Ira J. Dunkel, MD
Brain Tumors; Retinoblastoma
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New Patient Appointments
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Dr. Dunkel accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Aetna HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Aetna does not include us in any of the plans you can purchase through the insurance exchanges or through Medicare. Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral. MSK has an agreement with the Aetna Transplant Program for all Aetna's commercial products.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Blue Distinction Center for bone marrow transplant and CAR-T.
We understand that there may be many complexities involved with insurance coverage purchased through the health exchange network of the Affordable Care Act. We’re here to help. If you have questions about how your care will be covered by an insurance provider, or need help navigating a change in coverage, please call us at 646-227-3378; if you are not a resident of New York, you can call us at 866-248-1274. Our team is here to listen to your concerns and assist you in any way we can. We want our care to be as accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with CIGNA's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. CIGNA does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- If you are a New York State resident: Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
- If you live outside of New York State: Please ask your insurance if you have in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with EmblemHealth’s PPO, EPO, POS, HMO plans. EmblemHealth includes GHI, HIP, Vytra, and ConnecticCare (in NYS Only). You must bring a referral from your Emblem primary care doctor to your first appointment. In-network participation exceptions include:
- Emblem’s HIP Commercial Millennium, Select Care and Enhanced Care Prime networks is not in-network with Memorial Sloan Kettering.
- Please call Emblem to confirm if your specific plan is in-network.
For information regarding Memorial Sloan Kettering’s participation with Emblem’s Medicare Advantage Plans, please refer to the Medicare & Medicaid page
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellpoint) of New York Indemnity, HMO, EPO, PPO, POS and Medicare Advantage plans, with the following exceptions:
- Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- Please call Empire BCBS to confirm if your specific plan is in-network with Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthFirst’s commercial products; these commercial products are not purchased on the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthSmart’s Accel, HSPC, and HPO networks.
For our NJ locations, Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with most Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans for individuals, families, and small businesses. Horizon members with Blue Card Access (there would be a suitcase logo on the front of the card) may have access to our NY locations. Please call Horizon to confirm if your plan is in-network in NY.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Humana.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Interlink Health Services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Lifetrac.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for all MagnaCare health plans except those products you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
For information about Medicare and Medicaid, please visit this page
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Multiplan.
If you are covered by more than one insurance plan, you will want to determine your benefits from both plans. First, you need to determine which one is your primary insurance provider by contacting your employee benefits office or your insurance carriers. After you find out which is your primary insurance provider, you should then contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some MVP plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for New York State employees who have enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services. If you have the Empire Plan, you should call Cancer Resources Services at 866-936-6002 to verify and enroll in this coverage.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network with Oscar’s Circle Plus Network, a part of its Small Group Broad line that is offered only to select small business groups. Oscar does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider for any of its individual plans. Please confirm eligibility with your insurance carrier.
Most Blue Cross Blue Shield plans include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Contact your insurance company to confirm if Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network.
We have agreements with several insurance companies that may provide additional coverage for cancer patients. These benefit programs include:
- AXA Assistance USA
- Beech Street
- Integrated Health Plans
- National Health Administrators
- National Preferred Provider Network
- UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services
- United Resource Network
- Veterans Choice Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Oxford’s Freedom and Liberty plans as well as the Metro Plan (which is only offered to small business groups and no longer offered as individual plans). Please confirm with your insurance if you need a one-time referral. Note: Oxford’s Medicare Managed Care plan — Secure Horizon — does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Oxford does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with the World Trade Center Health Program.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with QualCare's PPO and HMO/POS network.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Specialty Care Management.
Hospital and physician services may be covered by TRICARE. Please call your TRICARE plan to confirm coverage at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with UnitedHealthCare's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Please confirm with your insurance if a one-time referral is needed.
UnitedHealthCare's Medicare Managed Care plan does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider.
United does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by UnitedHealthcare.
Contact and 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.
