Marcel R.M. van den Brink, MD, PhD

About Me

I am a medical oncologist and physician-scientist who specializes in bone marrow transplants as a therapy for blood cancers such as leukemia. With this treatment, also called a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, chemotherapy and radiation are used to kill the cancer in the patient’s blood and bone marrow. Then new marrow or blood stem cells are given to help healthy blood cells grow back.  

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In the clinic, I take care of patients undergoing these transplants. In the laboratory, I study questions related to this treatment approach and to immunotherapy for cancer in general.

My research is currently focused on two areas. I’m studying the role that microorganisms living in the intestine (called the microbiota) play in patients undergoing bone marrow transplants or those receiving cancer immunotherapy. I’m also developing strategies to help the body rebuild the immune system after bone marrow transplantation. The particular focus of this work is in enhancing the activity of the thymus, a small organ in the chest that makes certain types of immune cells.

My research in both of these areas is being translated into clinical trials that are currently ongoing at MSK.

From 2004 to 2008, I served as Chief Attending of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service. I have been Head of the Division of Hematologic Oncology at MSK since 2008. I’m also a professor of Medicine and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

In 2010, I started the Susan and Peter Solomon Divisional Genomics Program, which focuses on targeted therapy approaches for patients with blood cancers such as leukemia. This program was instrumental in the development of the first genomic profiling test for hematological malignancies called FoundationOne™ Heme.

  • Clinical Expertise: Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Awards and Honors: Physician Scientist Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Amy Strelzer Manasevit Scholar Award from the National Marrow Donor Program, Damon Runyon Scholar Award of the Cancer Research Fund, scholarship from the V Foundation for Cancer Research, elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2004) and the Association of American Physicians (2013), Immunology Letters Lecture Award from the European Federation of Immunological Societies (2014), Delete Blood Cancer Award (2015), and Till and McCulloch Lectureship Award from the Stem Cell Network (2015).
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, University of Leiden
  • Residencies: Internal Medicine - Leiden University Hospital; Internal Medicine - Duke University Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Hematology/Oncology - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Medicine - Harvard Medical School; Pediatric Oncology/Immunology - Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Board Certifications: Medical Oncology

My Research

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See Marcel R.M. van den Brink’s laboratory
research at Memorial Sloan Kettering.


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Marcel R.M. van den Brink’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

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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