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Keith Cengel, MD, PhD

Keith Cengel, MD, PhD Physician

Director, Photodynamic Therapy Program Executive Director, Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Diseases Program Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Cengel is employed by Penn Medicine.

Clinical Specialties


  • Radiation Oncology

Programs & Centers:

Board Certification:

  • Radiation Oncology, 2008

Clinical Expertise:

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Intraoperative Radiation Therapy
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Carcinoid Tumor
  • Mesothelioma
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
  • Pleural Diseases
  • Proton Therapy
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Thoracic Cancer
  • Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma
  • Thymus Cancer

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
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • 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 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 employed by Penn Medicine.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Chester County Hospital: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • 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:

Zhu Timothy C, Ong Yihong, Kim Michele M, Liang Xing, Finlay Jarod C, Dimofte Andreea, Simone Nd Charles B, Friedberg Joseph S, Busch Theresa M, Glatstein Eli, Cengel Keith A: Evaluation of Light Fluence Distribution Using an IR Navigation System for HPPH-mediated Pleural Photodynamic Therapy (pPDT). Photochemistry and photobiology : 2019.

Chinniah Chimbu, Aguarin Louise, Cheng Phillip, Decesaris Cristina, Cutillo Alicia, Berman Abigail T, Frick Melissa, Doucette Abigail, Cengel Keith A, Levin William, Hahn Stephen, Dorsey Jay F, Simone Charles B, Kao Gary D: Early Detection of Recurrence in Patients With Locally Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer via Circulating Tumor Cell Analysis. Clinical lung cancer 20 (5): 384-390.e2,2019.

Berger Ian, Cengel Keith A, Simone Charles B, Alley Evan W, Roshkovan Leonid, Haas Andrew R, Patel Akash M, Khalid Urooj, Culligan Melissa J, McNulty Sally, Singhal Sunil, Friedberg Joseph S, Katz Sharyn I: Lymphangitic carcinomatosis: A common radiographic manifestation of local failure following extended pleurectomy/decortication in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 132 : 94-98,2019.

Kim Michele, Irmen Peyton, Shoniyozov Khayrullo, Verginadis Ioannis I, Cengel Keith A, Koumenis Costas, Metz James M, Dong Lei, Diffenderfer Eric: Design and commissioning of an image-guided small animal radiation platform and quality assurance protocol for integrated proton and x-ray radiobiology research. Physics in medicine and biology : 2019.

Luna José Marcio, Chao Hann-Hsiang, Diffenderfer Eric S, Valdes Gilmer, Chinniah Chidambaram, Ma Grace, Cengel Keith A, Solberg Timothy D, Berman Abigail T, Simone Charles B: Predicting radiation pneumonitis in locally advanced stage II-III non-small cell lung cancer using machine learning. Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 133 : 106-112,2019.

Cramer Gwendolyn, Shin Michael, Hagan Sarah, Katz Sharyn I, Simone Charles B, Busch Theresa M, Cengel Keith A: Modeling Epidermal Growth Factor Inhibitor-mediated Enhancement of Photodynamic Therapy Efficacy Using 3D Mesothelioma Cell Culture. Photochemistry and photobiology 95 (1): 397-405,2019.

Predina Jarrod D, Newton Andrew D, Corbett Christopher, Xia Leilei, Shin Michael, Sulfyok Lydia Frenzel, Okusanya Olugbenga T, Cengel Keith A, Haas Andrew, Litzky Leslie, Kucharczuk John C, Singhal Sunil: A Clinical Trial of TumorGlow to Identify Residual Disease During Pleurectomy and Decortication. The Annals of thoracic surgery 107 (1): 224-232,2019.

Schonewolf Caitlin A, Heskel Marina, Doucette Abigail, Singhal Sunil, Frick Melissa A, Xanthopoulos Eric P, Corradetti Michael N, Friedberg Joseph S, Pechet Taine T, Christodouleas John P, Levin William, Berman Abigail, Cengel Keith A, Verma Vivek, Hahn Stephen M, Kucharczuk John C, Rengan Ramesh, Simone Charles B: Five-year Long-term Outcomes of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Operable Versus Medically Inoperable Stage I Non-small-cell Lung Cancer: Analysis by Operability, Fractionation Regimen, Tumor Size, and Tumor Location. Clinical lung cancer 20 (1): e63-e71,2019.

Davis Richard W, Snyder Emma, Miller Joann, Carter Shirron, Houser Cassandra, Klampatsa Astero, Albelda Steven M, Cengel Keith A, Busch Theresa M: Luminol Chemiluminescence Reports Photodynamic Therapy-Generated Neutrophil Activity In Vivo and Serves as a Biomarker of Therapeutic Efficacy. Photochemistry and photobiology 95 (1): 430-438,2019.

Rice Stephanie R, Li Yun R, Busch Theresa M, Kim Michele M, McNulty Sally, Dimofte Andrea, Zhu Timothy C, Cengel Keith A, Simone Charles B: A Novel Prospective Study Assessing the Combination of Photodynamic Therapy and Proton Radiation Therapy: Safety and Outcomes When Treating Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Photochemistry and photobiology 95 (1): 411-418,2019.

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
Patient appointments: 800-789-7366 (PENN)

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