Michael J. Zelefsky, MD, a renowned leader in radiation oncology, is joining NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center as director of brachytherapy and vice chair for academic and faculty affairs

Michael J. Zelefsky, MD. Image courtesy of NYU Langone Staff 


September 12, 2023 — Michael J. Zelefsky, MD, a renowned leader in radiation oncology, is joining NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center as director of brachytherapy and vice chair for academic and faculty affairs in NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology, effective September 11, in a move to enhance its position as a leader in prostate cancer treatment. 

In addition to his other roles, Dr. Zelefsky will serve as a professor in the department and Genitourinary Cancer Disease Management Group leader. He comes to NYU Langone from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he held major leadership roles. 

“Dr. Zelefsky brings an unparalleled level of expertise and leadership that will further elevate our team at Perlmutter Cancer Center,” said Alec Kimmelman, MD, PhD, the Anita Steckler and Joseph Steckler Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. “With his proven leadership ability, we are certain to develop new innovative treatment approaches, expand our research capabilities, and enhance our work as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, delivering exceptional patient-centered care.” 

As one of the world’s authorities on prostate cancer treatment, Dr. Zelefsky has made major contributions to the field, shaping clinical practice guidelines and influencing treatment protocols worldwide. He was instrumental in the development of intensity-modulated radiotherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer, which is now employed routinely throughout the world. He is also a renowned opinion leader in the area of stereotactic body radiotherapy for prostate cancer and well as the type of internal radiotherapy known as brachytherapy. He will work closely with Perlmutter Cancer Center’s urologic and medical oncology teams to create a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach to all aspects of diagnosis, treatment, and side effect management. 

“I’m not simply continuing what I’ve been doing, but going to the next level at NYU Langone, and incorporating the expertise that can be found here,” said Dr. Zelefsky. “We want to personalize the treatments for our patients, and best select the optimal therapy based on biologic and genomic markers, as well as quality-of-life variables. There’s a strong and innovative imaging department here, which will allow us to use MRI and sophisticated PET scanning to guide treatments, as well as outstanding urology and medical oncology departments, to provide the most comprehensive and multidisciplinary treatment recommendations.” 

Brachytherapy is a treatment option for certain cancers, such as prostate and gynecologic cancers, which involves implanting internal radiation to deliver highly targeted doses directly to the tumor, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. This procedure is often combined with other forms of radiation, such as external radiation. Brachytherapy can result in shorter overall treatment time and fewer side effects in some cases due to the larger, more direct and focused dose delivery. Dr. Zelefsky has built one of the largest brachytherapy services in the world and plans to further develop such programs in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Perlmutter Cancer Center. 

“We are extremely excited to have Dr. Zelefsky join us,” said Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of Perlmutter Cancer Center. “His extensive accomplishments and experience will be a great asset as we advance our capabilities in radiation oncology. As a National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are proud to be on the cutting edge of bringing new, improved treatments to patients.” 

About Dr. Zelefsky 

An alum of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Zelefsky completed his internship at Hackensack Medical Center and his residency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He held numerous positions during his time at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, most recently as the chief of the brachytherapy service, vice chair of clinical research, and director of genitourinary radiation oncology. 

He also has co-authored more than 350 peer-reviewed articles, with his work appearing in top-tier publications including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, JAMA Oncology, and the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics. He is the editor-in-chief of Brachytherapy, an international multidisciplinary medical journal that provides research into the use of brachytherapy. He has served as an active member and leader of other professional organizations, such as the American Brachytherapy Society, American Cancer Society, and American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. 

For more information: https://nyulangone.org/locations/perlmutter-cancer-center 


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