Ira J. Dunkel, MD

Ira J. Dunkel, MD

Pediatric Oncologist

Clinical Expertise

Pediatric Brain Tumors; Retinoblastoma

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

Contact and Location

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About Me


MD, Duke University


Pediatrics - Duke University


Pediatric Infectious Disease - Duke University/Muhimbili Medical Center; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

I am a pediatric oncologist who specializes in the care of children, teenagers, and young adults with brain and eye tumors, including medulloblastoma (the most common malignant 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, my colleagues and I are seeking to develop more-effective therapies with fewer and less-severe side effects. For example, we are exploring a new treatment regimen for patients with medulloblastoma that is intended to reduce side effects by limiting the amount of radiation given to areas of the brain without cancer.

I am also working to develop new treatments for retinoblastoma, a rare eye tumor that occurs in children. These include the use of intensive therapy for children whose retinoblastoma has metastasized (spread outside of the eye) and local chemotherapy for those with advanced cancer in the eye.

In addition to patient care and research, I am one of the lead attendings on the Faculty Fellow Team. The team works closely with young doctors training in this subspecialty to help them learn how best to identify the individual needs of patients and manage the care of children with malignancies.

Nationally, I am on the Children’s Oncology Group Retinoblastoma and Brain Tumor Committees, and I serve as the Principal Investigator for national clinical trials dealing with these tumors.

I find it very rewarding to work with patients and their families and to tailor and explain to them their treatment options, guiding them in complex decision-making or exploring various alternatives. 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 (2005-2018)


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.

Clinical Trials

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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

Publications on PubMed

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.