David H. Abramson, MD -- Chief, Ophthalmic Oncology Service, Department of Surgery

David H. Abramson, MD

Ophthalmic Oncologist

Titles

Chief, Ophthalmic Oncology Service, Department of Surgery

Clinical Expertise

Retinoblastoma; Ocular Melanomas (Melanoma of the Eye); Uveal Melanoma; Orbital Tumors; Ophthalmic Oncology

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New Patient Appointments

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Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., (Eastern time)
Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Abramson accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Aetna

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO PPO, POS, Transplant

Aetna Medicare Advantage (City of NY retirees only, starting 7/1/23)

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield New York

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Blue Cross Blue Shield states outside of NY/NJ

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO PPO, POS

Blue Cross Health Plus

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Carrum Health

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): Supplemental

Cigna

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

Connecticare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem Essential

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Emblem Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

Empire Blue Cross Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO, DSN

Empire Essential

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Empire Plan / NYSHIP (Blue Cross/UnitedHealthcare split plan)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Fidelis

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO

Fidelis Managed Medicaid & HARP

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Fidelis Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

First Health

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Healthfirst

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO, HMO, PPO, POS

Healthfirst Managed Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Healthfirst Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, PPO

Healthsmart

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (HMO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (PPO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier I (EPO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier II (EPO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO

Horizon Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

Husky CT Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Magnacare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO

Medicare Part A&B (traditional Medicare)

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): Federal Government

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): Supplemental

MVP

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO/OAP

Non-Participating Plans with Out of Network Benefits

Payor Type: Other
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus for City Employees

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): TBD

Oscar

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO/EPO

Oxford

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, EPO

Qualcare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

Straight NJ Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Straight NY Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Tricare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

UMR

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS

United Healthcare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

World Trade Center Health Program (WTC)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Contact and Location

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Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offer many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

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About Me

Education

MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Residencies

Ophthalmology - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center

Fellowships

Ophthalmology - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center

Board Certifications

Ophthalmology

Please note that this doctor’s office has recently moved. All patient appointments are now taking place at the Rockefeller Outpatient Pavilion at 160 East 53rd Street in Manhattan.

I am a board-certified ophthalmologist with specialty training in ophthalmic oncology. Ophthalmic oncologists are ophthalmologists who specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer on the surface of the eye, in the eye, and in the tissues around the eye (the lid and orbit). I have a joint appointment in the Departments of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Radiation Oncology. I am also Chief of the Ophthalmic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering. This is the only service dedicated to ophthalmic oncology in a cancer hospital in the United States. Because of our close association with specialists in pediatrics, genetics, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, diagnostic radiology, and medicine, we are able to offer coordinated, state-of-the-art care. Our patients have access to novel therapies and clinical trials not available anywhere else in the country.

Ophthalmic cancers are rare. They are usually diagnosed without performing a biopsy, so experience is very important in getting the correct diagnosis every time. At MSK, we use the latest diagnostic digital imaging and ultrasound tools. These include standardized A and B scans, high-frequency anterior segment ultrasound (also called ultrasound biomicroscopy), and optical coherence tomography.

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The most common ophthalmic cancer is melanoma in the eye. This is also known as uveal melanoma or ocular melanoma. We offer sophisticated diagnostic and treatment options for this cancer. These include brachytherapy (sealed radioactive material that’s surgically placed directly onto the eye) with radioactive iodine. Our medical physicists and brachytherapy team are internationally respected for their expertise in delivering customized treatments for each patient. In collaboration with MSK’s melanoma team, we offer clinical trials for melanoma of the eye that has spread to another part of the body.

As a member of the MSK Kids team, I treat patients with a pediatric eye tumor called retinoblastoma. Dating back to 1914, our retinoblastoma center is the longest continually operating center of its kind in the world. We have the longest follow-up of the largest number of patients. We have a modern examination suite dedicated to the care of children with retinoblastoma. It features all the latest equipment needed to diagnose and treat retinoblastoma in the most effective way possible.

I have introduced many new treatments for retinoblastoma that have been adopted by other cancer hospitals. These treatments include the novel use of chemotherapy delivered around the eye to prevent the widespread side effects caused by intravenous medication. In 2006, we pioneered the use of high-concentration, low-dose chemotherapy delivered directly into the blood vessel of the eye through a catheter (thin, flexible tube) placed in the groin, which can be given on an outpatient basis. We have the most experience with this technique (called ophthalmic artery chemosurgery or intraarterial chemotherapy) and have taught it to doctors around the world. In the past, we removed one or both eyes in 95 percent of children with retinoblastoma, but now we can avoid removing the eye 95 percent of the time.

In addition, our studies on the long-term complications of retinoblastoma have been published extensively in the Journal of the American Medical Association as well as in eye disease and cancer journals.

I have published more than 700 books, chapters, original articles, scientific reviews, audiotapes, and videotapes, and I was the editor of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s instruction book on ophthalmic oncology. I have delivered more than 500 lectures worldwide, including those in France, Italy, England, Switzerland, Israel, China, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina.

