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Keith Cengel, MD, PhD

Keith Cengel, MD, PhD Physician

Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Cengel is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Clinical Specialties


  • Radiation Oncology

Programs & Centers:

  • Cancer
    • Lung Cancer Program
    • Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program
    • Sarcoma Program
  • Lung
    • Lung Cancer
    • Mesothelioma & Pleural Disease
  • Radiation Oncology
    • Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma
    • Sarcoma Cancer

Board Certification:

  • Radiation Oncology, 2008

Clinical Expertise:

  • Bone Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Carcinoid Tumor
  • Mesothelioma
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Radiation Treatment
  • Sarcoma
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer

Description of Clinical Expertise

Photodynamic Therapy
Radiation therapy for neuroendocrine and thoracic tumors

Practice Locations and Appointments

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 Medicaid
  • 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: University of Illinois School of Medicine
Residency: University of Illinois
Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


American Society for Photobiology, International American Society for Radiation Oncology, International American Society for Radiation Therapy (ASTRO), International American Society of Clinical Oncology, International Department of Defense, National Dutch Cancer Society, International International Photodynamic Association, International National Institutes of Health, National National Space Biomedical Research Institute, National National Space Biomedical Research Institute, National Pan American Photodynamic Association, International Radiation Research Society, International SPIE, International

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Cengel 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.


Description of Research Expertise:

1. Defining Mechanisms and Reducing Toxicity from Normal Tissue Damage Caused by Ionizing Radiation: These projects center on modeling the physical patterns of dose deposition by x-rays, gamma rays and charged particles and determining the mechanism(s) that lead to normal tissue toxicity. From a greater understanding of these mechanisms, these projects seek to identify and formulate potential radiation protectors and mitigators for use in human medicine.

2. Cellular Signaling and PDT cytotoxicity: This project is focused on defining the molecular mechanism by which PDT-initiated growth factor and anti-oxidant signaling leads to decreased PDT-mediated cytotoxicity in human cancer cells and tumors.

3. Clinical trials of RT and PDT: These projects involve using insights gained from pre-clinical studies to design early phase interventional trials for patients with cancers that are difficult to treat using current standard modalities.

Selected Publications:

Sanzari JK, Wan XS, Wroe AJ, Rightnar S, Cengel KA, Diffenderfer ES, Krigsfeld GS, Gridley DS, Kennedy AR: Acute Hematological Effects of Solar Particle Event Proton Radiation in the Porcine Model. Radiat Res. 180 (1): 7-16,2013.

Whaley JT, Kirk M, Cengel K, McDonough J, Bekelman J, Christodouleas JP: Protective Effect of Transparent Film Dressing on Proton Therapy Induced Skin Reactions. Radiat Oncol. 8 : 19,2013.

Cengel KA, Sanzari J, Billings P, Diffenderfer ES, Kennedy AR: Evaluating Radiation Repose And Countermeasures For Exposure To Solar Particle Events With Differing Energy-Fluence Profiles. Heavy Ion in Therapy and Space Radiation Symposium 2013, Chiba, Japan : 2013.

Cengel KA, Sanzari J, Billings P, Diffenderfer ES, Kennedy AR: Determining The Whole Body Radiation Repose To Solar Particle Events With Differing Energy-fluence Profiles. NASA Human Research Program Investigator's Workshop, Galveston, TX : 2013.

Cengel KA, Kennedy AR: NSBRI Center For Acute Radiation Research: Dosimetric and Practical Considerations for Simulating Solar Particle Event Exposure for Earth Based Model Systems. National Space Biomedical Research Institute Radiation Effects Team : 2013.

Chandra A, Lan S, Zhu J, Lin T, Zhang X, Siclari VA, Altman AR, Cengel KA, Liu XS, Qin L.: PTH prevents the adverse effects of focal radiation on bone architecture in young rats. Bone. 55 (2): 449-57,2013.

Pietrofesa R, Turowski J, Tyagi S, Dukes F, Arguiri E, Busch TM, Gallagher-Colombo SM, Solomides CC, Cengel KA, Christofidou-Solomidou M: Radiation mitigating properties of the lignan component in flaxseed. BMC Cancer. 13 : 179,2013.

Edmonds C, Hagan S, Gallagher-Colombo SM, Busch TM, Cengel KA: Photodynamic therapy activated signaling from epidermal growth factor receptor and STAT3: Targeting survival pathways to increase PDT efficacy in ovarian and lung cancer. Cancer Biol Ther. 13 (14): 1463-70,2012.

Cengel K, Yendamuri S, Demmy T, Culligan M, Schofield M, Smith D, Punekar S, Sterman D, Stevenson J, Busch T, Glatstein E, Hahn S, Friedberg J: Qualitative And Quantitative Differences in the Toxicity Of HPPH-Mediated PDT with a 24 Versus 48-Hour Drug Light Interval: Moving from the Bedside to the Bench and Back. SPIE Photonics West, San Francisco, CA : 2012.

Fishbein L, Bonner L, Torigian DA, Nathanson KL, Cohen DL, Pryma D, Cengel KA: External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) for Patients with Malignant Pheochromocytoma and Non-Head and Neck Paraganglioma: Combination with 131I-MIBG. Horm Metab Res. 44 (5): 405-10,2012.

View all publications

Academic Contact Info

Smilow Center for Translational Research, Room 8-136
Univ of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
3400 Civic Center Blvd, Bldg 421

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-1035
Fax: (215) 349-5445
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

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