Ben Franc, MD

Professor of Clin Radiology


Benjamin Franc, MD, MS, is a Professor of Clinical Radiology in the Nuclear Medicine subspecialty in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Franc came to UCSF as an assistant professor in residence in the Nuclear Medicine subspecialty in 2003 and remained until 2007, when he took a position as a physician at Radiological Associates of Sacramento Medical Group. He served as Chairman of Nuclear Medicine from 2009-2014 and concomitantly served in multiple leadership positions in professional societies and health policy entities. Dr. Franc returned to UCSF’s Nuclear Medicine section as a Professor of Clinical Radiology in December 2014.

From 2003-2007, Dr. Franc established a research program at UCSF focusing on the development of new molecular imaging techniques including novel small molecule exploration and development techniques. He has also developed programs for the early adoption and implementation of nuclear-based imaging and therapeutic technologies. In addition to continued development of technologies for molecular imaging, Dr. Franc’s plans to also explore the implications of molecular imaging in healthcare, including a focus on outcomes-based research and setting up comparative effectiveness research in nuclear molecular imaging and therapy, leveraging the University of California’s electronic medical record and large repository of imaging data.

Dr. Franc has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and over 50 abstracts, and serves as a reviewer for 5 scientific journals.

Nuclear Medicine

Oncology, immunology, and technology development for molecular imaging

Professional Interests:
Molecular imaging, positron emission tomography, dual modality imaging, radiotracer development for single photon emission computed tomography, cancer-associated protease detection, radioimmunotherapy, targeted radiotherapy, prostate cancer therapy and imaging, breast cancer therapy and imaging, protein engineering, proteomics (in context of imaging), pharmacogenomics (in context of imaging), development of technologies to enable imaging to join other sources of Big Data.

Education and Training:
• Medical School: University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
• Internship: Stanford University, CA – General Surgery
• Residency: Stanford University, CA – Nuclear Medicine
• Fellowship: Stanford University, CA – Nuclear Medicine
• MS: Stanford University, CA – Chemical Engineering

Honors and Awards

"Best Doctor" designation, Best Doctors Group / Sacramento Magazine, 2012
"Best Doctor" designation, Best Doctors Group / Sacramento Magazine, 2011
"Best Doctor" designation, Best Doctors Group / Sacramento Magazine, 2007
Recipient THANKS Star Award UCSF Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco, 2004


