Thomas Bortfeld, PhD

Chief of Physics Division
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address: Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Radiation Oncology
100 Blossom Street
Boston MA, 02114
Phone: (617) 724-1180

Education and Degrees

MS (Diploma): University of Heidelberg , Germany, 1988, Physics
Ph.D.: University of Heidelberg , Germany, 1990, Applied Physics
Habilitation: University of Heidelberg, Germany, 1995, Physics

Areas of Interest

  • Optimization, Multi-Criteria Optimization
  • Therapy Imaging
  • Proton Radiotherapy
  • Dynamics of Cancer Treatment

Recent Honors

Alfred Breit Award, DEGRO (German Society for Radiation Oncology), 2015 (For work on IMRT)

Science Award: Research Networks, Fraunhofer Society, 2016 (For work on multi-criteria optimization in radiation therapy, with colleagues from Fraunhofer ITWM) 

Honorary Professor, University of Freiburg, Germany, 2017

Glocker medal, DGMP (highest award of the German Medical Physics society), 2018 

Recent Keynote Lectures

CARO-COMP-CAMRT joint scientific meeting, Montreal, Canada, opening keynote, 2018 

EPSM, Engineering & Physical Scientists in Medicine Conference, Perth, Australia, 2019

SSRMP, Swiss Society of Radiobiology and Medical Physics, PSI Villigen, Switzerland, 2019

Review Talks

Harvard Applied Physics Colloquium: Physics against Cancer 

In the News

  1. A pioneering approach to cancer treatment
  2. Targeting tumours
  3. Proton therapy teams up with PET imaging
  4. Fighting cancer with mathematics

Selected Recent Publications (total of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers)

  • Richter C, Andronesi OC, Borra RJH, Voigt F, Löck S, Duda DG, Guimaraes AR, Hong TS, Bortfeld TR, Seco J. Inter-patient variations of radiation-induced normal-tissue changes in Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced hepatic MRI scans during fractionated proton therapy. Clin Transl Radiat Oncol. 2019 Sep; 18:113-119. PMID: 31341986.
  • Ten Eikelder SCM, den Hertog D, Bortfeld T, Perkó Z. Optimal combined proton-photon therapy schemes based on the standard BED model. Phys Med Biol. 2019 03 12; 64(6):065011. PMID: 30641502.
  • Ajdari A, Niyazi M, Nicolay NH, Thieke C, Jeraj R, Bortfeld T. Towards optimal stopping in radiation therapy. Radiother Oncol. 2019 May; 134:96-100. PMID: 31005230.
  • Hueso-González F, Rabe M, Ruggieri TA, Bortfeld T, Verburg JM. A full-scale clinical prototype for proton range verification using prompt gamma-ray spectroscopy. Phys Med Biol. 2018 09 17; 63(18):185019. PMID: 30033938.
  • Shusharina N, Craft D, Chen YL, Shih H, Bortfeld T. The clinical target distribution: a probabilistic alternative to the clinical target volume. Phys Med Biol. 2018 07 24; 63(15):155001. PMID: 29952319.
  • Grassberger C, Hong TS, Hato T, Yeap BY, Wo JY, Tracy M, Bortfeld T, Wolfgang JA, Eyler CE, Goyal L, Clark JW, Crane CH, Koay EJ, Cobbold M, DeLaney TF, Jain RK, Zhu AX, Duda DG. Differential Association Between Circulating Lymphocyte Populations With Outcome After Radiation Therapy in Subtypes of Liver Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Apr 17. PMID: 29859792.
  • Gorissen BL, Unkelbach J, Bortfeld TR. Mathematical Optimization of Treatment Schedules. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 Sep 01; 96(1):6-8. PMID: 27511841.
  • Craft D, Khan F, Young M, Bortfeld T. The Price of Target Dose Uniformity. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 Nov 15; 96(4):913-914. PMID: 27788961.
  • Baumann M, Krause M, Overgaard J, Debus J, Bentzen SM, Daartz J, Richter C, Zips D, Bortfeld T. Radiation oncology in the era of precision medicine. Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 Apr; 16(4):234-49. PMID: 27009394.
  • Yan S, Lu HM, Flanz J, Adams J, Trofimov A, Bortfeld T. Reassessment of the Necessity of the Proton Gantry: Analysis of Beam Orientations From 4332 Treatments at the Massachusetts General Hospital Proton Center Over the Past 10 Years. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 May 01; 95(1):224-33. PMID: 26611874.


Located in: Leadership | Research