Peter G. Steinherz, MD

Pediatric Hematologic Oncologist

Director, Leukemia and Lymphoma Studies

Peter G. Steinherz, MD -- Director, Leukemia and Lymphoma Studies

About Me

I am a pediatric hematologist and oncologist who treats cancers that occur in infants, children, and young adults. My research efforts are focused on the study of the biology of leukemia, lymphoma, and Wilms’ tumor, and on the development of new therapies that improve the long-term survival of patients with these cancers.

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For more than 35 years here at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I have directed the administration of therapy to children and adolescents with leukemia. During this time, my colleagues and I developed new treatment protocols, including the New York I and New York II protocols, which are now used as the standard of care all over the world. These protocols have improved the survival of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) — the most common cancer in children — from 50 percent in the 1970s to more than 80 percent for high-risk, and more than 90% for standard-risk patients today.

We have also studied new drugs and new combinations of drugs in patients with leukemia that has become resistant to standard therapies, and we have improved the survival of these children and young adults. We are continuing research to develop more-effective therapies for pediatric leukemia that returns despite initial treatment (“relapsed disease”).

I have been a member of the Leukemia Strategy Group of the Children’s Oncology Group for more than 20 years. I have chaired or co-chaired 11 large national/international studies for the Group and have been a committee member of many other investigations. These research studies evaluate different treatments, including experimental therapies, for young patients with leukemia, lymphoma, or other cancers. I am a member of the committee of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network that develops national guidelines for the treatment of children with ALL. I am a principal investigator of the Children’s Oncology Group.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we have state-of-the-art therapies for cancers and cancer-related problems that are most frequently seen in young patients, but we also treat a number of children who have unique or unusual tumors or cancer-related illnesses. We treat each child or young adult as an individual and, when necessary, we will tailor-make therapies to meet their individual needs. Instead of trying to fit a patient to a therapy, we make the therapy fit the patient’s unique needs and do everything possible to help them get better.

We were among the first to recognize the stress that cancer and its treatment can have on children and their families, and we have reported on the long-term physical and emotional effects of cancer therapy in young patients. For many years, we have used interventions to minimize these effects. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient after completion of therapy returning to normal activities, and recalling no negative memories of the treatment process. I love to go to their happy life events; Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, and watch their own children grow.

  • Clinical Expertise: Pediatric Oncology; Leukemias; Lymphomas: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; Wilms' Tumor; Developmental Chemotherapy
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Residencies: The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Cornell University Medical College
  • Board Certifications: Pediatrics; Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

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See My Colleagues

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Steinherz PG, Meyers P, Wollner N, Redner A, Tan C. Reinduction therapy for advanced or. Cancer 1989; 63:1472-1476

Steinherz P, Gaynon P, Haimi J, Meyers P, Redner A, Steinherz L, Andreeff M, Hammond D. Improved survival of children with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Report from the Childrens. NewYork: Wiley-Liss 1989; 147-156

Gaynon PS, Bleyer WA, Steinherz PG, Finklestein JZ, Littman PS, Miller DR, Reaman GH, Sather H. Day-7 marrow response and outcome for children with acute lymphoblastic. Med Ped Oncol 1990; 18 :273-279

Mandell LR, Steinherz P, Fuks Z. Delayed central nervous system radiation in childhood CNS acute. Cancer 1990; 66 :447-450

Steinherz PG, Siegel SE, Bleyer A, Kersey J, Chard R, Coccia P, Leikin S, Lukens J, Neerhout R, Nesbit M, Miller DR, Reaman G, Sather H, Hammond D. Lymphomatous presentation of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a subgroup at high risk of early treatment failure.. Cancer 1991; 68 :751-758

Steinherz LJ, Steinherz PG, Tan CTC, Heller G, Murphy ML. Cardiac toxicity 4-20 years after. JAMA 1991; 266 :1672-1677

Steinherz PG, Gaynon P, Trigg M, Sather H, Bleyer AW. Cytoreduction and prognosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia—the importance of early marrow response: report from the Childrens Cancer Group. J Clin Oncol 1996; 14 :2403-24-6

Uckun FM, Steinherz PG, Sather H, Trigg M, Arthur D, Tubergen D, Gaynon P, Reaman G. CD2 antigen expression on leukemic cells as a predictor of event-free survival after chemotherapy for T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a Children’s Cancer Group study. Blood 1996; 88 :4288-4295

Uckun FM, Reaman G, Steinherz PG, Arthur DC, Sather H, Trigg M, Tubergen D, Gaynon P. Improved clinical outcome for children with T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia after. Leukemia Lymphoma 1998; 24 :57-70

Pui C-H, Steinherz P, Kernan N, Wharam M, Sallan S, Zipf T, Sanders J, O’Reilly R. National Comprehensive Cancer Network, pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia practice guidelines. Oncology 1996; 10 :1787-1794

Steinherz PG, Gaynon PS, Breneman JC, Cherlow JM, Grossman NJ, Kersey JH, Johnstone HS. Treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with bulky extramedullary disease and T-cell phenotype or other poor prognostic features: randomized controlled trial from the Children’s Cancer Group. Cancer 1998; 82 :600-612

Uckun FM, Reaman G, Steinherz PG, Arthur DC, Sather H, Trigg M, Tubergen D, Gaynon P. Improved clinical outcome for children with T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia after. Leukemia Lymphoma 1998; 83 :2030-2039

Steinherz PG. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia – Children In: J.R. Bertino ed. Encyclopedia of Cancer. Academic Press 2002.

Steinherz P. Wilms’ tumor. In: Finberg L, ed. Sanders Manual of Pediatric Practice. Philadelphia. W.B. Sanders 2002.


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Peter G. Steinherz’s journal articles

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