Trivedi HM, Panahiazar M, Liang A, Lituiev D, Chang P, Sohn JH, Chen YY, Franc BL, Joe B, Hadley D. Large Scale Semi-Automated Labeling of Routine Free-Text Clinical Records for Deep Learning. J Digit Imaging. 2018 Aug 20.
Huang SY, Franc BL, Harnish RJ, Liu G, Mitra D, Copeland TP, Arasu VA, Kornak J, Jones EF, Behr SC, Hylton NM, Price ER, Esserman L, Seo Y. Exploration of PET and MRI radiomic features for decoding breast cancer phenotypes and prognosis. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2018; 4:24.
Franc BL, Copeland TP, Thombley R, Park M, Marafino B, Dean ML, Boscardin WJ, Rugo HS, Seidenwurm D, Sharma B, Johnston SR, Dudley RA. Geographic Variation in Postoperative Imaging for Low-Risk Breast Cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2018 Jul; 16(7):829-837.
Shaikh F, Franc B, Allen E, Sala E, Awan O, Hendrata K, Halabi S, Mohiuddin S, Malik S, Hadley D, Shrestha R. Translational Radiomics: Defining the Strategy Pipeline and Considerations for Application-Part 1: From Methodology to Clinical Implementation. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Mar; 15(3 Pt B):538-542.
Shaikh F, Franc B, Allen E, Sala E, Awan O, Hendrata K, Halabi S, Mohiuddin S, Malik S, Hadley D, Shrestha R. Translational Radiomics: Defining the Strategy Pipeline and Considerations for Application-Part 2: From Clinical Implementation to Enterprise. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Mar; 15(3 Pt B):543-549.
Copeland TP, Hillman JM, Franc BL. Contextualizing Oncologic Imaging Utilization Through End-of-Life Spending Patterns. J Am Coll Radiol. 2017 Oct; 14(10):1269-1278.
Ronald JA, Kim BS, Gowrishankar G, Namavari M, Alam IS, D'Souza A, Nishikii H, Chuang HY, Ilovich O, Lin CF, Reeves R, Shuhendler A, Hoehne A, Chan CT, Baker J, Yaghoubi SS, VanBrocklin HF, Hawkins R, Franc BL, Jivan S, Slater JB, Verdin EF, Gao KT, Benjamin J, Negrin R, Gambhir SS. A PET Imaging Strategy to Visualize Activated T Cells in Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease Elicited by Allogenic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant. Cancer Res. 2017 06 01; 77(11):2893-2902.
Franc BL, Goth S, MacKenzie J, Li X, Blecha J, Lam T, Jivan S, Hawkins RA, VanBrocklin H. In Vivo PET Imaging of the Activated Immune Environment in a Small Animal Model of Inflammatory Arthritis. Mol Imaging. 2017 Jan 01; 16:1536012117712638.
Jones EF, Ray KM, Li W, Seo Y, Franc BL, Chien AJ, Esserman LJ, Pampaloni MH, Joe BN, Hylton NM. Dedicated Breast Positron Emission Tomography for the Evaluation of Early Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer. Clin Breast Cancer. 2017 06; 17(3):e155-e159.
Zygourakis CC, Winkler E, Pitts L, Hannegan L, Franc B, Lawton MT. Clinical utility and cost analysis of routine postoperative head CT in elective aneurysm clippings. J Neurosurg. 2017 Feb; 126(2):558-563.
Spratt DE, Zaki BI, Franc BL, Hartford AC, Osborne JR. ACR Practice Parameter for the Performance of Therapy With Unsealed Radiopharmaceutical Sources. Clin Nucl Med. 2016 Feb; 41(2):106-17.
Kleis MA, Daldrup-Link H, Goldsby R, Hawkins RA, Franc BL. Multiple Scalp Lesions in a Patient with Keratitis, Ichthyosis and Deafness Syndrome Mimicking Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma on 18F-FDG PET/CT. Radiol Case Rep. 2009; 4(2):218.
Savic D, Pedoia V, Seo Y, Yang J, Bucknor M, Franc BL, Majumdar S. Imaging Bone-Cartilage Interactions in Osteoarthritis Using [18F]-NaF PET-MRI. Mol Imaging. 2016 01 01; 15:1-12.
Franc BL, Lin H. Detection of Recurrent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma on In-111 Capromab Pendetide Imaging. Clin Nucl Med. 2015 Jul; 40(7):585-8.
Franc BL, Cho SY, Rosenthal SA, Cui Y, Tsui B, Vandewalker KM, Holz AL, Poonamallee U, Pomper MG, James RB. Detection and localization of carcinoma within the prostate using high resolution transrectal gamma imaging (TRGI) of monoclonal antibody directed at prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA)--proof of concept and initial imaging results. Eur J Radiol. 2013 Nov; 82(11):1877-84.
Seo Y, Jiang H, Franc BL. Preclinical SPECT and SPECT/CT. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2013; 187:193-220.
Franc BL, Myers R, Pounds TR, Bolton G, Conte F, Bartheld M, Da Silva AJ. Clinical utility of SPECT-(low-dose)CT versus SPECT alone in patients presenting for bone scintigraphy. Clin Nucl Med. 2012 Jan; 37(1):26-34.
