About Me

I am a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon specializing in the disorders of the spine. As a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Spine Tumor Center, my goal is to provide comprehensive care for all patients with spinal disorders. I specialize in the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic spinal tumors and in the treatment of degenerative spinal disorders. My goal is to use modern surgical and radiation techniques in order to effectively prevent or reduce back pain and neurological deficits that the oncologic patient population may experience.

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Primary bone tumors of the spine include sarcoma, chordoma, chondrosarcoma, giant cell tumor, osteoid osteoma, osteoblastoma, aneurysmal bone cyst, multiple myeloma and plasmacytoma. Metastatic tumors may travel to the spine from any part of the body. Our team specializes in developing an individualized plan of treatment for each patient with a spinal tumor in order to achieve durable tumor control and relief of symptoms. These treatments include a combination of preoperative and postoperative radiation, preoperative arterial embolization in order to decrease blood loss, cement injection, intra-arterial chemotherapy, various tumor excision and spinal reconstruction techniques, and intraoperative irradiation of the tumor margin. I specialize in the surgical excision of the spine tumors, spinal cord decompression and complex spinal reconstruction techniques.

Degenerative disorders of the spine include spinal stenosis, disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, osteoporotic fractures and deformity. I have extensive training in the treatment of the full range of degenerative spinal disorders and perform a variety of decompression and spinal stabilization operations in order to provide lasting symptom relief.

My goal is to employ cutting-edge surgical techniques that include image- guidance and minimally invasive surgery in the treatment of spinal tumors and degenerative disorders. Image-guidance provides improved localization of the bony spinal elements in order to allow increased precision of instrumentation positioning during operations that require spinal reconstruction and stabilization, thereby minimizing the risk of neurologic injury and construct failure in the future. The goal of minimally invasive surgery is to decrease the collateral tissue damage caused by extensive open spinal dissections, in order to decrease surgical risk and postoperative pain and to facilitate recovery.

My research interests include the design and oversight of longitudinal studies and prospective clinical trials designed to determine the optimal treatment of patients with spinal tumors.

  • Clinical Expertise: Primary and Metastatic Spinal Tumors; Complex Reconstruction and Stabilization of the Spine; Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery; Degenerative Spinal Disorders
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Stony Brook University Medical School; MS, Biostatistics/Clinical Research Methods, Mailman Scool of Public Health, Columbia University
  • Residencies: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Johns Hopkins Hospital (Spine Oncology and Complex Reconstruction)

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Visit PubMed for a full listing of Ilya Laufer’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.


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