Research Summary
Dr. Hania Al-Hallaq is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Radiation & Cellular Oncology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Medical Physics program in 1994 after studying the oxygenation status of tumors using BOLD MRI in Greg Karczmar’s laboratory. Hania was also the first resident in Therapeutic Physics at The University of Chicago graduating in 2002. After a couple of years as a clinical physicist at a large hospital system in the Chicago suburbs, she returned as faculty in Radiation Oncology at the University of Chicago in 2004. She is currently Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Medical Physics and Director of the Medical Physics Certificate Program. Her research focuses on the use of medical imaging to guide treatment positioning and assess treatment response following radiotherapy. She has developed expertise in both x-ray and 3D surface imaging modalities for breast cancer treatments and is chair of TG-302: Surface image-guided radiotherapy. She has published on the use of CT radiomics to predict which patients might later develop RT-induced pneumonitis. Currently, she serves as Physics PI for several national protocols studying the safety and efficacy of SBRT for metastatic disease (NRG-BR001, NRG-BR002, ALLIANCE-A091505). She is an associate physics editor for the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics. She is chair of AAPM Medical Physics Residency Training and Promotion Subcommittee and a vice-chair of AAPM Education and Training Committee (ETC).
Radiomics, Image-Guided Radiotherapy, Surface-guided radiotherapy, Breast cancer radiotherapy innovations
  • American Board of Radiology, Tuscon, AZ, Therapeutic Physics Certification 06/2003
  • The University of Chicago , Chicago, IL, Therapeutic Physics Residency 08/2002
  • The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Ph.D. Medical Physics 08/2000
  • Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, A.B. Physics 05/1994
Awards & Honors
  • 2006 - Kurt Rossmann Award for Excellence in Medical Physics Graduate Teaching The University of Chicago
  • 2009 - Franca Kuchnir Award for Excellence in Physics Residency Teaching The University of Chicago
  • 2017 - Kurt Rossmann Award for Excellence in Medical Physics Graduate Teaching The University of Chicago
  • 2017 - NRG Oncology Outstanding Manuscript NRG Oncology Clinical Trials
  • 2020 - Fellow American Association of Physicists in Medicine
  • 2020 - Franca Kuchnir Award for Excellence in Physics Residency Teaching The University of Chicago
  1. Xiao A, Luke JJ, Partouche J, Karrison T, Chmura S, Al-Hallaq H. Evaluation of dose distribution to organs-at-risk in a prospective phase 1 trial of pembrolizumab and multi-site stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Pract Radiat Oncol. 2021 Oct 01. View in: PubMed

  2. Ayan AS, Kim G, Whitaker M, Al-Hallaq H, Hsu SH, Woollard J, Roberts DA, Shtraus N, Gao S, Gupta N, Moran JM. A framework for automated and streamlined kV cone beam computed tomography image quality assurance: a multi-institutional study. Biomed Phys Eng Express. 2021 Oct 05; 7(6). View in: PubMed

  3. Bestvina CM, Pointer KB, Karrison T, Al-Hallaq H, Hoffman PC, Jelinek MJ, Juloori A, Melotek JM, Murgu S, Partouche J, Vokes EE, Weichselbaum RR, Pitroda SP, Patel JD, Chmura SJ. A Phase I Trial of Concurrent Or Sequential Ipilimumab, Nivolumab, and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy in Patients with Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (COSINR Study). J Thorac Oncol. 2021 Sep 06. View in: PubMed

  4. Al-Hallaq H, Batista V, Kügele M, Ford E, Viscariello N, Meyer J. The role of surface-guided radiation therapy for improving patient safety. Radiother Oncol. 2021 Aug 26; 163:229-236. View in: PubMed

  5. Cruz-Bastida JP, Marshall EL, Reiser N, George J, Pearson EA, Feinstein KA, Al-Hallaq HA, Burton CS, Beaulieu D, MacDougall RD, Reiser I. Development of a neonate X-ray phantom for 2D imaging applications using single-tone inkjet printing. Med Phys. 2021 Sep; 48(9):4944-4954. View in: PubMed

  6. Pfeiffer D, Al-Hallaq H, Halvorsen P, Hendrickson K, Lu ZF, Martin MC, Schueler B, Shuman J, E Zoberi J. AAPM medical physics practice guideline 3.b.: Levels of supervision for medical physicists in clinical training. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2021 Jun; 22(6):11-15. View in: PubMed