Sayre GA, Franc BL, Seo Y. Patient-Specific Method of Generating Parametric Maps of Patlak K(i) without Blood Sampling or Metabolite Correction: A Feasibility Study. Int J Mol Imaging. 2011; 2011:185083.
Quach A, Ji L, Mishra V, Sznewajs A, Veatch J, Huberty J, Franc B, Sposto R, Groshen S, Wei D, Fitzgerald P, Maris JM, Yanik G, Hawkins RA, Villablanca JG, Matthay KK. Thyroid and hepatic function after high-dose 131 I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (131 I-MIBG) therapy for neuroblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Feb; 56(2):191-201.
Bidlingmaier S, He J, Wang Y, An F, Feng J, Barbone D, Gao D, Franc B, Broaddus VC, Liu B. Identification of MCAM/CD146 as the target antigen of a human monoclonal antibody that recognizes both epithelioid and sarcomatoid types of mesothelioma. Cancer Res. 2009 Feb 15; 69(4):1570-7.
Matthay KK, Quach A, Huberty J, Franc BL, Hawkins RA, Jackson H, Groshen S, Shusterman S, Yanik G, Veatch J, Brophy P, Villablanca JG, Maris JM. Iodine-131--metaiodobenzylguanidine double infusion with autologous stem-cell rescue for neuroblastoma: a new approaches to neuroblastoma therapy phase I study. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Mar 01; 27(7):1020-5.
Hwang AB, Bacharach SL, Yom SS, Weinberg VK, Quivey JM, Franc BL, Xia P. Can positron emission tomography (PET) or PET/Computed Tomography (CT) acquired in a nontreatment position be accurately registered to a head-and-neck radiotherapy planning CT? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Feb 01; 73(2):578-84.
Watkins GA, Jones EF, Scott Shell M, VanBrocklin HF, Pan MH, Hanrahan SM, Feng JJ, He J, Sounni NE, Dill KA, Contag CH, Coussens LM, Franc BL. Development of an optimized activatable MMP-14 targeted SPECT imaging probe. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Jan 15; 17(2):653-9.
Pan MH, Gao DW, Feng J, He J, Seo Y, Tedesco J, Wolodzko JG, Hasegawa BH, Franc BL. Biodistributions of 177Lu- and 111In-labeled 7E11 antibodies to prostate-specific membrane antigen in xenograft model of prostate cancer and potential use of 111In-7E11 as a pre-therapeutic agent for 177Lu-7E11 radioimmunotherapy. Mol Imaging Biol. 2009 May-Jun; 11(3):159-66.
Badiee S, Franc BL, Webb EM, Chu B, Hawkins RA, Coakley F, Singer L. Role of IV iodinated contrast material in 18F-FDG PET/CT of liver metastases. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008 Nov; 191(5):1436-9.
Franc BL, Acton PD, Mari C, Hasegawa BH. Small-animal SPECT and SPECT/CT: important tools for preclinical investigation. J Nucl Med. 2008 Oct; 49(10):1651-63.
Kleis M, Daldrup-Link H, Matthay K, Goldsby R, Lu Y, Schuster T, Schreck C, Chu PW, Hawkins RA, Franc BL. Diagnostic value of PET/CT for the staging and restaging of pediatric tumors. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2009 Jan; 36(1):23-36.
Hwang AB, Franc BL, Gullberg GT, Hasegawa BH. Assessment of the sources of error affecting the quantitative accuracy of SPECT imaging in small animals. Phys Med Biol. 2008 May 07; 53(9):2233-52.
Teo BK, Badiee S, Hadi M, Lam T, Johnson L, Seo Y, Bacharach SL, Hasegawa BH, Franc BL. Correcting tumour SUV for enhanced bone marrow uptake: retrospective 18F-FDG PET/CT studies. Nucl Med Commun. 2008 Apr; 29(4):359-66.
Kanwar B, Gao DW, Hwang AB, Grenert JP, Williams SP, Franc B, McCune JM. In vivo imaging of mucosal CD4+ T cells using single photon emission computed tomography in a murine model of colitis. J Immunol Methods. 2008 Jan 01; 329(1-2):21-30.
Franc BL, Hawkins RA. Positron emission tomography, positron emission tomography-computed tomography, and molecular imaging of the breast cancer patient. Semin Roentgenol. 2007 Oct; 42(4):265-79.
Gao Q, Reynolds GE, Innes L, Pedram M, Jones E, Junabi M, Gao DW, Ricoul M, Sabatier L, Van Brocklin H, Franc BL, Murnane JP. Telomeric transgenes are silenced in adult mouse tissues and embryo fibroblasts but are expressed in embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells. 2007 Dec; 25(12):3085-92.
Purcell DD, Coakley FV, Franc BL, Hawkins RA, Boddington SE, Yeh BM. Anterior layering of excreted 18F-FDG in the bladder on PET/CT: frequency and cause. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007 Aug; 189(2):W96-9.
