Memorial Sloan Kettering Neuropsychologist & Child Psychologist Stephen Sands

Stephen A. Sands, PsyD

Neuropsychologist & Child Psychologist

Titles

Director, Pediatric Neuropsychology

Clinical Expertise

Neuropsychological, Educational, Social-Emotional, Quality of Life, and Behavioral Assessments for Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, and Stem Cell Transplant Patients; Accommodations, Services, and Cognitive Interventions to Maximize Transition to Survivorship

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

Contact and Location

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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

PsyD, New York University

Residencies

St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Medical Center

Fellowships

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

As a neuropsychologist and child psychologist, I help children, adolescents, young adults, and their caregivers who are affected by cancer. For example, I work with young patients during treatment and into survivorship to help them express their thoughts and feelings, communicate more openly with their family and friends, and develop specific plans for their life after treatment. I also provide direct support for parents as they grapple with the many transitions and range of emotions that arise from a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

When children, adolescents, and young adults come to see me after finishing their medical treatment, they are often concerned about being able to successfully transition back to school or work. First, I listen to all their concerns and answer any questions that come up. Next, we work together to identify cognitive, academic, social-emotional, and behavioral strengths that can help ease their transition. We also discuss areas that may be difficult and then identify ways to address these challenges. I actively involve patients, parents, and teachers to develop specific plans, interventions, and accommodations to facilitate the smoothest transition possible and to challenge and grow areas of academic and personal strength.

My research focus aims to identify children, adolescents, and young adults who are at increased risk of lower neuropsychological functioning due to their medical diagnosis and treatment. From there, we can develop targeted research studies to provide proactive interventions, with the ultimate goal of eliminating or minimizing negative effects for these patients and survivors.

I collaborate closely with a range of different types of Memorial Sloan Kettering physicians to study and document the late effects of treatments for pediatric brain tumors and leukemias. I specifically study proton-beam cranial irradiation and other novel therapies designed to cure cancers while simultaneously minimizing late effects through the use of less toxic therapies. Together, with my colleagues in MSK’s survivorship programs, we use this information to provide interventions and improve outcomes for our young patients.

It is my goal for children, adolescents, young adults, and families affected by cancer to have a clear understanding of the possible effects of medical treatments, as well as the different neuropsychological, social-emotional, and behavioral strengths and challenges that often come up. I am honored to provide support, guidance, and empathy for young patients and their families, and I am continually inspired by their resilience, strength, courage, and adaptability. 

Awards and Honors

  • Best Clinical Research, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Research Symposium, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (2004)
  • Pediatric Oncology Service Award, the Valerie Fund (2014)
  • Excellence in Quality of Care Award, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (2016)

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

Sands SA. Helping Survivors of Medulloblastoma Learn From What We Learn. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2013 Oct 1;31(28):3480-2.

Oberg, JA, Dave AN, Bruce JN and Sands SA. Neurocognitive functioning and quality of life in patients with recurrent malignant gliomas treated on a phase Ib trial evaluating topotecan by convection-enhanced delivery. Neuro-Oncology Practice 2014 Sep;1(3):94-100. 

Bhatia M, Kolva E, Cimini L, Jin Z, Satwani P, Savone M, George D, Garvin J, Paz ML, Briamonte C, Cruz-Arrieta E, and Sands SA. Health-Related Quality of Life after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Sickle Cell Disease. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2015 Apr;21(4):666-672.

Olson K and Sands SA. Cognitive training programs for childhood cancer patients and survivors: A critical review and future directions. Child Neuropsychology 2016;22(5):509-36. 

Sands SA. Proton Beam Radiation Therapy: The Future May Prove Brighter for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2016 Apr;34(10):1024-1026.  

Sands SA, Mee L, Bartell A, Manne S, Devine KA, Savone M and Kashy DA.  Group-Based Trajectory Modeling of Distress and Well-Being Among Caregivers of Children Undergoing Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT). Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2016 Aug. 

Sands SA, Harel BT, Savone M, Kelly K, Vijayanathan V, Welch JG, Vrooman LM, Silverman LB and Cole P. Feasibility of Baseline Neurocognitive Assessment using Cogstate During the First Month of Therapy for Childhood Leukemia. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2016 Oct. 

Sands SA, Ladas EJ, Kelly KM, Dave A, Weiner M, Lin M, Hughes Ndao D, Vahdat LT and Glade-Bender J. Glutamine for the Treatment of Vincristine-Induced Neuropathy in Children and Adolescents with Cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer 2017.

Publications on PubMed

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