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Justin E. Bekelman, MD

Justin E. Bekelman, MD Physician

Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Bekelman is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Clinical Specialties


  • Radiation Oncology

Programs & Services:

  • Cancer
    • Bladder Cancer
    • Kidney Cancer
    • Penile Cancer
    • Prostate Cancer
    • Testicular Cancer
    • Urethral Cancer
  • Radiation Oncology
    • Genitourinary (Urologic) Cancer

Board Certification:

  • Radiation Oncology, 2009

Conditions & Treatments:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Penile Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • radiation oncology - genitourinary
  • Radiation Treatment
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Urethral Cancer

Clinical Interests

I am a radiation oncologist who specializes in the treatment of prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and testicular cancer. My particular expertise is managing the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Prostate cancers present and progress in different ways. While some prostate cancers pose little threat to health, others may grow aggressively. In many cases, radiotherapy or surgery can be curative. We are actively studying new ways to preserve bowel, urinary and sexual function after radiotherapy and to improve quality of life for patients after treatment. For example, to improve outcomes while minimizing the side effects of radiotherapy, we use sophisticated technologies like proton beam therapy and image-guided, intensity-modulated radiotherapy.

Practice Locations and Appointments

  • Penn Radiation Oncology

    Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine Concourse Level 3400 Civic Center Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19104 800-789-PENN (7366)

    A facility of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Amerihealth
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Medicare
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Care
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: Yale University School of Medicine
Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital
Residency: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


American Radium Society (ARS), National American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), National American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), National International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement, International Massachusetts General Hospital and MD Andersen Cancer Center, 2 U19 CA021239-35, National Radiation Oncology Institute, National Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM), National


Dr. Bekelman is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Pennsylvania Hospital: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Research Interests:

Justin E. Bekelman, M.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology (Primary) and the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy (Secondary) at the Perelman School of Medicine, Associate Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty in the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, and Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bekelman leads research programs in cancer comparative effectiveness and delivery system and payment reform, integrating methods from the fields of epidemiology, clinical trials, health economics and public policy. In his current comparative effectiveness work, Dr. Bekelman leads the 22 institution Radiation Comparative Effectiveness Consortium (RADCOMP) pragmatic randomized clinical trial comparing proton to photon radiation therapy for breast cancer and co-leads the PARTIQoL randomized clinical trial comparing proton to intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer (the first randomized trial of proton and photon delivery in the modern treatment era). In his delivery system and payment reform work, Dr. Bekelman leads a series of quasi-experimental studies to evaluate the impact of chemotherapy reimbursement reforms on the use, costs, quality and outcomes of chemotherapy for lung cancer. Dr. Bekelman's research has appeared in scientific journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of Clinical Oncology and has been featured in the mainstream media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and news outlets in Canada and Europe. He has received research funding from the National Cancer Institute, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the American Cancer Society, and philanthropic sources.

Dr. Bekelman completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and his medical training at Yale University, Johns Hopkins, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Previously, he was a management consultant at the Kalchas Group, advising senior executives of health care and insurance clients on corporate strategy. Dr. Bekelman also served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense in the US Department of Defense. He is a board-certified radiation oncologist and practicing physician at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Selected Publications:

Bekelman JE, Mitra N, Handorf EA, Uzzo RG, Hahn SA, Polsky D, Armstrong K: Effectiveness of Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Radiotherapy for Older Men with Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer Journal of Clinical Oncology : 2015. In press.

Jacobs BL, Sunderland R, Yabes J, Nelson JB, Barnato AE, Bekelman JE: Local coverage determination policy and the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy for prostate cancer Urology Practice : 2015. In press.

Wan F, Small D, Bekelman JE, Mitra N: Bias in estimating the causal hazard ratio when using two-stage instrumental variable methods Statistics in Medicine : 2015. In press.

Kalbasi A, Li J, Berman A, Swisher-McClure S, Smaldone M, Uzzo RG, Small DS, Mitra N, Bekelman JE: Relation of Dose-Escalated Radiation to Overall Survival in Men with Non-metastatic Prostate Cancer JAMA Oncology : 2015. In press.

Kirk ML, Tang S, Zhai H, Vapiwala N, Deville C, James P, Bekelman JE, Christodouleas JP, Tochner Z, and Both S: Comparison of prostate proton treatment planning technique, interfraction robustness, and analysis of single-field treatment feasibility Practical Radiation Oncology : 2015. In press.

Suneja G, Boyer M, Yehia BR, Shiels MS, Engels EA, Bekelman JE, Long JA: Cancer Treatment in Patients With HIV Infection and Non-AIDS-Defining Cancers: A Survey of US Oncologists J Oncol Pract : 2015. In press.

Fang P, Mick R, Deville C, Both S, Bekelman J, Christodouleas J, Guzzo T, Tochner Z, Hahn S, Vapiwala N: A Case-Matched Study of Toxicity Outcomes after Proton Therapy and Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Cancer : 2015. In press.

Corcoran AT, Handorf E, Canter D, Tomaszewski JJ, Bekelman JE, Kim SP, Uzzo RG, Kutikov A, Smaldone MC: Variation in performance of candidate surgical quality measures for muscle invasive bladder cancer by hospital type BJU Int : 2015. In press.

Academic Contact Info

Department of Radiation Oncology
Abramson Cancer Center
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
3400 Civic Center Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 662-7266
Fax: (215) 349-8975
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

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