Headshot of Marta Penas-Prado

Marta Penas-Prado, M.D., M.Sc.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Neuro-Oncology Branch


Dr. Penas-Prado is a neuro-oncologist focused on caring for patients with rare brain and spine tumors in the NCI-CONNECT (Comprehensive Oncology Network Evaluating Rare CNS Tumors) program at the NCI Center for Cancer Research’s Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB). Her clinical research seeks to uncover the molecular underpinnings of rare central nervous system (CNS) tumors, better understand these diseases, and develop clinical trials to come up with more effective therapies. Rare tumors frequently present clinical challenges, due to issues such as poorly defined options for upfront treatment and recurrence, and limited access to specialized care and clinical trials. 
Beyond the NOB, Dr. Penas-Prado enjoys collaborating with a multidisciplinary team of neuropathologists, neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, genetic counselors, and others to provide the best possible care for her patients and establish a care team with their local physicians. She also leads a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional tumor board to discuss complex neuro-oncology cases.

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Areas of Expertise

1) Adult medulloblastoma 2) Ependymoma 3) Rare central nervous system tumors 4) Clinical trials

Information for Patients

Learn more about our clinical trials and the highly specialized care teams that lead them.


Selected Key Publications

Clinical characterization of adult medulloblastoma and the effect of first-line therapies on outcome; The MD Anderson Cancer Center experience.

Majd NK, Mastall M, Lin H, Dibaj SS, Hess KR, Yuan Y, Garcia MM, Fuller GN, Alfaro KD, Gule-Monroe MK, Huse JT, Khatua S, Rao G, Sandberg DI, Wefel JS, Yeboa DN, Paulino AC, McGovern SL, Zaky W, Mahajan A, Suki D, Weathers S, Harrison RA, De Groot JF, Puduvalli VK, Penas-Prado M
Neuro-Oncology Advances. 79, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

Proposed Additions to the NCCN Guidelines for Adult Medulloblastoma.

Penas-Prado M, Armstrong TS, Gilbert MR
Journal of National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 18(11): 1579-1584, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Proceedings of the Comprehensive Oncology Network Evaluating Rare CNS Tumors (NCI-CONNECT) Adult Medulloblastoma Workshop.

Penas-Prado, M, Theeler BJ, Cordeiro B, Dunkel IJ, Hau P, Mahajan A, Robinson, GW, Willmarth N, Aboud O, Aldape K, Butman JA, Gajjar A, Kelly W, Rao G, Raygada M, Siegel C, Romo CG, Armstrong TS, Gilbert MR, NCI-CONNECT Adult Medulloblastoma Workshop
Neuro-Oncology Advances. 2(1): 97, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Optimizing eligibility criteria and clinical trial conduct to enhance clinical trial participation for primary brain tumor patients.

Lee EQ , Weller M, Sul J, Bagley SJ, Sahebjam S, van den Bent M, Ahluwalia M, Campian JL, Galanis E, Gilbert MR, Holdhoff M, Lesser GJ, Lieberman FS, Mehta MP, Penas-Prado M, Schreck KC, Strowd RE, Vogelbaum MA, Walbert T, Chang SM, Nabors B, Grossman S, Reardon DA, Wen PY.
Neuro-Oncology. 22(5), [ Journal Article ]

Proceedings of the Comprehensive Oncology Network Evaluating Rare CNS Tumors (NCI-CONNECT) Oligodendroglioma Workshop.

Penas-Prado, M, Wu J, Cahill DP, Brat DJ, Costello JF, Kluetz PG, Cairncross JG, van den Bent M, Verhaak RGW, Aboud O. Burger P, Chang SM, Cordova C, Huang RY, Rowe LS, Taphoorn MJB, Gilbert MR, Armstrong TS.
Neurooncology Advances. 2(1): 48, 2020. [ Journal Article ]