Michael B. Bernstein, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering radiation oncologist Michael Bernstein
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About Me

I am a radiation oncologist who cares for people with a variety of cancers. I have particular expertise in treating breast cancer, head and neck cancerprostate cancer and other genitourinary cancers, and tumors affecting the brain and central nervous system. I use advanced radiation techniques such as intensity modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to safely and effectively treat these cancers. My practice is located at MSK Westchester and I enjoy delivering the same level of compassionate, expert care to our patients and neighbors in a convenient location.

Originally, I entered medical school convinced I would pursue a career in orthopedic surgery. However, when I was exposed to the field of radiation oncology, I was drawn to the combination of cutting-edge technological advances, groundbreaking research, and opportunity to develop deep-rooted relationships with patients and families. These were aspects I was always searching for in a career in medicine, and I knew radiation oncology was the perfect fit.

I am interested in the way radiation can work together with other treatments, particularly immunotherapy. During a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, I studied the potential of cancer vaccines to activate the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. We often bolstered these therapeutic vaccines with radiation to help strengthen the treatment response.

At MSK, we are working to enhance the effects of immunotherapy by combining it with more advanced forms of radiation therapy, including SRS and proton therapy. We are proud to be able to offer these exciting new therapies to our patients not only at MSK in Manhattan, but also at our regional network locations closer to home.

When patients and their families come to see me for their first visit, they often have a lot of fear about the unknown. Radiation sounds intimidating and can be frightening. My goal is to help alleviate fears and misconceptions by answering all questions, making sure that they have a full understanding of the radiation process, and most importantly, reminding them that I will be with them every step of the way.

I work very closely with my patients’ surgical and medical oncologists to ensure we are all moving forward collaboratively with an effective and safe treatment course. When patients leave their visits, I hope to see them walking out with their heads held high knowing that they have a plan set in place designed with unparalleled attention to detail and care.

  • Clinical Expertise: Breast Cancer; Head & Neck Cancer; Prostate Cancer & Other Genitourinary Cancers; Spine Tumors & Central Nervous System Tumors
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, with special distinction in oncology
  • Residencies: Radiation Oncology – Montefiore Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Radiation Oncology – MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Radiation Oncology


Bernstein MB, Chang EL, Amini B, Pan H, Cabanillas M, Wang XA, Allen PK, Rhines RD, Tatsui C, Li J, Brown PD, Ghia AJ. Spine Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Patients with Metastatic Thyroid Cancer – Secondary Analysis of Phase I/II Trials. Thyroid. 2016 Sep; 26(9): 1269-75. 

Bernstein MB, Krishnan S, Hodge JW, Chang JY. Immunotherapy and stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (ISABR): a curative approach? Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2016 Aug; 13(8): 516-24.

Gameiro SR, Malamas AS, Bernstein MB, Tsang KY, Vassantachart A, Sahoo N, Tailor R, Pidikiti R, Guha CP, Hahn SM, Krishnan S, Hodge JW. Tumor Cells Surviving Exposure to Proton or Photon Radiation Share a Common Immunogenic Modulation Signature, Rendering them More Sensitive to T-cell-mediated Killing. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 May 1; 95(1): 120-30. . 

Sharon E, Polley MY, Bernstein MB, Ahmed M. Immunotherapy and Radiation Therapy: Considerations for Successfully Combining Radiation into the Paradigm of Immuno-Oncology Drug Development. Radiat Res. 2014 Aug; 182(2):252-7.

Bernstein MB, Garnett CT, Zhang H, Velcich A, Wattenberg MM, Gomeiro SR, Kalnicki S, Hodge JW, Guha C. Radiation-Induced Modulation of Costimulatory and Coninhibitory T-cell Signaling Molecules on Human Prostate Carcinoma Cells Promotes Antitumor Immune Interactions. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2014 May;29(4):153-61.

Kwilas AR, Donahue RN, Bernstein MB, Hodge JW. In the field: Exploiting the untapped potential of immunogenic modulation by radiation in combination with immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Front Oncol. 2012 Sep 6;2:104

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. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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