Laboratory of David Sandberg, M.D.

MRI image of catheter in 4th ventricleThe pediatric brain tumor research program led by Dr. David I. Sandberg focuses on novel treatment options for malignant pediatric brain tumors in children.  Dr. Sandberg developed translational models of direct infusion of chemotherapy into the fourth ventricle of the brain in piglets and non-human primates.  These studies led to clinical trials in which, for the first time in humans, chemotherapy and novel agents are infused directly into the fourth ventricle of the brain.  Eligible patients include children with medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children, as well as other malignant brain tumors that occur in the posterior fossa.

David I Sandberg, M.D. is Associate Professor and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.  He also serves as Co-Director of the combined pediatric brain tumor program between MD Anderson Cancer Center and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.  Dr. Sandberg received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed neurosurgery residency training at Weill Medical College of Cornell University/New York Presbyterian Hospital. After residency, he completed fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Dr. Sandberg’s major research interests focus on novel means of delivering therapeutic agents into the brain for the treatment of childhood brain tumors.


Phase I Study of Methotrexate Infusion into the Fourth Ventricle in Children with Recurrent Malignant Fourth Ventricular Brain Tumors

Phase I Study of Fourth Ventricle Infusions of Autologous Ex Vivo-Expanded NK Cells in Children with Recurrent/Refractory Malignant Posterior Fossa Tumors of the Central Nervous System (performed at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

Dr. Sandberg's Clinic


David I. Sandberg, MD, Associate Professor
Stephen Fletcher, DO, Associate Professor
Bangning Yu, RN, Ph.D, Research Coordinator
Rajan Patel, MD, Assistant Professor
Claudia Pedroza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Manish N. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor
Clark W. Sitton, MD, Assistant Professor


Office Phone: 713-500-7363



  1. Householder KT, Dharmaraj S, Sandberg DI, Weschler-Reya RJ, Sirianni RW.
    “Fate of nanoparticles in the central nervous system after intrathecal injection in healthy mice.” Sci Rep 9 (1) 12587, 2019.
  2. Kennis BA, Michel KA, Brugmann WB, Laureano A, Tao RH, Somanchi SS, Einstein SA, Bravo-Alegria JB, Maegawa S, Wabha A, Kiany S, Gordon N, Silla L, Schellingerhout D, Khatua S, Zaky W, Sandberg D, Cooper L, Lee DA, Bankson JA, Gopalakrishnan V. “Monitoring of Intracerebellarly-Administered Natural Killer Cells with Fluorine-19 MRI. J Neurooncol, Epub ahead of print, 2019.
  3. Sandberg DI, Yu B, Patel R, Hagan J, Miesner E, Sabin J, Smith S, Fletcher S, Shah MN, Sirianni RW, Taylor MD. “Infusion of 5-Azacytidine (5-AZA) into the fourth ventricle or tumor resection cavity in children with recurrent posterior fossa ependymoma: a pilot clinical trial.” J Neurooncol, 141 (2)” 448-457, 2019.
  4. Brewer JW Jr, Cox CS, Fletcher SA, Shah MN, Sandberg DI. “Analysis of Pediatric Gunshot Wounds in Houston, Texas: A Social Perspective.” J
    Pedatr Surg, EPub ahead of print, 2018.
  5. Alexiades NG, Ahn ES, Blount JP, Brockmeyer DL, Browd SR, Heuer GG, Hankinson TC, Iskandar BJ, Jea A, Krieger MD, Leonard JR, Limbrick DD Jr, Maher CO, Proctor MR, Sandberg DI, Wellons JC 3rd, Shao B, Feldstein NA, Anderson RCE. “Development of Best Practices to Minimize Wound Complications After Complex Tethered Spinal Cord Surgery: A Modified Delphi Study.” J Neurosurg Pediatr.22 (6): 701-709, 2018.