Among the many honors I have received are awards from the Swiss Society of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Helen Keller Services for the Blind, and the New York State Ophthalmological Society. I have received many teaching awards. I have also received the Honor Award, the Senior Honor Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: America's Top Doctors (2016-2023)
  • Hall of Fame Honoree, Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation (2019)
  • Charter Member, Retina Hall of Fame (2017)
  • Bjerrum Medal, Danish Ophthalmological Society (2012)
  • The Alcon Research Institute Award, Alcon Research Institute (2011)
  • Stallard Medal, Cambridge University (2009)
  • Honor, Senior Honor, and Lifetime Achievement Awards, American Academy of Ophthalmology (1982, 1990, 2008)
  • Mildred Weisenfeld Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology, ARVO Annual Meeting (2004)
  • Hobart Lerner Award, New York State Ophthalmological Society (2001)
  • Honoree, The Manhattan League of Helen Keller Services for the Blind (2000)
  • Best Doctors in New York, New York Magazine (2000-2020)
  • Franceschetti Medal, Swiss Ophthalmological Society (1997)
  • Inductee, Harvard University Athletic Club Hall of Fame (1993)

Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

See all Pediatrics doctors

See all Radiation Oncology doctors

See all Ophthalmic Oncology Service doctors

Clinical Trials

Smiling doctors in the lab
Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

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Research and Publications

Qureshi S, Francis JH, Haque SS, Dunkel IJ, Souweidane MM, Friedman DN, Abramson DH. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Screening for Trilateral Retinoblastoma: The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Experience 2006-2016. Ophthalmol Retina. 2019 Oct 31. pii: S2468-6530(19)30605-0. doi: 10.1016/j.oret.2019.10.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Durham BH, Lopez Rodrigo E, Picarsic J, Abramson D, Rotemberg V, De Munck S, Pannecoucke E, Lu SX, Pastore A, Yoshimi A, Mandelker D, Ceyhan-Birsoy O, Ulaner GA, Walsh M, Yabe M, Petrova-Drus K, Arcila ME, Ladanyi M, Solit DB, Berger MF, Hyman DM, Lacouture ME, Erickson C, Saganty R, Ki M, Dunkel IJ, Santa-María López V, Mora J, Haroche J, Emile JF, Decaux O, Geissmann F, Savvides SN, Drilon A, Diamond EL, Abdel-Wahab O. Activating mutations in CSF1R and additional receptor tyrosine kinases in histiocytic neoplasms. Nat Med. 2019 Dec;25(12):1839-1842. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0653-6. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Francis JH, Berry D, Abramson DH, Barker CA, Bergstrom C, Demirci H, Engelbert M, Grossniklaus H, Hubbard B, Iacob CE, Jaben K, Kurli M, Postow MA, Wolchok JD, Kim IK, Wells JR. Intravitreous Cutaneous Metastatic Melanoma in the Era of Checkpoint Inhibition: Unmasking and Masquerading. Ophthalmology. 2020 Feb;127(2):240-248. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2019.09.018. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

Banerjee SC, Pottenger E, Petriccione M, Chou JF, Ford JS, Sklar CA, Robison LL, Kleinerman RA, Oeffinger KC, Francis JH, Abramson DH, Dunkel IJ, Friedman DN. Impact of enucleation on adult retinoblastoma survivors’ quality of life: A qualitative study of survivors’ perspectives. Palliat Support Care. 2019 Nov 8:1-10. doi: 10.1017/S1478951519000920. [Epub ahead of print]

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Kleinerman RA, Schonfeld SJ, Sigel BS, Wong-Siegel JR, Gilbert ES, Abramson DH, Seddon JM, Tucker MA, Morton LM. Bone and Soft-Tissue Sarcoma Risk in Long-Term Survivors of Hereditary Retinoblastoma Treated With Radiation. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Dec 10;37(35):3436-3445. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.01096. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Zauderer MG, Jayakumaran G, DuBoff M, Zhang L, Francis JH, Abramson DH, Cercek A, Nash GM, Shoushtari A, Chapman P, D’Angelo S, Arnold AG, Siegel B, Fleischut MH, Ni A, Rimner A, Rusch VW, Adusumilli PS, Travis W, Sauter JL, Zehir A, Mandelker D, Ladanyi M, Robson M. Prevalence and Preliminary Validation of Screening Criteria to Identify Carriers of Germline BAP1 Mutations. J Thorac Oncol. 2019 Nov;14(11):1989-1994. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2019.07.002. Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Farouk Sait S, Haque S, Karimi S, Rebeiz KJ, Francis JH, Marr BP, Abramson DH, Souweidane MM, Dunkel IJ. A Potential Role For Apparent Diffusion Coefficient in the Diagnosis of Trilateral Retinoblastoma. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2019 Jun 27. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001523. [Epub ahead of print]

Francis JH, Barker CA, Yin VT, Carvajal RD, Chapman P, Abramson DH, Gobin YP. Chemoreduction of Orbital Recurrence of Uveal Melanoma by Intra-Arterial Melphalan. Ocul Oncol Pathol. 2019 Apr;5(3):186-189. doi: 10.1159/000490061. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Abramson DH, Dhar LS, Francis JH. Iris Mass in a 2-Year-Old. Ophthalmol Retina. 2018 Sep;2(9):905. doi: 10.1016/j.oret.2018.06.010. Epub 2018 Sep 4. No abstract available.

Abramson DH, Francis JH. Pseudomelanoma (with Cataract) in a Child Caused by Amniocentesis. Ophthalmology. 2019 Apr;126(4):590. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2019.01.025. No abstract available.

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Abramson’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

See all on PubMed

Disclosures

Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

David H. Abramson discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

  • The Fund for Ophthalmic Knowledge Inc.
    Fiduciary Role/Position

If you’re a patient at MSK and would like more information about your doctor’s external relationships, please talk with your doctor.

The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.


This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2021 through disclosure submission in spring 2022). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.

Learn more about MSK’s COI policies here. For questions regarding MSK’s COI-related policies and procedures, email MSK’s Compliance Office at [email protected].


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