Elena Pentsova, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering

Dr. Elena Pentsova is an Associate Attending member of the Department of Neurology specializing in diagnosis and treatment of primary brain tumors and central nervous system (CNS) metastasis. 

Born and raised in the former Soviet Union, she started medical school at age 17, and joked, “I attended med school in the Soviet Union; I graduated in the Ukraine after Soviet Union collapsed.” Several years ago, her husband won the green card lottery and they had a great opportunity to came to the United States and had great careers here. She has been always lucky to have great teachers in mentors in her professional life back in Ukraine and her at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center.  At MSK, she met Drs. Jerome Posner and Lisa DeAngelis, her other most significant teachers, and was touched by the gratitude of cancer patients. She noted that there is something special about MSKCC, as well as those who work here. In her words, “you need to be strong, passionate, smart, supported and supportive.” 

Dr. Pentsova is double board certified in Neurology by American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and in Neuro-oncology by United Council for Neurologic Specialties in Neuro-oncology. She loves to take care of patients and their families and share her knowledge with them in such challenging time as cancer diagnosis. Her major research interest is enhancing early diagnosis and improving treatment of patients with brain and leptomeningeal metastases (LM) from solid cancers and is finding biomarkers which can monitor cancer in brain and in LM. She has established a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bank at the MSK Brain Tumor Center, which has led to multiple research projects, presentations and publications. Her ultimate goal is to develop a robust CSF biomarker program for patients with Central Nervous System metastases and implement it in clinical practice.


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