Nai-Kong V. Cheung, MD, PhD
Enid A. Haupt Chair in Pediatric Oncology
Pediatric Oncology; Neuroblastoma and Developmental Tumors of Childhood; Immunotherapy; Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation
Contact and Location
Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offer many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.
MD, Harvard Medical School; PhD, Harvard Medical School
Pediatrics - Stanford University
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology - Stanford University
Pediatrics; Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
I am a pediatric oncologist at MSK Kids who specializes in immunologic approaches to diagnose and treat pediatric cancers. My main focus is the treatment of neuroblastoma, a tumor arising from primitive cells of the sympathetic nervous system which primarily affects young children.
My colleagues and I have developed therapies that combine multiple approaches, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, isotretinoin (a chemical cousin of vitamin A), and more importantly, targeted therapy with a form of immune treatment called monoclonal antibodies. These strategies have dramatically extended the lives of our patients with metastatic neuroblastoma. Today, more than 50 percent of these patients treated at MSK Kids survive the disease, compared with fewer than 5 percent in the 1980s. In fact, immunotherapy has now become the standard of care for patients with metastatic neuroblastoma. Moreover, localized neuroblastoma is now considered a curable cancer, and many patients with this stage of the disease are cured with surgery alone.
Our team is also actively involved in early-phase clinical trials of promising therapies, including biologic agents and vaccines, natural killer cells, and combinations of these novel approaches with conventional treatments. We hope that effective new strategies for neuroblastoma will serve as a model for the treatment of other metastatic solid tumors in children and adolescents.
In the laboratory, we are evaluating markers of “minimal residual disease” (low levels of cancer remaining after treatment), which may predict the risk of early metastasis and recurrence, and discovering novel treatment targets in tumors. We are also engineering the next generation of antibodies to make them more potent and “human-like,” as well as arming these antibodies with either T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) or radioactive substances to diagnose and treat neuroblastoma. We believe many of these innovative antibodies may be useful for treating other solid tumors in adolescents and even those in adults.
We are assessing new drugs that may overcome the resistance that neuroblastoma often develops after prolonged chemotherapy. We are also trying to unearth the genetic and biochemical features of neuroblastoma to determine if a tumor’s profile at the time of diagnosis, metastasis, or relapse can tell us how aggressive the tumor may be, and what kind of therapy may be most effective. Our major thrust continues to be the translation of novel therapies from the laboratory to the clinic, where they may help our patients.
The team of experts at MSK Kids treats more patients with neuroblastoma than any other institution in the world. Using treatment approaches based on the findings of rigorous medical research, we are able to achieve better outcomes for our patients. Families who come to us benefit from the dedication and compassion of individuals from various disciplines who share the vision and the desire to eliminate this devastating disease.
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 Investigated by Dr. Cheung
- Molecular Characterization of Neuroblastic Tumors and Clinical Outcome
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
Souweidane MM, Kramer K, Pandit-Taskar N, Zhou Z, Haque S, Zanzonico P, Carrasquillo JA, Lyashchenko SK, Thakur SB, Donzelli M, Turner RS, Lewis JS, Cheung NV, Larson SM, Dunkel IJ. Convection-enhanced delivery for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: a single-centre, dose-escalation, phase 1 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2018 Jun 15. pii: S1470-2045(18)30322-X. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30322-X.
Kushner BH, Cheung IY, Modak S, Basu EM, Roberts SS, Cheung NK. Humanized 3F8 anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody dosing with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in patients with resistant neuroblastoma – A Phase 1 Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2018 September 20. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.4005
Wu ZH, Guo HF, Xu H, Cheung NKV. Development of a tetravalent anti-GPA33/anti-CD3 bispecific antibody for colorectal cancers. Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 Aug 6. pii: molcanther.0026.2018. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-18-0026.
Ahmed M, Lopez-Albaitero A, Pankov D, Santich BH, Liu H, Yan S, Xiang J, Wang P, Hasan AH, Selvakumar A, O’Reilly RJ, Liu C, Cheung NKV. TCR-mimic bispecific antibodies targeting LMP2A show potent activity against EBV malignancies. JCI Insight. 2018 Feb 22;3(4). pii: 97805. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.97805.
Cheal SM, Fung EK, Patel M, Xu H, Guo HF, Zanzonico PB, Monette S, Wittrup KD, Cheung NKV, Larson SM. Curative multi-cycle radioimmunotherapy monitored by quantitative SPECT/CT-based theranostics, using bispecific antibody pretargeting strategy in colorectal cancer. Journal of Nuclear Medicine 58(11):1735-1742, 2017.
Hoseini SS, Dobrenkov K, Pankov D, Xu XL, and Cheung NK. Bispecific antibody does not induce T-cell death mediated by chimeric antigen receptor against disialoganglioside GD2. Oncoimmunology. 2017;6(6):e1320625.
Lopez-Albaitero A, Xu H, Guo HF, Wang LL, Wu Z, Tran H, Chandarlapaty S, Scaltriti M, Janjigian Y, de Stanchina E, and Cheung NK. Overcoming resistance to HER2-targeted therapy with a novel HER2/CD3 bispecific antibody. OncoImmunology 2017 10;6(3):e1267891. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2016.1267891. eCollection 2017.
Zhao Q, Ahmed M, Tassev DV, Hasan A, Kuo TY, Guo HF, O’Reilly RJ and Cheung NK. Affinity maturation of T-cell receptor-like antibodies for Wilms tumor 1 peptide greatly enhances therapeutic potential. Leukemia;29(11):2238-2247, 2015.
Zhao Q, Ahmed M, Guo HF, Cheung IY, and Cheung NK. Alteration of Electrostatic Surface Potential Enhances Affinity and Tumor Killing Properties of Anti-ganglioside GD2 Monoclonal Antibody hu3F8. Journal of Biological Chemistry 290:13017-13027, 2015.
Ahmed M, Cheng M, Zhao Q, Yehuda G, Cheal SM, Guo HF, Larson SM, and Cheung NK. Humanized Affinity-Matured Monoclonal Antibody 8H9 Has Potent Anti-Tumor Activity and Binds to FG Loop of B7-H3. Journal of Biological Chemistry 290(50):30018-30029, 2015.
Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Cheung’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.
Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.
MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.
Nai-Kong V. Cheung discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
Eureka Therapeutics Inc
Ownership / Equity Interests; Provision of Services (uncompensated)
Japanese Society of Hematology
Provision of Services (uncompensated)
Y-mAbs Therapeutics, Inc.
Intellectual Property Rights; Ownership / Equity Interests
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This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2020 through disclosure submission in spring 2021). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.