  6. Herbert JP, Venkataraman SS, Turkmani AH, Zhu L, Kerr ML, Patel RP, Ugalde IT, Fletcher SA, Sandberg DI, Cox CS Jr., Kitagawa RS, Day AL, Shah MN. “Pediatric Blunt Cerebrovascular Injury: the McGovern Screening Score.” J Neurosurg Pediatr. 16: 1-11, 2018.
  7. Patel RP, Sitton CW, Ketonen LM, Hou P, Johnson JM, Romo S, Fletcher S, Shah MN, Kerr M, Zaky W, Rytting ME, Khatua S, Sandberg DI. “Phase-Contrast Cerebrospinal Fluid Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Qualitative Evaluation of Patency of CSF Flow Pathways Prior to Infusion of Chemotherapeutic and Other Agents into the Fourth Ventricle.” Childs Nerv Syst 34 (3): 481-486, 2018.
  8. Martinez CI, Fletcher S, Shah MN, Kerr ML, Sandberg DI. “Survey of Techniques Utilized to Access Ventricular Shunts and Reservoirs.” Pediatr Neurosurg, 52 (4): 250-256, 2017
  9. Gu JL, Johnson A, Kerr M, Moise KJ, Bebbington MW, Pedroza C, Sandberg DI. “Correlating Prenatal Imaging Findings of Fetal Ventriculomegaly with the Need for Surgical Intervention in the First 3 Months After Birth.” Pediatr Neurosurg; 52 (1): 20-25, 2017.
  10. Austin MT, Hamilton E, Zebda D, Nguyen H, Eberth JM, Chang Y, Elting LS, Sandberg DI. “Health Disparities and Impact on Outcomes in Children with Primary Central Nervous System Solid Tumors.” J Neurosurg Pediatr 19:1-9, 2016.
  11. Srihawan C, Castelblanco RL, Salazar L, Wootton SJ, Aguilera E, Ostrosky-Zeichner L, Sandberg DI, Choi H, Lee K, Kitagawa R, Tandon N, Hasburn R. “Clinical Characteristics and Predictors of Adverse Outcome in Adult and Pediatric Patients with Healthcare-Associated Ventriculitis and Meningitis.” Open Forum Infec Dis 13 (3): 77, 2016.
  12. Fu KJ, Barr RM, Shah MN, Fletcher SA, Sandberg DI, Teichgraeber JF, Greives MR. “An Outcomes Comparison Between Autologous and Alloplastic Cranioplasty in the Pediatric Population.” J Craniofac Surg 27 (3):593-597, 2016.
  13. Sandberg DI, Kerr ML. “Ventricular Access Device Placement in the Fourth Ventricle to Treat Malignant Fourth Ventricle Brain Tumors: Technical Note.” Child’s Nerv Syst. 32 (4): 703-7, 2016
  14. Sandberg DI. “Endoscopic Resection of Intraventricular Brain Tumors in Children.” World Neurosurgery 89:708-9, 2016.
  15. Sandberg DI, Rytting M, Zaky W, Kerr M, Ketonen L, Kundu U, Moore BD, Yang G, Hou P, Sitton C, Cooper LJ, Gopalakrishnan V, Lee DA, Thall PF, Khatua S. “Methotrexate Administration Directly into the Fourth Ventricle in Children with Malignant Fourth Ventricle Brain Tumors: A Pilot Clinical Trial.” J Neurooncol, 125(1): 133-141, 2015.
  16. Arrey EN, Kerr ML, Fletcher S, Cox CS, Sandberg DI.  “Linear Non-Displaced Skull Fractures in Children:  Who should be observed or admitted?”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics, accepted for publication 2015.
  17. Luna B, Bhatia S, Yoo C, Felty Q, Sandberg DI, Duchowny M, Khatib Z, Miller I, Ragheb J, Prassana J, Roy D.  “Proteomic and Mitochondrial Genomic Analyses of Pediatric Brain Tumors. Molec Neurobiol 2014, Epub ahead of print.
