Stephan A. Grupp, MD, PhD

faculty photo
Professor of Pediatrics
Department: Pediatrics
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Oncology/BMT CTRB 3006
3501 Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-590-5476
Fax: (215) 590-3770
University of Cincinnati (Magna cum laude), 1981.
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1985.
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1987.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests

Role of the B cell receptor complex in B cell signaling and lymphoid development

Research Summary

Basic Science. The primary focus of my lab’s work is the development of targeted cell therapies and study of molecular signaling pathways in ALL. Our group has leveraged studies using primary human ALL xenografts into treatments being tested in a number of clinical trials.

We have demonstrated the importance of the mTOR pathway in leukemia and lymphoma, and demonstrated that inhibitors of mTOR signal transduction (such as sirolimus) are effective agents against pre-B ALL and against the lymphoproliferative disorder ALPS. These findings have direct translational significance in both ALL and ALPS, leading to Phase I, II, III (ASCT0431) and pilot trials in these diseases. We also demonstrated that signaling through the IL-7 receptor is key in the response of early B ALL cells to mTOR inhibitors. IL-7 and a related molecule called TSLP reverse the effect of mTOR inhibitors on pre-B ALL cells, providing insights into the potential mechanisms of the mTOR effect and a further opportunity for signal transduction inhibition in ALL. We are the ALL Xenograft Core Lab for the COG.

Translational. As the CCCR Director of Translational Research, I oversee research into clinical use of hematopoietic stem cells and T cell-based therapies. As an example, we have performed trials to improve outcome in neuroblastoma (NBL), a disease that has <15% long-term survival with chemo and ~35% with single autologous stem cell transplant (SCT). This has also lead to a phase III trial (ANBL0532) in the COG.

More recently, our group has been working with Dr. Carl June and the Penn Translational Research Program on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-based engineered T cell therapies. One target is CD19 in ALL, where we have developed chimeric immunoreceptor-armed T cells in an ongoing basic and translational collaboration with the June group. This approach has now been taken into pilot trials at CHOP and Penn. The first three adult patients on this clinical trial experienced remarkable clinical responses and unprecedented persistence and expansion of the therapeutic cells. We are now seeing similar results in pediatric patients with ALL.

Selected Publications

Singh, N, J Perazzelli, SA Grupp, DM Barrett: Early memory phenotypes drive T cell proliferation in patients with pediatric malignancies. Science Translational Medicine 2016.

Chen, F, DT Teachey, E Pequignot; N Frey, D Porter, SL Maude, SA Grupp, CH June, JJ Melenhorst, S Lacey: Measuring IL-6 and sIL-6R in Serum from Patients Treated with Tocilizumab and/or Siltuximab following CAR T Cell Therapy. Journal of Immunological 2016.

Bride, KL, T Vincent, K Smith-Whitley, MP Lambert, JJ. Bleesing, AE Seif, CS Manno, J Casper, SA Grupp, and DT Teachey: Sirolimus is effective in relapsed/refractory autoimmune cytopenias: results of a prospective multi-institutional trial. Blood 2016.

Teachey, DT, SF Lacey, PA Shaw, JJ Melenhorst, SL Maude, NV Frey, E Pequignot, VE Gonzalez, F Chen, J Finklestein, DM Barrett, SL Weiss, JC Fitzgerald, RA Berg, R Aplenc, C Callahan, SR Rheingold, Z Zheng, S Rose-John, JC White, F Nazimuddin, G Wertheim, BL Levine, CH June, DL Porter, and SA Grupp: Identification of Predictive Biomarkers for Cytokine Release Syndrome after Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell Therapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Cancer Discovery 2016.

Fitzgerald, JC, SL Weiss, SL Maude, DM Barrett, SF Lacey, JJ Melenhorst, P Shaw, RA Berg, CH June, DL Porter, NV Frey, SA Grupp, and DT Teachey: Cytokine Release Syndrome After Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Critical Care Medicine 2016.

Porter DL, WT Hwang, NV Frey, SF Lacey, PA Shaw, AW Loren, A Bagg, KT Marcucci, A Shen, V Gonzalez, D Ambrose, SA Grupp, A Chew, Z Zheng, MC Milone, BL Levine, JJ Melenhorst, CH : Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells Persist and Induce Sustained Remissions in Relapsed Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Science Translational Medicine June 2015.

Pulsipher, MA, C Carlson, B Langholz, DA Wall, KR Schultz, N Bunin, I Kirsch, JM Gastier-Foster, M Borowitz, C Desmarais, D Williamson, M Kalos, and SA Grupp: IgH-V(D)J NGS-MRD measurement pre- and early post-allotransplant defines very low- and very high-risk ALL patients. Blood 2015.

Haiying, Q, M Cho, W Haso, L Zhang, S Tasian, H Zarni Oo, G Neri, Y Lin, J Zhou, B Mallon, S Maude, D Teachey, D Barrrett, R Orentas, M Daugaard, P Sorensen, SA Grupp, and T Fry: Eradication of pre B cell ALL using chimeric antigen receptor-expressing T cells targeting the TSLPR oncoprotein. Blood 2015.

Maude, SL, DT Teachey, DL Porter, and SA Grupp: CD19-targeted Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell Therapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Blood 2015.

Sotillo, E, DM Barrett, KL Black, A Bagashev, D Oldridge, G Wu, R Sussman, C Lanauze, M Ruella, MR Gazzara, NM Martinez, CT Harrington, EY Chung, J Perazzelli, TJ Hofmann, SL Maude, P Raman, A Barrera, S Gill, SF Lacey, JJ Melenhorst, D Allman, E Jacoby, T Fry, C Mackall, Y Barash, KW Lynch, JM Maris, SA Grupp, and A Thomas-Tikhonenko: Convergence of acquired mutations and alternative splicing of CD19 enables resistance to CART-19 immunotherapy. Cancer Discovery 2015.

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Last updated: 04/29/2016
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