Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics (Hematology & Oncology)
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics
Our laboratory is focused on identifying at the time of diagnosis patients with ultra-high-risk neuroblastoma. As these patients have de novo chemotherapy resistance, our secondary goal is to develop novel therapeutic strategies for this subset of patients with highly lethal disease. Our guiding hypothesis is that patients with primary refractory neuroblastoma (PRN) have distinct biologic features that we can identify at diagnosis.
From a uniform case series of high-risk neuroblastoma patients with early death from tumor progression compared to those with a maintained complete response, we are evaluating tumor tissue for unique histo-morphologic and proteomic features in those patients who have particularly dismal outcomes. We are computationally integrating these data with genomic and transcriptomic datasets to develop a combined predictor of primary refractory disease. This biomarker signature can then be prospectively applied for the detection of PRN (require non-standard/intensified treatment) versus cases with maintained complete responses (require standard therapy). The lack of response to therapy is currently assessed after multiple months of cytotoxic therapy and therefore pre-treatment stratification of PRN would spare patients unnecessary toxicity from treatments that are unlikely to benefit them. Predicting PRN at the time of diagnosis will also facilitate strategies for novel pharmacologic intervention. Our prognostic and therapeutic modeling system will be broadly applicable and have significant utility in diverse human cancers by accurately defining refractory versus treatable disease.
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Montefiore Medical Center
3415 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, NY 10467