  18. Cykowski MD, Hicks J, Sandberg DI, Olar A, Bridge JA, Greipp PT, Navarro P, Kolodziej S, Bhattacharjee MB.  “Brain Metastasis of Crystal-Deficient, CD68-Positive Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma: Ultrastructural Features and Differential Diagnosis. Ultrastruc Pathol 30:1-9, 2014.
  19. Chance A, Sandberg DI.  “Hydrocephalus in patients with closed neural tube defects.”  Childs Nerv Syst 3(2):; 329-332, 2014.
  20. Luna B, Bhatia S, Yoo C, Felty Q, Sandberg DI, Duchowny M, Khatib Z, Miller I, Ragheb J, Prasanna J, Roy D.  “Bayesian Network and Mechanistic Hierarchical Structure Modeling of Increased likelihood of Developing Intractable Childhood Epilepsy from the Combined Effect of mtDNA Variants, Oxidative Damage, and Copy Number.” J Mol Neurosci 54 (4): 752-766, 2014.
  21. Chamiraju P, Bhatia S, Sandberg DI, Ragheb J.  “Endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization in posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus of prematurity.  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 13 (4):433-439, 2014.
  22. De Angulo G, Nair S, Lee V, Khatib Z, Ragheb J, Sandberg DI.  “Nonoperative management of solitary eosinophilic granulomas of the calvaria.”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 12 (1):1-5, 2013.
  23. Esquenazi Y, Sandberg DI, Rekate HL. “Successful treatment of hyperphagia by resection of a hypothalamic hamartoma.” J Neurosurg Pediatrics 11:630-634, 2013.
  24. Mazur LJ, Khatua S, Sandberg DI.  Unilateral amaurosis in a teenager with spina bifida and a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Consultant for Pediatricians: 424-6, 2013.
  25. Ahmad F, Rosenblum MK, Chamyan G, Sandberg DI.  “Infiltrative brainstem and cerebellar neurocytoma.”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 2012, epub ahead of print.
  26. Sandberg DI, Chamiraju P, Zoeller G, Bhatia S, Ragheb J.  “Endoscopic Choroid Plexus Coagulation in Infants with Hydranencephaly or Hydrocephalus with a Minimal Cortical Mantle.”  Pediatric Neurosurgery,  48: 6-12, 2012.
  27. Sandberg DI, Peet MM, Johnson MD, Cole P, Koru-Sengul T, Luqman AW.  “Chemotherapy administration directly into the fourth ventricle in a nonhuman primate model.”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 9: 530-541, 2012.
  28. Benglis Jr. D, Covington D, Bhatia R, Bhatia S, Elhammady MS, Ragheb J, Morrison G, Sandberg DI.  “Outcomes in Pediatric Patients with Chiari Malfomation Type I Followed Up Without Surgery.”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 7:375-379, 2011.
  29. Sandberg DI, Solano J, Petito CK, Mian A, Mou C, Koru-Sengul T, Gonzalez-Brito M, Padgett KR, Luqman A, Buitrago JC, Alam F, Wilkerson JR, Crandall KM, Kuluz JM.  “Safety and Pharmacokinetic Analysis of Methotrexate Administered Directly into the Fourth Ventricle in a Piglet Model.” J Neurooncol 100:397-406, 2010.
  30. Zoeller GK, Brathwaite CD, Sandberg DI.  “Malignant Transformation of an Optic Pathway Glioma Without Prior Radiation Therapy.”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 5(5): 507-510, 2010
  31. Johnson J, Ragheb J, Garg R, Patten W, Sandberg DI, Bhatia S.  “Neurogenic Stunned Myocardium After Acute Hydrocephalus.” J Neurosurg Pediatrics 5(5): 428-33, 2010.
  32. Ahmad F, Sandberg DI.  “Endoscopic Management of Intraventricular Brain Tumors in Pediatric Patients:  A Review of Indications, Techniques, and Outcomes.”  J Child Neurol 25(3): 359-367, 2010.
