Michael Benjamin Atkins, MD| Medical Oncology | MedStar Health

Michael Benjamin Atkins, MD
Provider is directly employed by MedStar Health

4.9 out of 5 (284 reviews)

Specialties: Medical Oncology

Languages: English


About me

Michael B. Atkins, MD, is deputy director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Scholl Professor and vice chair of the Department of Medical Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center. He is an internationally recognized expert in the management of patients with high-risk and metastatic melanoma or kidney cancer.

Dr. Atkins co-directs the Melanoma Center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Melanoma Research Program within the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute. In addition, he leads kidney cancer research within the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Center and the MedStar Health system.  He is a world-renowned expert in clinical and translational research in both of these patient populations, having led the Kidney Cancer Program and co-led the Melanoma Program at the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center for over a decade each, until his departure for Georgetown Lombardi in 2012.  Dr. Atkins is also one of the leading authorities in cancer immunotherapy, having been a founding member and leader of the Cytokine Working Group, and leader of the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Immunotherapy Interest Group. He has led major multi-investigator clinical and translational research efforts in melanoma and kidney cancer that have uncovered critical biology of these diseases, led to the FDA approval of over 20 new treatments, and have completely revolutionized the treatment and the prognosis for patients.  He continues to lead cutting-edge research projects that promise to further advance the care and outlook for patients with these diseases.  

Dr. Atkins is also an international authority in the management of patients with either melanoma or kidney cancer.  He edits the melanoma, kidney cancer and immunotherapy sections for UpToDate®, the universally available on-line medical textbook, and is co-editor of the fifth and 6th editions of the textbook Cutaneous Melanoma. He serves on the Board of the Directors and co-chairs the Scientific Advisory Council of the Melanoma Research Foundation, is Chair of the Melanoma Research Alliance Medical Advisory Panel, and is a past member of the nominating committee for the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Council. He is also past president of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer. He has published over 500 scientific and review articles, co-edited five books, and given over 700 lectures worldwide.

Dr. Atkins is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. For over 30 years, Dr. Atkins has treated patients with advanced melanoma and kidney cancers. He believes that too many patients follow the initial advice they receive, and always encourages patients to seek a second opinion from subject matter experts to establish a comprehensive treatment plan before starting therapy.  This will maximize their chances of receiving the optimal approach to their disease and determine if they are eligible for cutting-edge clinical trials.  Dr. Atkins’ approach to patients is to always focus on the opportunities for cure, utilizing novel therapies like immune therapy and the timely integration of multidisciplinary care (meaning teams of physicians from medical oncology, surgery, and radiation oncology all work together to develop a unique treatment plan.) With many new therapies available – and even better ones in development – patients with widely metastatic disease have the opportunity for long-term, disease-free, and subsequent treatment-free survival, enabling them to return to their normal lives.

Clinical areas of focus

  • Melanoma
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Conditions and procedures

Conditions I treat

  • Abdominal Cancer
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Cancer
  • Cancer During Pregnancy
  • Cancer Pain
  • Cancer Related Fatigue
  • Cancer Survivor
  • Endocrine Complications Of Cancer Therapy
  • Head And Neck Tumors
  • Hereditary Cancer Risk
  • Liver Cancer
  • Liver Metastases
  • Lung Mass
  • Melanoma
  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • Oral Complications Of Cancer
  • Pulmonary Metastases
  • Side Effects Of Cancer Treatment
  • Skin Cancer
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Skin
  • Stomach Cancer
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Procedures I perform

  • Adjuvant Chemotherapy
  • Biological Targeted Therapy
  • Cancer Chemotherapy
  • Cancer Genomics
  • Chemoradiation
  • Early Detection Of Cancer
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Practice locations

Distance from Change LocationEnter your Location

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest
Lombardi Cancer Center
Washington, DC, 20007


Fax 202-444-1229

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miles away

Fax 202-444-1229


MedStar Health accepts most major health insurance plans. If you are uncertain as to whether your individual health insurance plan is accepted at MedStar Health, please call your insurance company.