Han MM, Pang J, Shinkai K, Franc B, Hawkins R, Aparici CM. Calciphylaxis and bone scintigraphy: case report with histological confirmation and review of the literature. Ann Nucl Med. 2007 Jun; 21(4):235-8.
Teo BK, Seo Y, Bacharach SL, Carrasquillo JA, Libutti SK, Shukla H, Hasegawa BH, Hawkins RA, Franc BL. Partial-volume correction in PET: validation of an iterative postreconstruction method with phantom and patient data. J Nucl Med. 2007 May; 48(5):802-10.
Hetts SW, Hilchey SD, Wilson R, Franc B. Case 110: Nonossifying fibroma. Radiology. 2007 Apr; 243(1):288-92.
Falk MS, Truitt AK, Coakley FV, Kashani-Sabet M, Hawkins RA, Franc B. Interpretation, accuracy and management implications of FDG PET/CT in cutaneous malignant melanoma. Nucl Med Commun. 2007 Apr; 28(4):273-80.
Seo Y, Gao DW, Hasegawa BH, Dae MW, Franc BL. Rodent brain imaging with SPECT/CT. Med Phys. 2007 Apr; 34(4):1217-20.
Messina JA, Cheng SC, Franc BL, Charron M, Shulkin B, To B, Maris JM, Yanik G, Hawkins RA, Matthay KK. Evaluation of semi-quantitative scoring system for metaiodobenzylguanidine (mIBG) scans in patients with relapsed neuroblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2006 Dec; 47(7):865-74.
Raz DJ, Odisho AY, Franc BL, Jablons DM. Tumor fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose avidity on positron emission tomographic scan predicts mortality in patients with early-stage pure and mixed bronchioloalveolar carcinoma. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Nov; 132(5):1189-95.
Seo Y, Franc BL, Hawkins RA, Wong KH, Hasegawa BH. Progress in SPECT/CT imaging of prostate cancer. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2006 Aug; 5(4):329-36.
Goun EA, Shinde R, Dehnert KW, Adams-Bond A, Wender PA, Contag CH, Franc BL. Intracellular cargo delivery by an octaarginine transporter adapted to target prostate cancer cells through cell surface protease activation. Bioconjug Chem. 2006 May-Jun; 17(3):787-96.
Lin D, Franc BL, Kashani-Sabet M, Singer MI. Lymphatic drainage patterns of head and neck cutaneous melanoma observed on lymphoscintigraphy and sentinel lymph node biopsy. Head Neck. 2006 Mar; 28(3):249-55.
Matthay KK, Tan JC, Villablanca JG, Yanik GA, Veatch J, Franc B, Twomey E, Horn B, Reynolds CP, Groshen S, Seeger RC, Maris JM. Phase I dose escalation of iodine-131-metaiodobenzylguanidine with myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation in refractory neuroblastoma: a new approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy Consortium Study. J Clin Oncol. 2006 Jan 20; 24(3):500-6.
O'Conner AR, Franc BL. FDG PET imaging in the evaluation of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder following renal transplantation. Nucl Med Commun. 2005 Dec; 26(12):1107-11.
Franc BL, Mari C, Johnson D, Leong SP. The role of a positron- and high-energy gamma photon probe in intraoperative localization of recurrent melanoma. Clin Nucl Med. 2005 Dec; 30(12):787-91.
Seo Y, Wong KH, Sun M, Franc BL, Hawkins RA, Hasegawa BH. Correction of photon attenuation and collimator response for a body-contouring SPECT/CT imaging system. J Nucl Med. 2005 May; 46(5):868-77.
Franc B, Yoshida E, Herfkens R, Goris M. Pericardial lymph node involvement in lymphoma as identified on PET. Clin Nucl Med. 2004 Nov; 29(11):741-2.
Fong KD, Song HM, Nacamuli RP, Franc BL, Mari C, Fang TD, Warren SM, Contag CH, Blankenberg FG, Longaker MT. Apoptosis in a rodent model of cranial suture fusion: in situ imaging and gene expression analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004 Jun; 113(7):2037-47.
Thompson JL, Ryan JA, Barr ML, Franc B, Starnes VA, Schwarz MA. Potential role for antiangiogenic proteins in the myocardial infarction repair process. J Surg Res. 2004 Jan; 116(1):156-64.
Franc BL, Mandl SJ, Siprashvili Z, Wender P, Contag CH. Breaching biological barriers: protein translocation domains as tools for molecular imaging and therapy. Mol Imaging. 2003 Oct; 2(4):313-23.
Franc B, Carlisle MR, Segall G. Oral administration of F-18 FDG to evaluate a single pulmonary nodule by positron emission tomography in a patient with poor intravenous access. Clin Nucl Med. 2003 Jul; 28(7):541-4.
Franc B, Goris M. Low uptake of Tc-99m tetrofosmin in lung cancer: a case report. Clin Nucl Med. 2002 Oct; 27(10):698-700.