  33. Sandberg DI, Crandall KM, Koru-Sengul T, Padgett KR, Landrum J, Babino D, Petito CK, Solano J, Gonzalez-Brito M, Kuluz JW.  “Pharmacokinetic Analysis of Etoposide Distribution after Administration Directly into the Fourth Ventricle in a Piglet Model.”   J Neurooncol 97 (1): 25-32, 2010.
  34. Lin WC, Sandberg DI, Bhatia S, Johnson M, Morrison G, Ragheb J.  “Optical Spectroscopy for In-vitro Differentiation of Pediatric Neoplastic and Epileptogenic Brain Lesions.”  J Biomed Opt 14(1): 014028, 2009.
  35. Covington DB, Rosenblum MK, Brathwaite CD, Sandberg DI.  “Angiocentric Glioma-like Tumor of the Midbrain.” Pediatric Neurosurgery 45: 229-433, 2009.
  36. Lin WC, Sandberg DI, Bhatia S, Johnson M, Morrison G, Ragheb J.  “Optical Spectroscopy for In-vitro Differentiation of Pediatric Neoplastic and Epileptogenic Brain Lesions.”  J Biomed Opt 14(1): 014028, 2009.
  37. Sandberg DI, Heros RC.  “Influence of Protein, Red Blood Cell Count, and Surgical Site on Shunt Performance Following Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.”  J Neurosurg 109 (6): 998-999, 2008.
  38. Bhatia S, Ragheb J, Johnson M, Oh S, Sandberg DI, Lin WC.  “The Role of Optical Spectroscopy in Epilepsy Surgery in Children.”  Neurosurgery Focus 25(3):E24, 2008.
  39. Elhammady MSA, Benglis DM, Bhatia S, Sandberg DI, Ragheb J.  “Ventriculoatrial Shunt Catheter Displacement in a Child with Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return.”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 2:68-70, 2008.
  40. Sandberg DI, Crandall KM, Petito CK, Padgett KR, Landrum J, Babino D, He D, Solano J, Gonzalez-Brito M, Kuluz JW.  “Chemotherapy Administration Directly into the Fourth Ventricle in a New Piglet Model.”  J Neurosurg Pediatrics 1: 373-380, 2008.
  41. Crandall KM, Pacheco-Jacome EP, Sandberg DI.  “Delayed Presentation and Conservative Management of an Odontoid Basilar Synchondrosis Fracture in a Child.” J Neurosurg Pediatrics 1: 402-405, 2008.
  42. Berry C, Sandberg DI, Hoh DJ, Krieger MD, McComb JG.  “Use of Cranial Fixation Pins in Pediatric Neurosurgery.”  Neurosurgery 62: 913-919, 2008.
  43. Wykoff CC, Lam BL, Brathwaite CD, Biegel JA, McKeown CA, Rosenblum MK, Allewelt HB, Sandberg DI.  “Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Arising from the Third Cranial Nerve.”  J Neuro-Ophthalmology, 28: 207-211, 2008.
  44. Sandberg DI.  “Endoscopic Management of Hydrocephalus in Pediatric Patients: A Review of   Indications, Techniques, and Outcomes.”  J Child Neurology 23(5): 550-560, 2008.
  45. Benglis DM, Sandberg DI.  “Acute Neurological Deficit After Minor Trauma in an Infant With Achondroplasia and Cervicomendullary Compression.”  J Neurosurg ( 2 Suppl Pediatrics) 107: 152-155, 2007.
  46. Sandberg DI, Navarro R, Blanch J, Ragheb J.  “Anomalous Venous Drainage Preventing Safe Posterior Fossa Decompression in Patients with Chiari Malformation Type I and Multisutural Craniosynostosis.”  J Neurosurg (4 Suppl Pediatrics) 106: 490-494, 2007.
  47. Trombly R, Sandberg DI, Wolfe SA, Ragheb J.   “High-flow Orbital Arteriovenous Malformation in a child:  case report and review of current management options.” J Craniofacial Surgery 17(4): 779-782, 2006.
  48. Nimmagadda A, Sandberg DI, Ragheb J.  “Spontaneous Involution of a Large Pineal Region Hemorrhagic Cyst in an Infant.”  J Neurosurg (4 Suppl Pediatrics) 104: 275-278, 2006.