  7. Chmura S, Winter KA, Robinson C, Pisansky TM, Borges V, Al-Hallaq H, Matuszak M, Park SS, Yi S, Hasan Y, Bazan J, Wong P, Yoon HA, Horton J, Gan G, Milano MT, Sigurdson ER, Moughan J, Salama JK, White J. Evaluation of Safety of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for the Treatment of Patients With Multiple Metastases: Findings From the NRG-BR001 Phase 1 Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2021 Jun 01; 7(6):845-852. View in: PubMed

  8. Xiao A, Jutzy J, Hubert G, Edens M, Washington M, Hasan Y, Chmura SJ, Al-Hallaq HA. A study of the dosimetric impact of daily setup variations measured with cone-beam CT on three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy for early-stage breast cancer delivered in the prone position. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2020 Dec; 21(12):146-154. View in: PubMed

  9. Foy JJ, Al-Hallaq HA, Grekoski V, Tran T, Guruvadoo K, Armato Iii SG, Sensakovic WF. Harmonization of radiomic feature variability resulting from differences in CT image acquisition and reconstruction: assessment in a cadaveric liver. Phys Med Biol. 2020 10 16; 65(20):205008. View in: PubMed

  10. Batista V, Meyer J, Kügele M, Al-Hallaq H. Clinical paradigms and challenges in surface guided radiation therapy: Where do we go from here? Radiother Oncol. 2020 12; 153:34-42. View in: PubMed

  11. Turchan WT, Arya R, Hight R, Al-Hallaq H, Dominello M, Joyce D, McCabe BP, McCall AR, Perevalova E, Stepaniak C, Yenice K, Burmeister J, Golden DW. Physician review of image registration and normal structure delineation. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2020 Nov; 21(11):80-87. View in: PubMed

  12. Foy JJ, Armato SG, Al-Hallaq HA. Effects of variability in radiomics software packages on classifying patients with radiation pneumonitis. J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2020 Jan; 7(1):014504. View in: PubMed

  13. Onderdonk BE, Wu T, Al-Hallaq H, Son CH, Waller J, Hasan Y. Clinical and Dosimetric Implications of Intrafractional Cylinder Movement During Vaginal Cuff Brachytherapy. Cureus. 2019 Nov 15; 11(11):e6165. View in: PubMed

  14. Padilla L, Havnen-Smith A, Cerviño L, Al-Hallaq HA. A survey of surface imaging use in radiation oncology in the United States. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2019 Dec; 20(12):70-77. View in: PubMed

  15. Prisciandaro JI, Zhao X, Dieterich S, Hasan Y, Jolly S, Al-Hallaq HA. Interstitial High-Dose-Rate Gynecologic Brachytherapy: Clinical Workflow Experience From Three Academic Institutions. Semin Radiat Oncol. 2020 01; 30(1):29-38. View in: PubMed

  16. Ni L, Koshy M, Connell P, Pitroda S, Golden DW, Al-Hallaq H, Hubert G, Kauffman G, McCall A, Malik R. Heart V5 predicts cardiac events in unresectable lung cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation. J Thorac Dis. 2019 Jun; 11(6):2229-2239. View in: PubMed

  17. Al-Hallaq H, Cao M, Kruse J, Klein E. Cured in a FLASH: Reducing Normal Tissue Toxicities Using Ultra-High-Dose Rates. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 06 01; 104(2):257-260. View in: PubMed

  18. Foy JJ, Robinson KR, Li H, Giger ML, Al-Hallaq H, Armato SG. Variation in algorithm implementation across radiomics software. J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2018 Oct; 5(4):044505. View in: PubMed

  19. El Naqa I, Irrer J, Ritter TA, DeMarco J, Al-Hallaq H, Booth J, Kim G, Alkhatib A, Popple R, Perez M, Farrey K, Moran JM. Machine learning for automated quality assurance in radiotherapy: A proof of principle using EPID data description. Med Phys. 2019 Apr; 46(4):1914-1921. View in: PubMed

  20. Nie K, Al-Hallaq H, Li XA, Benedict SH, Sohn JW, Moran JM, Fan Y, Huang M, Knopp MV, Michalski JM, Monroe J, Obcemea C, Tsien CI, Solberg T, Wu J, Xia P, Xiao Y, El Naqa I. NCTN Assessment on Current Applications of Radiomics in Oncology. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 06 01; 104(2):302-315. View in: PubMed