MD, Duke University
Pediatrics - Duke University
Pediatric Infectious Disease - Duke University/Muhimbili Medical Center; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
I am a pediatric oncologist on the MSK Kids team who specializes in caring for children, teenagers, and young adults with brain and eye tumors, including medulloblastoma (the most common cancerous brain tumor in children) and retinoblastoma (a rare eye tumor in children). I also treat children and teenagers with melanoma and children and adults with a rare white blood cell disorder called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.
In my clinical research on brain tumors, my colleagues and I are seeking to develop more-effective therapies with fewer and less severe side effects. Much of this work involves clinical trials to evaluate new drugs for difficult to treat tumors, such as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, glioblastoma, recurrent medulloblastoma, and recurrent ependymoma.
I am also working to develop new treatments for retinoblastoma. These include the use of intensive therapy for children whose retinoblastoma has spread outside the eye and local chemotherapy for those with advanced cancer within the eye.
Nationally, I am chair of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, a National Cancer Institute–sponsored clinical trials group. I am a member of the Children’s Oncology Group’s Rare Tumors (Retinoblastoma) Committee and Brain Tumor Committee, and I serve as the principal investigator for national clinical trials addressing these tumors. I am also a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Brain Malignancy Steering Committee and a special government employee for the US Food and Drug Administration’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee.
In addition to patient care and research, I work closely with young doctors who are training in pediatric oncology to help them learn how best to identify the individual needs of patients and to care for children with cancer.
It is very rewarding to work with patients and their families. I tailor their care to their needs and explain the treatment options to them their treatment options, guiding them in complex decision-making or exploring various alternatives. At MSK, our goal is to cure the cancer while leaving the patient with as normal a life as possible.
Awards and Honors
- Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2005-2020)
- Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology (2012)
- Paul Meyers Teaching Award, Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan Kettering (2015)
- Clinical Trials Investigated by Dr. Dunkel
- A Feasibility Study of the Optune Electric Field Device to Treat Children with Recurrent or Persistent Supratentorial High-Grade Gliomas and Ependymomas
- A Phase I Study of APX005M Immunotherapy in Pediatric Patients with Persistent or Recurrent Brain Tumors and Newly Diagnosed Brain Stem Glioma
- A Phase I Study of Savolitinib in Patients with Recurrent or Persistent Medulloblastoma, High-Grade Glioma, or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
- A Pilot Study of SurVaxM in Children and Young Adults with Progressive or Relapsed Medulloblastoma, High-Grade Glioma, or Ependymoma or Newly Diagnosed Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
- A Study of the Safety and Preliminary Effectiveness of Pembrolizumab Immunotherapy to Treat Children and Adolescents with Recurrent or Persistent High-Grade Glioma or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
- Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Dr. Dunkel
- A Phase I Study of HER2-Directed CAR T-Cell Therapy for People with Recurrent or Persistent Ependymoma
- A Phase I Study of INCB7839 in Children with Recurrent High-Grade Glioma that Continues to Grow
- A Phase I/II Study of CX-4945 (a "Sonic Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitor) in Patients with Recurrent Sonic Hedgehog-type Medulloblastoma
- A Phase II International Collaborative Treatment Protocol for Children and Adolescents with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis
- A Phase II Study Assessing the Use of Omburtamab Radioimmunotherapy for Recurrent Medulloblastoma and Ependymoma in Children and Adolescents
- A Phase II Study of Reduced Therapy for Patients Newly Diagnosed with Average-Risk WNT-Driven Medulloblastoma
- Effect of Treatment on Quality of Life in Survivors of Retinoblastoma in One Eye
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.
Research and Publications
Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Dunkel’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.
At MSK, we’re committed to delivering the best care to every patient. We use feedback from our patients to continue to improve our care. We also post patient reviews online to help you make healthcare choices. Learn more about our patient experience reviews.
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.
Ira J. Dunkel discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
Day One Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
Provision of Services
Pyramid Biosciences, Inc.
Provision of Services
The Kamen Brain Tumor Foundation
Provision of Services (uncompensated)
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.