Meet MSK Geneticist & Pediatric Oncologist Michael Walsh

VIDEO | 01:43

Dr. Walsh is a pediatrician, geneticist, and hematologist-oncologist. He treats children with cancer and takes care of families with a predisposition to cancer.

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Hey, Addie. How are you?

I hope families, when they come to our clinic, feel reassured when they leave — and that they’re not in the situation alone.

I’m Michael Walsh. I am a pediatric oncologist and medical geneticist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

I became interested in medicine as a result of my mother being diagnosed with cancer early, and I wondered why people get cancer to start with.

That other gene that we’ll test you for …

The main clinic that I staff and run is a pediatric cancer predisposition clinic.

“Cancer predisposition” is an increased likelihood of developing a cancer, or a number of cancers, based on someone’s genetics or family history.

Parents’ biggest concerns when they come to us are: “When — and will — my child get cancer?” We try not to bury our head in the sand and screen for cancers early — and use that as information in a way where we’re ahead of the game.

It’s all looking perfect.

I partake in a multidisciplinary team as well that thinks about therapies for patients.

The treatments that have shown promise are immunotherapy and drugs that play a role with how DNA repairs itself. Predisposed patients can also be a target for therapies. They provide a means to try to understand their disease in a more meaningful way.

Nice deep breath.

MSK’s values are clearly seen every day. People will be delivered care that can only really happen in a place like this.