The Therapy Imaging Program (TIP)

Supported by: Federal Share of program income earned by MGH on C06 CA059267

In collaboration with the Department of Radiation Oncology / Physics Division

(T. Bortfeld, G. El Fakhri, R. Jeraj)

TIP Mission:

  • Achieve the best proton therapy treatment through advanced imaging.
  • Support NCI proton therapy clinical trials at MGH and elsewhere using imaging as a biomarker.

TIP’s main pillars

  1. Imaging for TARGET DEFINITION
    Examples: Scientific CTV (Clinical Target Volume) definition for glioblastoma patients using fMRI; CTV definition for Chordomas with 11FMISO PET/CT.
  2. Imaging for DOSE DELIVERY
    Examples: In-room PET-CT and prompt gamma technologies for measuring the proton range in the patient
    Example: MRI and PET based imaging studies to correlate proton dose distributions with biological response, especially in the liver

TIP infrastructure core
A TIP core will be established to support TIP research projects and clinical trials and will include resources for advanced imaging QA, novel agent development, research scanning, image analysis, multicenter imaging coordination.

TIP organization

Oversight Committee
  • Tom DeLaney, MD
  • TIP representative
  • Biomarker representative
  • Department chairs
TIP Advisory Board
  • Annick van den Abbeele, MD
  • Simon Cherry, PhD
  • Ron Kikinis, MD
  • Xiaochuan Pan, PhD
TIP Leadership
  • Thomas Bortfeld PhD (PI) (0.1 FTE)
  • Georges El Fakhri PhD (co-PI) (0.1 FTE)
  • Robert Jeraj PhD (advisor)
Biomarker Leadership
  • Jason Efstathiou MD
  • Ted Hong MD
  • Marc Normandin PhD
  • Kira Grogg, PhD
  • Jan Unkelbach, PhD
  • CTV definition for chordoma/chondrosarcoma (K. Zhang, Y.-L. Chen, K. Jee)
  • Joost Verburg, PhD
  • Kira Grogg, PhD
  • Joao Seco, PhD
  • Prompt gamma range monitoring
  • Clemens Grassberger, PhD
  • Quanzheng Li, PhD
  • FLT-PET for response assessment in lung (C. Grassberger, N. Guo, H. Willers, G. Sharp)
  • Biomarkers for cognitive effects (B. Ebrahimi, T. Yock, R. Lim, Q. Li )
TIP Infrastructure (Core)
  • Nadya Shusharina
  • Quanzheng Li
  • Clemens Grassberger
  • Brian Napolitano

What we have accomplished already through Rad Onc / Radiology collaborations


  • Gated 4D PET-CT for improved CTV in Lung cancer
    N. Choi MD, Q. Li PhD, J. Ackman MD, G. El Fakhri PhD
  • CTV definition for GBM
    J. Unkelbach PhD, E Konukoglu PhD, T Bortfeld PhD
  • Quantitative oncologic PET-MR
    J. Ouyang PhD, Y.L. Chen MD, N. Choi MD, G. El Fakhri PhD
  • 11C-Methionine PET-CT in glioblastoma
    K. Oh MD, Y. Wang MD, U. Mahmood MD PhD, G. El Fakhri PhD, H. Shih MD
  • Simultaneous PET-MRS in radiotherapy of sarcoma
    Y.L. Chen MD, X. Zhang PhD, R. Lim MD, G. El Fakhri PhD
  • Identifying hypoxia for improved chordoma target definition with 18FMISO PET-CT
    Y.L. Chen MD, R. Lim MD, T. Delaney MD PhD
  • Proton Computed Tomography
    J. Seco PhD, Q. Li PhD
  • Cone beam CT for monitoring treatment
    J. Bian PhD, G. Sharp PhD
  • In-room/In-beam PET-CT for monitoring proton therapy
    X. Zhu PhD, K. Grogg PhD, H. Shih MD, N. Alpert PhD, M. Tesla PhD, B. Winey PhD, H. Paganetti PhD, T. Bortfeld PhD, G. El Fakhri PhD.
  • 18O imaging for proton therapy QA
    X. Zhu PhD, K. Grogg PhD, N. Alpert PhD, M. Tesla PhD, T. Bortfeld PhD, G. El Fakhri PhD.
  • Monitoring of proton therapy using prompt gamma
    J. Verburg, J. Seco PhD, T. Bortfeld PhD

NIH Funded Grants

  • TIP, Federal Share of program income earned by MGH on C06 CA059267 (2015-2019)
    T. Bortfeld (PI), G. El Fakhri (co-PI), H. Kooy (co-PI), R. Jeraj (advisor)
  • R01-CA165221 (2012-2017): "Quantitative oncologic PET-MR"
    G. El Fakhri (PI)
  • R21-EB012823 (2011-2014): "Novel In Room PET Monitoring of Proton Therapy"
    G. El Fakhri PhD (PI), H. Paganetti (co-PI)
  • R21 CA153455 (2010-2013): "In-room PET monitoring of Proton Therapy"
    G. El Fakhri PhD (PI), T. Bortfeld (co-PI)
  • R01 EB019959 (2015-2019): "Dynamic PET-DECT for Proton Treatment Verification and Response Assessment"
    X. Zhu (PI), H. Shih (co-PI)