  49. Sandberg DI, McComb JG, Krieger MD.  “Chemical Analysis of Fluid Obtained From Intracranial Arachnoid Cysts in Pediatric Patients.” J Neurosurg (5 Suppl Pediatrics) 103: 427-432, 2005.
  50. Sandberg DI, McComb JG, Krieger MD.  “Craniotomy for Fenestration of Multiloculated Hydrocephalus in Pediatric Patients.” Neurosurgery 57 (1 Suppl.):100-106, 2005.
  51. Sandberg DI, Ragheb J, Dunoyer D, Bhatia S, Olavarria G, Morrison G.  “Surgical Outcomes and Seizure Control Rates After Resection of Dysembryoplastic Neuroepithelial Tumors.” Neurosurg Focus 18 (6a): E5, 2005.
  52. Sandberg DI, Bilsky MH, Kushner BH, Souweidane MM, Kramer KK, Laquaglia MP, Panageas KS, Cheung NK-V.  “Treatment of Spinal Involvement in Neuroblastoma Patients.”  Pediatric Neurosurgery 39: 291-298, 2003.
  53. Occhiogrosso G, Edgar MA, Sandberg DI, Souweidane MM.  “Prolonged Convection-Enhanced Delivery into the Rat Brainstem.”  Neurosurgery 52: 388-394, 2003.
  54. Sandberg DI, Edgar MA, Souweidane MM. ”Effect of Hyperosmolar Mannitol on Convection-Enhanced Delivery into the Rat Brain Stem.”  J Neuro-Oncology 58: 187-192, 2002.
  55. Sandberg DI, Edgar MA, Souweidane MM. ”Convection-Enhanced Delivery into the Rat Brain Stem. “  J Neurosurg 96: 885-891, 2002.
  56. Sandberg DI, Lamberti-Pasculli M, Drake JM, Humphreys RP, Rutka JT.  “Spontaneous Intraparenchymal Hemorrhage in Full-term Neonates.”  Neurosurgery 48: 1042-1049, 2001.
  57. Sandberg DI, Edgar MA, Resch L, Rutka JT, Becker LE, Souweidane MM.  “MIB-1 Staining Index of Pediatric Meningiomas.”  Neurosurgery 48: 590-597, 2001.
  58. Bilsky MH, Schefler AC, Sandberg DI, Dunkel IJ, Rosenblum M.  “Sclerosing Epithelioid   Fibrosarcomas Involving the Neuraxis: Report of Three Cases.” Neurosurgery 47: 956-960, 2000.
  59. Souweidane M, Sandberg D, Bilsky M, Gutin P.  “Endoscopic Biopsy of Tumors of the Third Ventricle.” Pediatr Neurosurg 33: 132-137, 2000.
  60. Sandberg DI, Bilsky MH, Souweidane MM, Bzdil J, Gutin PH.  “Ommaya Reservoirs for the Treatment of Leptomeningeal Metastases.  Neurosurgery 47: 49-55, 2000.
  61. Sandberg DI, Souweidane MM.  “Hemifacial Spasm Caused by a Pilocytic Astrocytoma of the   Fourth Ventricle.”  Pediatr Neurol 21: 754-756, 1999.
  62. Sandberg DI, Souweidane MM.  “Endoscopic-Guided Proximal Catheter Placement in Treatment of Posterior Fossa Cysts.”  Pediatr Neurosurg 30: 180-185, 1999.
  63. Sandberg DI, Lavyne MH:  “Symptomatic Spinal Epidural Lipomatosis After Local Epidural Steroid Injections:  Case Report.”  Neurosurgery 45: 162-165, 1999.
  64. Frucht DM, Sandberg DI, Brown MR, Gerstberger SM, Holland SM.  “IL-12-Independent Costimulation Pathways for Interferon-Gamma Production in Familial Disseminated Mycobacterium Avium Complex Infection.  Clin Immunol 91(2): 234-41, 1999.