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John N. Lukens, MD

John N. Lukens, MD Physician

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

Languages spoken:

  • French

Dr. Lukens is employed by Penn Medicine.

Patient Satisfaction Ratings

Patient Rating Breakdown

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

Comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Penn Medicine.

Overall Ratings

Clinical Specialties


  • Radiation Oncology

Programs & Centers:

Board Certification:

  • Radiation Oncology, 2014

Clinical Expertise:

  • Cancer Clinical Trials
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Eyelid Tumors
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer
  • Head and Neck Tumor
  • Mouth Cancer (Oral Cancer)
  • Orbital Tumors
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Proton Therapy
  • Radiation Oncology - Gastroenterology
  • Radiation Oncology - Head/Neck
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Sinus Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Submandibular Tumor
  • Throat Cancer

Description of Clinical Expertise

My clinical expertise is in the treatment of head and neck cancers and gastrointestinal cancers. Additionally, I have specialized training in brachytherapy, which consists of placing radioactive sources within, or directly adjacent to a tumor, as a means of delivering highly targeted radiation. I have experience in head and neck, prostate, and gastrointestinal brachytherapy, as well as intra-operative radiotherapy. I have a particular clinical interest in the re-treatment of patients who have undergone a prior course of radiation, through the integration of highly targeted techniques such as proton therapy and brachytherapy. I believe strongly in the importance of an interdisciplinary approach, and work closely with my surgical and medical oncology colleagues to optimize patient outcomes.

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Clover Health Plan
  • CVS Health
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • eLAP Services
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthPartners Medicare
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Homestead Smart Health Plans
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Keystone First Medicare
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • PA Health and Wellness (Centene) Medicare
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Health Care/LGH
  • Provider Partners Health Plan
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Remedy Partners at Penn Medicine
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan
  • Veterans Choice Program

Education and Training

Medical School: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Fellowship: Mount Sinai Medical Center


American Brachytherapy Society, National American College of Radiology, National American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), National American Society of Clinical Oncology, National

Hospital Affiliation

Dr. Lukens is employed by Penn Medicine.

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:

My research focuses on the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancers, in particular novel strategies to understand and mitigate the toxicities associated with head and neck radiotherapy. Additionally, I am interested in identifying subsets of patients with HPV+ cancer who may benefit from treatment de-intensification, and conversely, those with high-risk disease who may benefit from novel targeted therapy and/or immunotherapy.

Selected Publications:

Michael LaRiviere, Shannon O'Reilly, Alireza Fotouhi Ghiam, Samuel Swisher-McClure, Alexander Lin, Boon-Keng Kevin Teo, John Lukens: Clinically Significant Organ-at-risk Dose Reductions Are Achieved with IMRT Plan Optimization to Clinical Target Volume (CTV) with Setup Uncertainty Analysis ASTRO Annual Meeting 2018 102 (3): e529,2018.

Amit Maity, Rosemarie Mick, Alexander Huang, Sangeet George, Michael Farwell, John Lukens, Abigail Berman, Tara Mitchell, Joshua Bauml, Lynn Schuchter, Mark O'Hara, Lilie Lin, Angela Demichele, John Christodouleas, Naomi B Haas, Dana Patsch, Stephen Hahn, Andy Minn, E. Wherry, and Robert Vonderheide: A phase I trial of pembrolizumab with hypofractionated radiotherapy in patients with metastatic solid tumours. British Journal of Cancer 119 (10): 1200-1207,2018.

Caitlin Schonewolf, Hann-Hsiang Chao, David Guttmann, Samuel Swisher-McClure, Alireza Fotouhi Ghiam, Alexander Lin, John Lukens: Lymphovascular Invasion, and Number of Neck Levels Involved Predict Distant Failure in p16+ Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OPSCC) Following Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) ASTRO Annual Meeting 2018 : 2018.

Amit Maity, Rosemarie Mick, Alexander Huang, Sangeet George, Michael Farwell, John Lukens, Abigail Berman, Tara Mitchell, Joshua Bauml, Lynn Schuchter, Mark O'Hara, Lilie Lin, Angela DeMichele, John Christodouleas, Naomi Haas, Dana Patsch, Stephen Hahn, Andy Minn, E Wherry, Robert Vonderheide: A Phase I Trial Of Pembrolizumab With Hypofractionated Radiotherapy (HFRT) In Patients With Metastatic Cancers ASTRO Annual Meeting 2018 : 2018.

Venigalla S, Plastaras J, Ben-Josef E, Wojcieszynski A, Chowdhry A, Metz J, Lukens JN, Mahmoud N, Shabason J, Reiss K: Comparative Effectiveness of Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation versus Upfront Surgery in the Management of Recto-Sigmoid Junction Cancer Clinical colorectal cancer 17 (3): e557-e568,2018.

Guttmann, D. M., Kobie, J., Grover, S., Lin, A., Lukens, J. N., Mitra, N., Rhodes, K. V., Feng, W., Swisher-McClure, S.: National disparities in treatment package time for resected locally advanced head and neck cancer and impact on overall survival Head Neck 40 (6): 1147-1155,2018.

Brian C. Baumann, Jenny Wei, John P. Plastaras, John N. Lukens, Nevena Damjanov, Maarouf Hoteit, Christine Hsu, Matthew Levine, Jeffrey Mondschein, Gregory Nadolski, Kim Olthoff, Kim Reiss Binder, Mark Rosen, Evan Siegelman, James M. Metz, Edgar Ben-Josef: Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: High Rates of Local Control with Low Toxicity American Journal of Clinical Oncology : 2018.

Shabason, J. E., Chen, J., Apisarnthanarax, S., Damjanov, N., Giantonio, B., Loaiza-Bonilla, A., O'Dwyer, P. J., O'Hara, M., Reiss, K. A., Teitelbaum, U., Wissel, P., Drebin, J. A., Vollmer, C., Kochman, M., Mick, R., Vergara, N., Jhala, N., Doucette, A., Lukens, J. N., Plastaras, J. P., Metz, J. M., Ben-Josef, E.: A phase I dose escalation trial of nab-paclitaxel and fixed dose radiation in patients with unresectable or borderline resectable pancreatic cancer Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 81 (3): 609-614,2018.

Wu X, Udupa JK, Tong Y, Odhner D, Pednekar GV, Simone CB 2nd, McLaughlin D, Apinorasethkul C, Lukens J, Mihailidis D, Shammo G, James P, Camaratta J, Torigian DA: Auto-contouring via Automatic Anatomy Recognition of Organs at Risk in Head and Neck Cancer on CT images Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng 10576 : 2018.

J.C. Rwigema, J.A. Langendijk, H.P. van der Laan, J.N. Lukens, S.D. Swisher-McClure, A. Lin: A model-based approach to predict short-term toxicity benefits with proton therapy for oropharyngeal cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics : 2018.

Academic Contact Info

Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
3400 Civic Center Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 662-6567
Patient appointments: 800-789-7366 (PENN)