I am a board-certified radiation oncologist and co-leader of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Genitourinary Disease Management Team — a multidisciplinary group of physicians who work together to treat patients with urologic malignancies.
As a recognized expert in the field of radiation therapy, I am Chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Brachytherapy Service. Brachytherapy, which we use to treat many types of cancer, is the delivery of radiation using seeds implanted directly in a tumor.
Our prostate brachytherapy program, which I have helped develop and enhance since joining the staff in 1990, is known for its depth of experience and cutting-edge approach in treating men with prostate cancer. For patients with advanced or aggressive prostate cancer, I have significant expertise using high-dose-rate brachytherapy and temporary brachytherapy, in which patients receive several high-dose treatments either as a boost or as the sole treatment. I also have experience using brachytherapy in patients whose tumor has recurred after external-beam radiation therapy or seed implant, as well as expertise using image-guided stereotactic radiosurgery for areas of metastases (spread) such as bone or lymph nodes.
In addition, I was instrumental in pioneering the use of IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy, which is computer-guided delivery of high doses of radiation directly to the tumor) and IGRT (image-guided radiotherapy, radiation beams targeted precisely to the tumor) for treating men with prostate cancer.
(Learn more about radiation therapy for prostate cancer.)
I am Editor-in-Chief of Brachytherapy, a medical journal that addresses all aspects of this sub-specialty, and Chairman of the National Patterns of Care Study for Genitourinary Cancers. I am a past president of the American Brachytherapy Society.
For my work in this field, I have been honored to receive several awards including the Boyer Award for Excellence in Clinical research, the Outstanding Teaching Award in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the 2009 Henschke Medal (the highest award of the American Brachytherapy Society for achievements in Brachytherapy), and the 2009 Emanuel Van Descheuren Award for Excellence in Translational Research.
I lecture nationally and internationally about radiation treatments for prostate cancer.
- Clinical Expertise: Prostate Cancer (Brachytherapy, Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy [IMRT], Image-Guided Radiation Therapy [IGRT]); Breast Brachytherapy; Genitourinary Cancer; Head and Neck Cancer; Skin Cancer
- Awards and Honors: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2002-2016)
- Languages Spoken: English
- Education: MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Residencies: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Board Certifications: Radiation Oncology
Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.
Clinical Trials Led by Michael J. Zelefsky
Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Michael J. Zelefsky
- A Phase II Study of ARN-509, Abiraterone Acetate, Leuprolide, and Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy in Men with Very High-Risk Prostate Cancer
- A Phase III Study Comparing the Side Effects of Proton Beam Therapy and Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy in Men with Localized Prostate Cancer
- A Pilot Study of Electronic Skin Surface Brachytherapy for Treating Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers
- A Study Assessing the Safety and Effectiveness of Ultra-Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy after Brachytherapy for Localized Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer
- A Study of [18F] Dihydro-testosterone PET and MR Imaging in Patients with Localized Prostate Cancer
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.Learn more