Award in General Neuroradiology at the 38th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
  • 1995
    Certificate of Merit Award, Scientific exhibit at RSNA
  • 1994
    Certificate of Merit Award, Scientific exhibit at RSNA

Selected Publications

  1. Villanueva-Meyer JE, Han SJ, Cha S, Butowski NA. Early tumor growth between initial resection and radiotherapy of glioblastoma: incidence and impact on clinical outcomes. J Neurooncol. 2017 May 31.
    View on PubMed
  2. Villanueva-Meyer JE, Mabray MC, Cha S. Current Clinical Brain Tumor Imaging. Neurosurgery. 2017 May 09.
    View on PubMed
  3. Ehman EC, Johnson GB, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S, Leynes AP, Larson PE, Hope TA. PET/MRI: Where might it replace PET/CT? J Magn Reson Imaging. 2017 Mar 30.
    View on PubMed
  4. Neill E, Luks T, Dayal M, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Jalbert LE, Cha S, Molinaro A, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Quantitative multi-modal MR imaging as a non-invasive prognostic tool for patients with recurrent low-grade glioma. J Neurooncol. 2017 Mar; 132(1):171-179.
    View on PubMed
  5. Barajas RF, Krohn KA, Link JM, Hawkins RA, Clarke JL, Pampaloni MH, Cha S. Glioma FMISO PET/MR Imaging Concurrent with Antiangiogenic Therapy: Molecular Imaging as a Clinical Tool in the Burgeoning Era of Personalized Medicine. Biomedicines. 2016 Oct 31; 4(4).
    View on PubMed
  6. Mabray MC, Cha S. Advanced MR Imaging Techniques in Daily Practice. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2016 Nov; 26(4):647-666.
    View on PubMed
  7. Barajas RF, Cha S. Metastasis in Adult Brain Tumors. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2016 Nov; 26(4):601-620.
    View on PubMed
  8. Nelson SJ, Li Y, Lupo JM, Olson M, Crane JC, Molinaro A, Roy R, Clarke J, Butowski N, Prados M, Cha S, Chang SM. Serial analysis of 3D H-1 MRSI for patients with newly diagnosed GBM treated with combination therapy that includes bevacizumab. J Neurooncol. 2016 Aug 17.
    View on PubMed
  9. Barajas RF, Butowski NA, Phillips JJ, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Chang SM, Cha S. The Development of Reduced Diffusion Following Bevacizumab Therapy Identifies Regions of Recurrent Disease in Patients with High-grade Glioma. Acad Radiol. 2016 Sep; 23(9):1073-82.
    View on PubMed
  10. Mabray MC, Cha S. CNS angiitis as a brain tumor mimic with a branching vascular abnormality on T2* MRI. Neurology. 2015 Nov 17; 85(20):1819-20.
    View on PubMed
  11. Mabray MC, Cohen BA, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Valles FE, Barajas RF, Rubenstein JL, Cha S. Performance of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Values and Conventional MRI Features in Differentiating Tumefactive Demyelinating Lesions From Primary Brain Neoplasms. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Nov; 205(5):1075-85.
    View on PubMed
  12. Pastula DM, Burish M, Reis GF, Bollen A, Cha S, Ralph J, Douglas VC. Adult-onset central nervous system hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis: a case report. BMC Neurol. 2015; 15:203.
    View on PubMed
  13. Ellingson BM, Bendszus M, Boxerman J, Barboriak D, Erickson BJ, Smits M, Nelson SJ, Gerstner E, Alexander B, Goldmacher G, Wick W, Vogelbaum M, Weller M, Galanis E, Kalpathy-Cramer J, Shankar L, Jacobs P, Pope WB, Yang D, Chung C, Knopp MV, Cha S, van den Bent MJ, Chang S, Yung WK, Cloughesy TF, Wen PY, Gilbert MR. Consensus recommendations for a standardized Brain Tumor Imaging Protocol in clinical trials. Neuro Oncol. 2015 Sep; 17(9):1188-98.
    View on PubMed
  14. Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S. From Shades of Gray to Microbiologic Imaging: A Historical Review of Brain Abscess Imaging: RSNA Centennial Article. Radiographics. 2015 Sep-Oct; 35(5):1555-62.
    View on PubMed
  15. Lupo JM, Molinaro AM, Essock-Burns E, Butowski N, Chang SM, Cha S, Nelson SJ. The effects of anti-angiogenic therapy on the formation of radiation-induced microbleeds in normal brain tissue of patients with glioma†. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Jan; 18(1):87-95.
    View on PubMed
  16. Breshears JD, Rutkowski MJ, McDermott MW, Cha S, Tihan T, Theodosopoulos PV. Surgical Management of Intracranial Neuroenteric Cysts: The UCSF Experience. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2015 Dec; 76(6):475-9.
    View on PubMed
  17. Mabray MC, Barajas RF, Cha S. Modern brain tumor imaging. Brain Tumor Res Treat. 2015 Apr; 3(1):8-23.
    View on PubMed
  18. Horton JC, Douglas VC, Cha S. Reduced apparent diffusion coefficient in neuromyelitis optica-associated optic neuropathy. J Neuroophthalmol. 2015 Mar; 35(1):101-2.
    View on PubMed
  19. Barajas RF, Pampaloni MH, Clarke JL, Seo Y, Savic D, Hawkins RA, Behr SC, Chang SM, Berger M, Dillon WP, Cha S. Assessing Biological Response to Bevacizumab Using 18F-Fluoromisonidazole PET/MR Imaging in a Patient with Recurrent Anaplastic Astrocytoma. Case Rep Radiol. 2015; 2015:731361.
    View on PubMed
  20. Barajas RF, Cha S. Benefits of dynamic susceptibility-weighted contrast-enhanced perfusion MRI for glioma diagnosis and therapy. CNS Oncol. 2014 Nov; 3(6):407-19.
    View on PubMed

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