Maryland Proton Treatment Center, 850 West Baltimore Street, 223, Baltimore, MD 21201
Education and Training
New University of Lisbon, Portugal, BS, Biomedical Engineering, 2005
New University of Lisbon, Portugal, MS, Biomedical Engineering, 2007
New University of Lisbon, Portugal, PhD, Biomedical Engineering, 2013
Duke University, NC, Research Scholar, Thermal Medical Physics, 2013
Thomas Jefferson University, PA, Postdoctoral Fellow, Thermal Oncology Physics, 2018
Dr. Dario Rodrigues is one of the few thermal oncology physicists in the USA. His specialty is to treat cancer using focused heat generated by radio waves, a thermal therapy technique also known as hyperthermia, which is a potent enhancer of chemo- and radiotherapy. As a physicist, Dr. Rodrigues performs adjuvant hyperthermia treatments of pelvic, abdominal, and superficial tumors. He is also responsible for the treatment planning, thermal dosimetry, and quality assurance of the clinical hyperthermia equipment. In support of his clinical activities, his research involves the development of improved radiofrequency applicators for applying heat to tissue, noninvasive sensors to track temperature changes at depth, and new treatment planning strategies to improve thermal dose delivery. This research is accomplished with a combination of theoretical modeling, engineering development, and equipment performance evaluation with phantom, animal, and human patient subjects. One of Dr. Rodrigues most prominent research outcome was a noninvasive sensor that is able to safely monitor brain temperature during prolonged surgeries. This sensor was designed using microwave radiometry principles, a technique that is also used to measure the radiation from distant stars. A more recent topic of Dr. Rodrigues’ research is the development of a hyperthermia applicator to treat brain tumors, a target difficult to achieve due to the presence of the skull which reflects radio waves. To overcome the challenging structure of the human head, Dr. Rodrigues designed a 72-antenna phased array applicator that is able to target deep-seated brain tumors as demonstrated in a preclinical setting using advanced multiphysics numerical simulations.
A keyword that Dr. Rodrigues uses throughout his clinical and research activities is temperature. Accumulating evidence indicates that physiologic responses to heat affect the tumor microenvironment through temperature-sensitive checkpoints that regulate vascular perfusion, tumor metabolism, lymphocyte trafficking, inflammatory cytokine expression as well as innate and adaptive immune function. Understanding the influence of temperature in blood perfusion and in the immune system are paramount avenues of research that Dr. Rodrigues is actively pursuing. In one hand, the ability to understand the changes of blood perfusion under a thermal stress is key to develop accurate treatment planning and improved treatment delivery. On the other hand, the ability to fine tune temperature to elicit a specific immune response would represent a significant advance in cancer treatment by enabling new and more effective multimodality therapies that Dr. Rodrigues wishes to bring to the clinic.
Dr. Dario Rodrigues is an Assistant Professor of Thermal Oncology Physics at the University of Maryland and was recently elected Councilor of Engineering/Physics of the Society for Thermal Medicine.
Radiofrequency/microwave hyperthermia, hyperthermia treatment planning, microwave radiometry, multiphysics mathematical modeling, thermoregulation of blood perfusion, magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia, MR-guided focused ultrasound
Stauffer PR, Rodrigues DB, Goldstein R, Doyle L, Bar-Ad V, Shi W, Judy KD, Hurwitz MD. “Dual modality implant for simultaneous magnetic nanoparticle heating and brachytherapy treatment of tumor resection cavities in brain”. Proc IEEE IMS. 2018. In press.
Bakker A, Holman R, Rodrigues DB, Dobšíček-Trefná H, Stauffer PR, van Tienhoven G, Rasch C, Crezee H. “Analysis of clinical data to determine the minimum number of sensors required for adequate monitoring of minimum and maximum temperatures during superficial hyperthermia”. Int J Hyperthermia. 2018; In press. PMID: 29658357.
Rodrigues DB, Stauffer PR, Eisenbrey J, Beckhoff V, Hurwitz MD. Oncologic Applications of Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound. (Chapter 4), in Wong JYC, Schultheiss TE, Radany EH (Eds.) Advances in Radiation Oncology, Springer International Publishing, 2017, pp 69-108. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-53235-6_4.
Rodrigues DB, Maccarini PF, Salahi S, Oliveira TR, Pereira PJ, Limao-Vieira P, Snow BW, Reudink D, Stauffer PR. Design and optimization of an ultra wideband and compact microwave antenna for radiometric monitoring of brain temperature. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2014; 61(7):2154-60. PMID: 24759979.
Rodrigues DB, Pereira PJ, Limao-Vieira P, Stauffer PR, Maccarini PF. Study of the one dimensional and transient bioheat transfer equation: multi-layer solution development and applications. Int J Heat Mass Transf. 2013; 62:153-62. PMID: 24511152.
Stauffer PR, Rodrigues DB, Chou CK. Thermal therapy applications of electromagnetic energy. (Volume 2, Chapter 9) in Barnes FS, Greenebaum B (Eds.) Handbook of biological effects of electromagnetic fields (4th edition), CRC Press. Forthcoming November 8, 2018. ISBN 9781138735262.
Rodrigues DB, Stauffer PR, Pereira PJS, Maccarini PF. Microwave radiometry for non-invasive monitoring of brain temperature (Chapter 7) in Crocco L, Karanasiou I, Cruz-Conceição R, James M (Eds.) Emerging electromagnetic technologies for brain diseases diagnostics, monitoring and therapy, Springer International Publishing, 2018, pp 87-128. 10.1007/978-3-319-75007-1_5.
