Matthias A.  Karajannis, MD, MS

Matthias A. Karajannis, MD, MS

Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist

Titles

Chief of Neuro-Oncology Service

Clinical Expertise

Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors; Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors; Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, Neurofibromatosis

New Patient Appointments

Scheduling a visit is easy. Click below or call us to get started.

Accepted Insurance Providers

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

Contact and Location

Locations map

Find a Convenient Location

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

About Me

Education

MS, New York University School of Medicine; MD, Free University Berlin

Residencies

Pediatrics – Duke University Medical Center

Fellowships

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Pediatric Neuro-Oncology – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

General Pediatrics; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

I am a pediatric neuro-oncologist who has cared for children with brain tumors, spinal cord tumors, and neurofibromatosis for 11 years. As Chief of Neuro-Oncology Service Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I feel privileged to be a part of a community of the most dedicated clinicians and scientists in the world. We are all committed to our young patients with brain tumors and driven to accelerate progress in the way we diagnose and care for them.

I went to medical school during a time when rapid progress was made in treating children with cancer using chemotherapy, particularly in children with leukemia. I witnessed the power of combining interdisciplinary collaboration, laboratory research, and careful clinical research to turn once-deadly diseases into curable conditions. After completing pediatric residency training and a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology, I decided to pursue additional training in pediatric neuro-oncology. I realized that despite progress, many children with brain tumors still had poor prognoses and were in urgent need of new, more-effective, and less-toxic therapies.

At MSK, we have the most skilled and experienced medical and surgical specialists, who are experts in caring for children with brain tumors. We rely on each other, first and foremost, to make the most accurate and precise diagnoses. Because of recent advancements in our molecular diagnostics capabilities, we have the unprecedented ability to distinguish brain tumors that may look the same under the microscope but have very different clinical behavior and treatment requirements. These advancements also allow us to identify vulnerabilities in individual tumors that may be treatable with molecularly targeted drugs. This is called precision medicine and holds tremendous potential for treating subsets of our patients.

Once we establish a diagnosis, our team of experts — together with the patient and his or her family — creates a personalized treatment plan. These range from careful observation for some patients with low-grade or benign tumors to aggressive therapies using many different treatments, possibly including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or immunotherapy. We also take into consideration the wide array of clinical trials for children with brain tumors offered at MSK and incorporate them into care plans whenever possible. For each patient, our goal is to achieve the best possible outcomes while minimizing any toxic effects of treatment.

My research translates findings from the laboratory into better ways to diagnose and treat children and young adults with brain tumors. I am currently the principal investigator of several early-phase clinical trials for patients with neurofibromatosis, with the goal of finding new treatment strategies for this inheritable condition that predisposes people to multiple nervous-system tumors. I am also actively involved as an investigator in cooperative clinical trial groups such as the Children’s Oncology Group and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium.

I recognize that a cancer diagnosis is perhaps the most difficult and challenging time in the life of a child and his or her family, and I know that each situation is unique. To that end, all patients and families should know that we have a team of experts who will be with them throughout the entire experience — from diagnosis through treatment and into long-term follow up care. We are a team, and we are here to make sure that our patients have the best possible outcomes. 

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.

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.

Research and Publications

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Karajannis’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.