It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.


Hippocrates, who is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine, and is referred to as the “Father of Medicine”. Many know that doctors must abide by the Hippocratic Oath. This is essentially a code of ethics all physicians must follow.

Interestingly, the 2019 version of the Oath states in part:

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability…

Given that little history lesson, the Superhero doctors and medical professionals in our film go above and beyond this Oath. They dedicate their careers and lives to save those of us who suffer from cancer. Not only that, they have been recognized as leaders in their field. Many have been honored as Super Doctors. Plus, each and every one of our professionals are simply amazing people!

So, let’s meet these superheroes!


Dr. Anderer is the Chief of Neurosurgery at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn & Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at NYU School of Medicine

He has been named “One of America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly. He is also a Board Member of the Japanese Medical Society of America and the New York State Neurosurgical Society.

He also hosts “The Back and Spine Pain Show” on Sirius XM Doctor Radio.

As stated in his NYU profile, “I’ve always been fascinated with the human body. When I was eight years old, I asked my dad for a copy of Gray’s Anatomy so I could practice drawing pictures of the brain. After college, I worked in a lab for Dr. Richard Axel, who won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering research in neuroscience. Because of this experience, I arrived at medical school wanting to specialize in neuroscience. Ultimately, I decided on a career in neurosurgery.”

Dr. Anderer is a fascinating practitioner, whose philosophy is “less is more.” Whenever possible, he works with patients to develop a treatment plan that doesn’t require surgery. For example, he might recommend incorporating yoga, Pilates, or meditation into someone’s care.

In fact, Dr. Anderer is currently conducting a clinical trial studying the affects of yoga on the brain.

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Dr. Belenkov is a Third-generation doctor specializing in both oncology and hematology at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center. He also serves as an Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine at NYU.

He has been recognized by Castle Connolly’s “Top Doctors” series for the New York Metro Area and New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors in New York” every year since 2012. Additionally, he’s been named one of Castle Connolly’s “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer” annually since 2013.

Dr. Belenkov states in his profile, “I chose to specialize in oncology and hematology because I wanted to contribute knowledge and energy to helping find a cure for people affected by cancer.”

Further, he states, “My best days are when I know that I have contributed to curing a person and that he or she will go on to live a healthy and productive life.”

Dr. Belenkov focuses his practice on several areas, including:

  • kidney cancer
  • breast cancer
  • anal cancer
  • gastrointestinal cancer
  • anemia

In addition to Dr. Belenkov, our film features some of his clinical staff.

Eliana Fereira – Nurse Practitioner

Eliana was a Nurse for 16 years, and has been a Nurse Practitioner for 6 years. Her mother is a cancer survivor and she decided that she wanted to be like the nurses who took such great care of her mother through her battle. As a Nurse Practitioner working with cancer patients, she is a colleague and collaborator with Dr. Belenkov. She cares for her patients from their initial diagnosis, through their pathology, to explaining the treatment plan and so forth. She is there for her patients through every step. She understands what it’s like for caregivers as well, personally seeing her mother go through her treatments. Eliana is a true superhero, like all our doctors and their dedicated staff!

Valentina Sterlin – Nurse Practitioner

Another superhero staff member of Dr. Belenkov’s team is Valentina. She was a Nurse for 7 years, and has been a Nurse Practitioner for 3 years. Like Eliana, cancer struck Valentina personally. Her Sister-In-Law (“SIL”) is a cancer survivor. When her SIL was diagnosed with breast cancer, Valentina helped her through chemotherapy treatments and her recovery. Now, her SIL is happy and healthy. So like Eliana, Valentina brings that personal connection to each and every one of her patients.

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Dr. Jennifer Casher Lehman is the Associate Chief of Breast Services at Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. She is also an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

She has co-authored more than 17 research presentations, abstracts, and publications. Further, she was recently invited to the Membership Committee for the American Society for Breast Surgery. Additionally, she is an active member of the NY Metropolitan Breast Cancer Group, the Society for Surgical Oncology, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Lehman specializes in breast oncologic surgery, specializing in benign and malignant breast disease, preventative surgery/BRCA, and oncoplastic approaches to breast surgery. Importantly, she treats BOTH women and men. While the disease is less common in men, we must recognize that men also suffer with these issues.

One thing our film highlights are “superhero” survivors, as well as “superhero” medical professionals working with cancer patients. Well, Dr. Lehman is in fact both! She is a Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor, so she connects personally with her patients through her own experience as a former cancer patient.

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Also known as “Dr. P”, he is not only a Neurosurgeon at NYU Langone, but also the Head of The Placantonakis Neurosurgical Laboratory for Stem Cell Research at NYU. Thus, he divides his time between his neurosurgical practice and the laboratory. In addition, he is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at NYU School of Medicine. As both a neurosurgeon and scientist/researcher, there is a lot we can say about this incredible, humble doctor!

Dr. Placantonakis has been named “Super Doctor” and “Leading Doctors of the World” multiple times. His laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private foundations.

As he states in his NYU profile, “When I was in high school, I became fascinated with the genetic code built into our DNA and the exquisite complexity of the brain. Early on, I knew that I wanted to care for patients who had disorders of the brain and work to improve treatment options to increase people’s comfort during and after treatment.”

Furthermore, “As a neurosurgeon–scientist, I have dedicated my career to surgically treating people who have brain tumors, researching brain tumor biology, and designing new therapies.”

Dr. Placantonakis specializes in surgery to remove gliomas, glioblastomas, pituitary adenomas, meningiomas, and brain metastases. If possible, he seeks to use minimally invasive techniques to minimize the impact of surgery on the brain.

Additionally, he designs and runs clinical trials. Through this work, he can offer patients opportunities to participate in “research aimed at advancing new treatments, techniques, and medications that can prolong people’s lives.”

Mostly, Dr. P cherishes the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of his patients and their families. As he says, “A brain cancer diagnosis can be the most difficult and stressful period in a person’s life. I am privileged to be a part of the solution and grateful to be able to form powerful emotional bonds with my patients and their families during these difficult times.”

One particular survivor in our film can attest to all of this.

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Placantonakis Laboratory

Using laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT), Dr. Dimitris G. Placantonakis has been able to offer patients a new treatment approach for inoperable brain tumors

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