  21. Davis AM, Pearson EA, Pan X, Pelizzari CA, Al-Hallaq H. Collision-avoiding imaging trajectories for linac mounted cone-beam CT. J Xray Sci Technol. 2019; 27(1):1-16. View in: PubMed

  22. Kharouta M, Malin M, Son C, Al-Hallaq H, Hasan Y. Initial experience using superflab as intravaginal packing during interstitial brachytherapy for advanced gynecologic cancer. J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2018 Jun; 10(3):218-224. View in: PubMed

  23. Xiao A, Crosby J, Malin M, Kang H, Washington M, Hasan Y, Chmura SJ, Al-Hallaq HA. Single-institution report of setup margins of voluntary deep-inspiration breath-hold (DIBH) whole breast radiotherapy implemented with real-time surface imaging. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2018 Jul; 19(4):205-213. View in: PubMed

  24. Luke JJ, Lemons JM, Karrison TG, Pitroda SP, Melotek JM, Zha Y, Al-Hallaq HA, Arina A, Khodarev NN, Janisch L, Chang P, Patel JD, Fleming GF, Moroney J, Sharma MR, White JR, Ratain MJ, Gajewski TF, Weichselbaum RR, Chmura SJ. Safety and Clinical Activity of Pembrolizumab and Multisite Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors. J Clin Oncol. 2018 06 01; 36(16):1611-1618. View in: PubMed

  25. Kang H, Padilla L, Hasan Y, Al-Hallaq H. Automated calculation of point A coordinates for CT-based high-dose-rate brachytherapy of cervical cancer. J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2017 Aug; 9(4):354-358. View in: PubMed

  26. Anthony GJ, Cunliffe A, Castillo R, Pham N, Guerrero T, Armato SG, Al-Hallaq HA. Incorporation of pre-therapy 18 F-FDG uptake data with CT texture features into a radiomics model for radiation pneumonitis diagnosis. Med Phys. 2017 Jul; 44(7):3686-3694. View in: PubMed

  27. Feng CH, Hasan Y, Kopec M, Al-Hallaq HA. Simultaneously integrated boost (SIB) spares OAR and reduces treatment time in locally advanced cervical cancer. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2016 Sep; 17(5):1-12. View in: PubMed

  28. Kauffmann G, Wu T, Al-Hallaq H, Hasan Y. Triple-tandem high-dose-rate brachytherapy for early-stage medically inoperable endometrial cancer: Initial report on acute toxicity and dosimetric comparison to stereotactic body radiation therapy. Brachytherapy. 2017 Jan - Feb; 16(1):141-146. View in: PubMed

  29. Al-Hallaq HA, Chmura SJ, Salama JK, Lowenstein JR, McNulty S, Galvin JM, Followill DS, Robinson CG, Pisansky TM, Winter KA, White JR, Xiao Y, Matuszak MM. Benchmark Credentialing Results for NRG-BR001: The First National Cancer Institute-Sponsored Trial of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Multiple Metastases. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 01 01; 97(1):155-163. View in: PubMed

  30. Feng CH, Hasan Y, Kopec M, Al-Hallaq HA. Simultaneously integrated boost (SIB) spares OAR and reduces treatment time in locally advanced cervical cancer. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2016 09 08; 17(5):76-89. View in: PubMed

  31. Al-Hallaq HA, Chmura S, Salama JK, Winter KA, Robinson CG, Pisansky TM, Borges V, Lowenstein JR, McNulty S, Galvin JM, Followill DS, Timmerman RD, White JR, Xiao Y, Matuszak MM. Rationale of technical requirements for NRG-BR001: The first NCI-sponsored trial of SBRT for the treatment of multiple metastases. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2016 Nov - Dec; 6(6):e291-e298. View in: PubMed

  32. Eckhause T, Al-Hallaq H, Ritter T, DeMarco J, Farrey K, Pawlicki T, Kim GY, Popple R, Sharma V, Perez M, Park S, Booth JT, Thorwarth R, Moran JM. Automating linear accelerator quality assurance. Med Phys. 2015 Oct; 42(10):6074-83. View in: PubMed

  33. Han X, Pearson E, Pelizzari C, Al-Hallaq H, Sidky EY, Bian J, Pan X. Algorithm-enabled exploration of image-quality potential of cone-beam CT in image-guided radiation therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2015 Jun 21; 60(12):4601-33. View in: PubMed