  • List of insurance plans we accept
    • United Healthcare Options (PPO) (includes Empire PPO, GEHA, Compass Rose)
    • Blue Choice Advantage & Healthy Blue (HMO, POS)
    • UnitedHealthcare and AARP Medicare Complete Plans/ UHC Group Medicare Advantage Plans HMO, POS, PPO
    • Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Signature and Select (aka Senior Advantage)
    • Kaiser Permanente Select
    • CFBCBS Federal Employee Program (Std/Basic PPO/Blue Focus)
    • Medicare Fee for Service
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature-Added Choice
    • Kaiser Permanente Flexible Choice POS
    • Kaiser Virginia Premier
    • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS) (PPO)
    • Kaiser PermanenteSelect-Added Choice
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature
    • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Adv/Special Needs Plans
    • Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • Kaiser MD Medicaid MCO
    • UHC Community Plan of MD
    • Aetna Innovations: HMO & EPO Plus
    • Select HMO/HealthFund/Health Network
    • Aetna HMO
    • Open POS II
    • Innovation Health: Open POS Plus
    • Choice POS & Choice POS II
    • Aetna Managed Choice Open Access (POS)
    • Open EPO Plus
    • Opoen HMO Option
    • Open HMO
    • Innovation Health: POS
    • Aetna HMO-Open Access/Select OA/HealthFund/Health Network Option OA
    • Innovation Health: Open Network Only Plus
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ Open Access (POS)
    • Innovation Health: POS Plus
    • Aetna Managed Choice (POS)
    • Innovation Health: PPO
    • Aetna Open Choice (PPO)
    • Innovation Health: Indemnity
    • Aetna Traditional Choice (PPO)
    • BlueChoice Open Access
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Open Access
    • HealthyBlue PPO
    • CFBSBC Blue Preferred PPO
    • Choice Fund PPO
    • PPO and PPO Plus
    • POS OA & OA Plus
    • Network OA
    • CIGNA HMO Open Access (OA)
    • United Healthcare Choice
    • Optimum Choice Preferred (POS) & OCI Direct (HMO)
    • United Healthcare Choice Plus
    • Coventry of Delaware HMO/PPO
    • Mamsi Life & Health (Indem./PPO)
    • M.D. IPA (HMO)
    • CIGNA POS/Network POS
    • CIGNA HMO & Network (HMO)
    • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO Plans
    • Aetna Worker's Compensation Network
    • Tricare Prime
    • Coventry Health Care National Network PPO
    • Aetna Student Health Insurance
    • M.D. IPA Preferred (POS)
    • Tricare for Life (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • CFBCBS BlueChoice HMO
    • MedStar Family Choice - Maryland Health Choice
    • Coventry Health Care of Virginia
    • MedStar Select (MedStar Associates' Plan)
    • United Healthcare Select Plus (POS)
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Plus Open Access (POS)
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (POS)
    • United Healthcare Select HMO - EPO/NPP
    • CFBCBS Maryland Indemnity or PPO
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ EPO (Aetna Health Fund) Innovation Health: Network Only Plus
    • United Student Resources
    • Great-West Healthcare POS/CIGNA
    • CFBCBS (NCA) Indemnity
    • First Health PPO
    • CIGNA Indemnity
    • CFBCBS Maryland Point of Service Plan (MPOS)



Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology

Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine

Fellowship Program: New England Medical Center (1987)

Fellowship Program: Tufts Medical Center (1987)

Residency Program: New England Medical Center (1984)

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine (1980)

Ratings and reviews

  • Explanations the care provider gave you about your problem or condition

  • Extent to which the care provider listened to you

  • Care provider's discussion of any proposed treatment (options, risks, benefits, etc.)

  • Care provider's efforts to include you in decisions about your care

  • Concern the care provider showed for your questions or worries

  • Likelihood of recommending this care provider to others

  • Dec 26, 2023

    Dr Atkins was very knowledgeable and patient centric.

  • Nov 7, 2023

    Right on as very professional.

  • Sep 26, 2023

    Dr. Atkins always explains things well. He is a great listener and is also very kind.