Conceição RC, Rodrigues DB, Oliveira, BL, Koutsoupidou M, Ruvio G. Overview of Microwave Medical Applications in Europe since the Beginning of the COST Action TD1301 – MiMed. Proc IEEE EuCAP; 7928067:2714-2718. DOI: 10.23919/EuCAP.2017.7928067.
Stauffer PR, Rodrigues DB, Sinahon R, Sbarro L, Beckhoff V, Hurwitz MD. using a conformal water bolus to adjust heating patterns of microwave waveguide applicators. Proc SPIE. 2017; 100660:N1-15. DOI: 10.1117/12.2252208.
Vrba D, Vrba J, Rodrigues DB, Stauffer PR. Numerical Investigation of Novel Microwave Applicators Based on Zero-Order Mode Resonance for Hyperthermia Treatment of Cancer. Journal of the Franklin Institute. 2017; 354:8734-8746. DOI: 10.1016/j.jfranklin.2016.10.044.
Stauffer PR, Vasilchenko II, Osintsev AM, Rodrigues DB, Bar-Ad V, Hurwitz M, Kolomiets SA. Tumor bed brachytherapy for locally advanced laryngeal cancer: a feasibility assessment of combination with ferromagnetic hyperthermia. Biomed Phys Eng Express. 2016; 2(5):055002. DOI: 10.1088/2057-1976/2/5/055002.
Vrba D, Rodrigues DB, Vrba J, Stauffer PR. Metamaterial Antenna Arrays for Improved Uniformity of Microwave Hyperthermia Treatments. Prog Electromagn Res. 2016;156:1-12. DOI: 10.2528/PIER16012702.
Rodrigues DB, Stauffer PR, Colebeck E, Hood AZ, Salahi S, Maccarini PF, TopSakal E. Dielectric properties measurements of brown and white adipose tissue in rats from 0.5 to 10 GHz. Biomed Phys Eng Express. 2016; 2(2):025005. PMID: 29354288.
Maccarini PF, Shah A, Palani SY, Pearce DV, Vardhan M, Stauffer PR, Rodrigues DB, Salahi S, Oliveira TR, Reudink D, Snow BW. A novel compact microwave radiometric sensor to noninvasively track deep tissue thermal profiles. Proc IEEE EuMC. 2015; 7345857:690-693. DOI: 10.1109/EuMC.2015.7345857.
Chernets N, Kurpad DS, Aleexev V, Rodrigues DB, Freeman TA. Reaction chemistry generated by nanosecond pulsed dielectric barrier discharge treatment is responsible for the tumor eradication in the B16 melanoma mouse model. Plasma Processes Polym. 2015;12(12):1400-1409. PMID: 29104522
Rodrigues DB, Hurwitz MD, Maccarini PF, Stauffer PR. Optimization of chest wall hyperthermia treatment using a virtual human chest model. Proc EuCAP IEEE. 2015; 7228886:1-5. INSPEC: 15416614.
Rodrigues DB, Stauffer PR, Vrba DH, M. D. Focused ultrasound for treatment of bone tumors. Int J Hyperthermia. 2015;31(3):260-71. PMID: 25825987.
Rodrigues DB, Maccarini PF, Salahi S, Oliveira TR, Pereira PJ, Limao-Vieira P, Snow BW, Reudink D, Stauffer PR. Design and optimization of an ultra wideband and compact microwave antenna for radiometric monitoring of brain temperature. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2014;61(7):2154-60. PMID: 24759979.
Stauffer PR, Snow BW, Rodrigues DB, Salahi S, Oliveira TR, Reudink D, Maccarini PF. Non-invasive measurement of brain temperature with microwave radiometry: demonstration in a head phantom and clinical case. Neuroradiology J. 2014;27(1):3-12. PMID: 24571829.
Inman BA, Etienne W, Rubin R, Owusu RA, Oliveira TR, Rodriques DB, Maccarini PF, Stauffer PR, Mashal A, Dewhirst MW. The impact of temperature and urinary constituents on urine viscosity and its relevance to bladder hyperthermia treatment. Int J Hyperthermia. 2013;29(3):206-10. PMID: 23489163.
Stauffer PR, Rodriques DB, Salahi S, Topsakal E, Oliveira TR, Prakash A, D’Isidoro F, Reudink D, Snow BW, Maccarini PF. Stable microwave radiometry system for long term monitoring of deep tissue temperature. Proc SPIE. 2013;8584:R1-12. PMID: 24244830.
Rodrigues DB, Maccarini PF, Salahi S, Colebeck E, Topsakal E, Pereira PJ, Limao-Vieira P, Stauffer PR. Numerical 3D modeling of heat transfer in human tissues for microwave radiometry monitoring of brown fat metabolism. Proc SPIE. 2013;8584:S1-12. PMID: 24244831.
Salahi S, Maccarini PF, Rodrigues DB, Etienne W, Landon CD, Inman BA, Dewhirst MW, Stauffer PR. Miniature microwave applicator for murine bladder hyperthermia studies. Int J Hyperthermia. 2012;28(5):456-65. PMID: 22690856.
Rodrigues DB, Pereira PJS, Limão-Vieira PM, Maccarini PF. Analytical solution to the transient 1D bioheat equation in a multilayer region with spatial dependent heat sources. Biomedical Engineering. 2011;8:96-103. DOI: 10.2316/p.2011.723-092.
Councilor of Engineering/Physics of the Society for Thermal Medicine