  34. Cunliffe AR, White B, Justusson J, Straus C, Malik R, Al-Hallaq HA, Armato SG. Comparison of Two Deformable Registration Algorithms in the Presence of Radiologic Change Between Serial Lung CT Scans. J Digit Imaging. 2015 Dec; 28(6):755-60. View in: PubMed

  35. Cunliffe A, Armato SG, Castillo R, Pham N, Guerrero T, Al-Hallaq HA. Lung texture in serial thoracic computed tomography scans: correlation of radiomics-based features with radiation therapy dose and radiation pneumonitis development. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Apr 01; 91(5):1048-56. View in: PubMed

  36. Cunliffe AR, Contee C, Armato SG, White B, Justusson J, Malik R, Al-Hallaq HA. Effect of deformable registration on the dose calculated in radiation therapy planning CT scans of lung cancer patients. Med Phys. 2015 Jan; 42(1):391-9. View in: PubMed

  37. Feng CH, Gerry E, Chmura SJ, Hasan Y, Al-Hallaq HA. An image-guided study of setup reproducibility of postmastectomy breast cancer patients treated with inverse-planned intensity modulated radiation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Jan 01; 91(1):58-64. View in: PubMed

  38. Padilla L, Kang H, Washington M, Hasan Y, Chmura SJ, Al-Hallaq H. Assessment of interfractional variation of the breast surface following conventional patient positioning for whole-breast radiotherapy. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2014 Sep 08; 15(5):4921. View in: PubMed

  39. Cunliffe AR, Armato SG, Straus C, Malik R, Al-Hallaq HA. Lung texture in serial thoracic CT scans: correlation with radiologist-defined severity of acute changes following radiation therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2014 Sep 21; 59(18):5387-98. View in: PubMed

  40. Rudra S, Al-Hallaq HA, Feng C, Chmura SJ, Hasan Y. Effect of RTOG breast/chest wall guidelines on dose-volume histogram parameters. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2014 Mar 06; 15(2):4547. View in: PubMed

  41. Cunliffe AR, Armato SG, Fei XM, Tuohy RE, Al-Hallaq HA. Lung texture in serial thoracic CT scans: registration-based methods to compare anatomically matched regions. Med Phys. 2013 Jun; 40(6):061906. View in: PubMed

  42. Corbin KS, Dorn PL, Jain SK, Al-Hallaq HA, Hasan Y, Chmura SJ. Hypofractionated radiotherapy does not increase acute toxicity in large-breasted women: results from a prospectively collected series. Am J Clin Oncol. 2014 Aug; 37(4):322-6. View in: PubMed

  43. Wood AM, Medved M, Bacchus ID, Al-Hallaq HA, Shimauchi A, Newstead GM, Olopade OI, Venkataraman SS, Ivancevic MK, Karczmar GS. Classification of breast lesions pre-contrast injection using water resonance lineshape analysis. NMR Biomed. 2013 May; 26(5):569-77. View in: PubMed

  44. Cunliffe AR, Al-Hallaq HA, Labby ZE, Pelizzari CA, Straus C, Sensakovic WF, Ludwig M, Armato SG. Lung texture in serial thoracic CT scans: assessment of change introduced by image registration. Med Phys. 2012 Aug; 39(8):4679-90. View in: PubMed

  45. Dorn PL, Al-Hallaq HA, Haq F, Goldberg M, Abe H, Hasan Y, Chmura SJ. A prospective study of the utility of magnetic resonance imaging in determining candidacy for partial breast irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Mar 01; 85(3):615-22. View in: PubMed

  46. Li J, Wiersma RD, Stepaniak CJ, Farrey KJ, Al-Hallaq HA. Improvements in dose accuracy delivered with static-MLC IMRT on an integrated linear accelerator control system. Med Phys. 2012 May; 39(5):2456-62. View in: PubMed

  47. Dorn PL, Corbin KS, Al-Hallaq H, Hasan Y, Chmura SJ. Feasibility and acute toxicity of hypofractionated radiation in large-breasted patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 May 01; 83(1):79-83. View in: PubMed

  48. Liauw SL, Weichselbaum RR, Rash C, Correa D, Al-Hallaq HA, Pelizzari CA, Jani AB. Biochemical control and toxicity after intensity-modulated radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Jun; 8(3):201-6. View in: PubMed

  49. Al-Hallaq HA, Mell LK, Bradley JA, Chen LF, Ali AN, Weichselbaum RR, Newstead GM, Chmura SJ. Magnetic resonance imaging identifies multifocal and multicentric disease in breast cancer patients who are eligible for partial breast irradiation. Cancer. 2008 Nov 01; 113(9):2408-14. View in: PubMed

