Developmental Therapeutics 1120 15th Street BA 1415 Augusta, GA 30912 E-mail:

Pucar, Darko, M.D., Ph.D.

Darko Pucar, MD, PhD

Pucar, Darko, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Member, Clinical Oncology Program

Nuclear Radiologist and Member,  Head and Neck Tumor Board 
Assistant, Professor of Radiology
GRU Cancer Center



1120 15th Street
BA 1415
Augusta, GA 30912
IFL Link | PubMed Link


Professional Overview

Dr. Pucar is an Assistant Professor of Radiology, a member of the Head and Neck Tumor Board, and a nuclear radiologist with special interest and training in oncologic imaging. Dr. Pucar earned an M.D. degree from University of Belgrade, Serbia and Ph.D. degree in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from Mayo Graduate School, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Pucar completed a Radiology Residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a Nuclear Medicine Residency and Molecular Imaging Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), Cornell University, New York, New York.


Current Research

Dr. Pucar has clinical and research interests in cancer staging, restaging, and prognostication, particularly of head and neck, lung, prostate, and gynecological cancers, and lymphoma. He is assessing a correlation of various imaging modalities (PET/CT, CT, MRI) and pathology in order to improve a diagnostic accuracy of imaging. Dr. Pucar is interested in developing imaging biomarkers, particularly using PET/CT, developing nomograms based on clinical and imaging parameters for staging, outcome prediction and treatment selection in the individual patients (personalized medicine), incorporating imaging in NCCN guidelines, and implementing quantitative and computer-assisted imaging. Dr. Pucar is currently assessing a utility of PET/CT and CT in staging of oral cavity and lung cancers using surgical pathology as a gold standard. Ongoing parathyroid imaging projects are aimed to facilitate minimally invasive parathyroid surgery. Dr. Pucar is working on implementation of the integrated oncologic database, CAISIS, at GRU based on his MSKCC experience. Dr. Pucar is also planning to continue prostate cancer imaging research that he had been conducting at MSKCC, including clinical imaging and basic science research on the role of the PI3 kinase pathway in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer.


Publications (selected)

Pucar D, Dzeja PP, Bast P, Gumina RJ, Drahl C, Lim L, Juranic N, Macura S, Terzic A. Mapping hypoxia-induced bioenergetic rearrangements and metabolic signaling with 18O-assisted 31P NMR and 1H NMR spectroscopy.  Mol Cell Biochem. 2004; 256(1): 281-289.

Pucar D, Koutcher JA, Shah A, Dyke JP, Schwartz L, Thaler H, Kurhanewicz J, Scardino PT, Kelly WK, Hricak H, Zakian KL. Preliminary assessment of magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in predicting treatment outcome in patients with prostate cancer at high risk of relapse. Clin Prostate Cancer. 2004; 3(3): 174-181.

Pucar D, Shukla-Dave A, Hricak H, Moskowitz C, Kuroiwa K, Olgac S, Ebora L, Scardino PT, Koutcher JA, Zakian KL. Correlation of MR imaging and spectroscopy with step section pathology in prostate cancer after external beam radiation therapy: initial experience. Radiology. 2005; 236: 545-553.

Mullerad M, Hricak H, Kuroiwa K, Pucar D, Chen H, Kattan MW, Scardino PT. Comparison of endorectal magnetic resonance imaging, guided prostate biopsy and digital rectal examination in the preoperative anatomical localization of prostate cancer. J Urol. 2005; 174(6): 2158-63.

Akin O, Sala E, Moskowitz CS, Kuroiwa K, Ishill N, Pucar D, Scardino PT, Hricak H: Transition Zone Prostate Cancers: MR imaging. Radiology.  2006; 239(3):784-92.

Shukla-Dave A, Hricak H, Kattan MW, Pucar D, Kuroiwa K, Chen HN, Spector J, Koutcher JA, Zakian KL, Scardino PT. The utility of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy for predicting insignificant prostate cancer: an initial analysis. BJU Int. 2007;99(4):786-93.

Gumina RJ, O’Cochlain DF, Kurtz CE, Bast P, Pucar D, Mishra P, Miki T, Seino S, Macura S, Terzic A. KATP channel knockout worsens myocardial calcium stress load in vivo and impairs recovery in stunned heart. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007;292(4):H1706-13.

Pucar D, Hricak H, Shukla-Dave A, Kuroiwa K, Drobnjak M, Eastham J, Scardino PT, Zelefsky MJ. Clinically significant prostate cancer local recurrence following radiation therapy occurs at the site of primary tumor – magnetic resonance imaging and step-section pathology evidence. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2007; 69(1): 62-69. ASTRO Online CME feature article for September 1, 2007 issue.

Dzeja PP, Bast P, Pucar D, Wieringa B, Terzic A. Defective metabolic signaling in adenylate kinase AK1 gene knockout hearts compromises post-ischemic coronary reflow. J Biol Chem. 2007; 282(43): 31366-72.

Fuchsjäger M, Pucar D, Zelefsky MJ, Zhang Z, Mo Q, Ben-Porat LS, Shukla-Dave A, Wang L, Reuter VE, Hricak HH. Predicting Post-external-beam Radiation Therapy PSA relapse of prostate cancer using pre-treatment MRI. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010; 78(3):743-50.

Figiel SC, Franco A, Pucar D, Lewis KN, Lee JR. Paucity of biliary ducts: A rare etiology of neonatal cholestasis. Radiology Case. 2012; (6): 29-38

Singer MC, Pucar D, Mathew M, Terris DJ. Improved localization of sestamibi imaging at high-volume centers. Laryngoscope. 2013; 123(1): 298-301.

For a complete listing, see Dr. Pucar’s work on PubMed.