  50. Al-Hallaq HA, Reft CS, Roeske JC. The dosimetric effects of tissue heterogeneities in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) of the head and neck. Phys Med Biol. 2006 Mar 07; 51(5):1145-56. View in: PubMed

  51. Singh R, Al-Hallaq H, Pelizzari CA, Zagaja GP, Chen A, Jani AB. Dosimetric quality endpoints for low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy using biological effective dose (BED) vs. conventional dose. Med Dosim. 2003; 28(4):255-9. View in: PubMed

  52. al-Hallaq HA, Zamora MA, Fish BL, Halpern HJ, Moulder JE, Karczmar GS. Using high spectral and spatial resolution bold MRI to choose the optimal oxygenating treatment for individual cancer patients. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2003; 530:433-40. View in: PubMed

  53. Fan X, River JN, Zamora M, Al-Hallaq HA, Karczmar GS. Effect of carbogen on tumor oxygenation: combined fluorine-19 and proton MRI measurements. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Nov 15; 54(4):1202-9. View in: PubMed

  54. Karczmar GS, Fan X, Al-Hallaq H, River JN, Tarlo K, Kellar KE, Zamora M, Rinker-Schaeffer C, Lipton MJ. Functional and anatomic imaging of tumor vasculature: high-resolution MR spectroscopic imaging combined with a superparamagnetic contrast agent. Acad Radiol. 2002 May; 9 Suppl 1:S115-8. View in: PubMed

  55. Al-Hallaq HA, Fan X, Zamora M, River JN, Moulder JE, Karczmar GS. Spectrally inhomogeneous BOLD contrast changes detected in rodent tumors with high spectral and spatial resolution MRI. NMR Biomed. 2002 Feb; 15(1):28-36. View in: PubMed

  56. Giger ML, Al-Hallaq H, Huo Z, Moran C, Wolverton DE, Chan CW, Zhong W. Computerized analysis of lesions in US images of the breast. Acad Radiol. 1999 Nov; 6(11):665-74. View in: PubMed

  57. Al-Hallaq HA, Zamora M, Fish BL, Farrell A, Moulder JE, Karczmar GS. MRI measurements correctly predict the relative effects of tumor oxygenating agents on hypoxic fraction in rodent BA1112 tumors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2000 May 01; 47(2):481-8. View in: PubMed

  58. Karczmar GS, Fan X, Al-Hallaq HA, Zamora M, River JN, Rinker-Schaeffer C, Zaucha M, Tarlo K, Kellar K. Uptake of a superparamagnetic contrast agent imaged by MR with high spectral and spatial resolution. Magn Reson Med. 2000 May; 43(5):633-9. View in: PubMed

  59. Al-Hallaq HA, River JN, Zamora M, Oikawa H, Karczmar GS. Correlation of magnetic resonance and oxygen microelectrode measurements of carbogen-induced changes in tumor oxygenation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1998 Apr 01; 41(1):151-9. View in: PubMed

  60. Kovar DA, Al-Hallaq HA, Zamora MA, River JN, Karczmar GS. Fast spectroscopic imaging of water and fat resonances to improve the quality of MR images. Acad Radiol. 1998 Apr; 5(4):269-75. View in: PubMed

  61. Oikawa H, al-Hallaq HA, Lewis MZ, River JN, Kovar DA, Karczmar GS. Spectroscopic imaging of the water resonance with short repetition time to study tumor response to hyperoxia. Magn Reson Med. 1997 Jul; 38(1):27-32. View in: PubMed

  62. ML Giger, HA Al-Hallaq, DE Wolverton, U Bick. U.S. Patent # 5,984,870. Method and system for the automated analysis of lesions in ultrasound images. 1999.::::

  63. AN Gutierrez, HA Al-Hallaq, DN Stanley. Image Guidance in Radiation Therapy: Techniques, Accuracy, and Limitations edited by P Alaei and G Ding. Surface Image-guided Radiotherapy: Overview and Quality Assurance. 2018; 279-308.::::

  64. HA Al-Hallaq, AN Gutierrez, L Padilla. Image Guidance in Radiation Therapy: Techniques, Accuracy, and Limitations (edited by P Alaei and G Ding). Surface Image-guided Radiotherapy: Clinical Applications and Motion Management. 2018; 309-345.::::