Sarah K Tasian, MD

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Oncology) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Member, Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Chief, Hematologic Malignancies Program, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Joshua Kahan Endowed Chair in Pediatric Leukemia Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Department: Pediatrics

Contact information
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Oncology and Center for Childhood Cancer Research
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center
3501 Civic Center Boulevard, CTRB 3056
Philadelphia, PA 19104
BS, BA (Biological Sciences, Psychology)
University of Notre Dame, 1999.
MD (Medicine)
Baylor College of Medicine, 2004.
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Description of Clinical Expertise

I have clinical expertise in the care of children, adolescents, and young adults with hematologic malignancies, particularly those with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). My particular clinical interests include integration of comprehensive leukemia genetic data with therapy selection for children with high risk newly-diagnosed and relapsed ALL and AML with a focus on precision medicine treatment approaches.

I am Chief of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and attend on the inpatient leukemia/lymphoma service and outpatient clinic. I have procedural expertise in bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, lumbar punctures (spinal taps), Ommaya reservoir taps, administration of intrathecal chemotherapy, and skin biopsies for germline testing.

Description of Other Expertise

I am a primary clinical mentor in Hematologic Malignancies for first, second, third, and fourth year pediatric hematology-oncology fellows and closely supervise their patient care in the inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. I also teach and supervise pediatric residents in the inpatient setting.

Description of Research Expertise

My overarching career goal as an academic pediatric oncologist and translational physician-scientist is to develop successful precision medicine therapies for children with high-risk leukemias aimed at decreasing relapse risk, minimizing toxicity, and improving long-term survival. My independent research program focuses upon identification of targeted therapeutic strategies for childhood leukemias via (1) mechanistic interrogation of aberrant signal transduction networks and preclinical testing of kinase and other small molecule inhibitors in genetic subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), (2) preclinical testing of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies for high-risk AML and ALL, and (3) early-phase clinical investigation of targeted inhibitors and cell therapies for children with leukemia and associated correlative biology studies through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Pediatric Acute Leukemia (LLS PedAL) consortium, and other leukemia/cell therapy consortia. I am an experienced early-phase clinical trialist and current serve as a steering member of the COG ALL committee, the COG Myeloid Diseases Vice-Chair of Relapse, the LLS PedAL Clinical Trials Leader, and the COG Developmental Therapeutics committee Vice-Chair of Biology for Hematologic Malignancies.

My laboratory has particular expertise in preclinical evaluation of small molecule inhibitors and CAR T cells in ALL and AML patient-derived xenograft models, as well as in phosphosignaling analyses and measurement of patients’ molecular responses to targeted inhibitors. Successful integration of my laboratory’s bench-based and clinical correlative studies has led to multiple trials testing targeted therapies in children with high-risk leukemias, many of which I also lead or co-lead.

Current Tasian laboratory members and collaborators:
Camilo Arenas, BS (research technician)
Tommaso Balestra, PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
Robert Chen, BS (research technician)
Jackson Dardis, BS (research technician)
Yang Ding, MD (post-doctoral fellow/instructor)
Samantha McClellan, BS (research technician)
Lisa Niswander, MD PhD (post-doctoral fellow/instructor)

Selected Publications

Cuglievan B and Tasian SK: A “Revu” of Initial Phase 1 Clinical Trial Results of Menin Inhibition in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Acute Leukemias. The Hematologist 20(4), July 2023 Notes:

Raetz EA, Bhojwani D, Devidas M, Gore L, Rabin KR, Tasian SK, Teachey DT, Loh ML.: Children's Oncology Group blueprint for research: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer Jul 2023.

Tasian SK.: TCF3::HLF Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Still Challenging to Cure Thirty Years Later. Haematologica 108: 1713-1714, Jul 2023.

Baruchel A, Bourquin JP, Crispino J, Cuartero S, Hasle H, Hitzler J, Klusmann JH, Izraeli S, Lane AA, Malinge S, Rabin KR, Roberts I, Ryeom S, Tasian SK, Wagenblast E.: Down Syndrome and Leukemia: from Basic Mechanisms to Clinical Advances. Haematologica Jul 2023.

Cuglievan B, Connors J, He J, Khazal S, Yedururi S, Dai J, Garces S, Quesada AE, Roth M, Garcia M, McCall D, Gibson A, Ragoonanan D, Petropoulos D, Tewari P, Nunez C, Mahadeo KM, Tasian SK, Lamble AJ, Pawlowska A, Hammond D, Maiti A, Haddad FG, Senapati J, Daver N, Gangat N, Konopleva M, Meshinchi S, Pemmaraju N: Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm: a comprehensive review in pediatrics, adolescents, and young adults (AYA) and an update of novel therapies. Leukemia Jul 2023.

Cooper TM, Alonzo TA, Tasian SK, Kutny MA, Hitzler J, Pollard JA, Aplenc R, Meshinchi S, Kolb EA.: Children's Oncology Group's 2023 Blueprint for Research: Myeloid Neoplasms. Pediatr Blood Cancer Jul 2023.

Mueller SB, Pikman Y, Tasian SK, Silverman LB, Harris MH, Tsai HK.: ETV6 fusions from insertions of exons 3-5 in pediatric hematologic malignancies. Haematologica Jun 2023.

Glisovic-Aplenc T, Diorio C, Chukinas JA, Veliz K, Shestova O, Shen F, Nunez-Cruz S, Vincent TL, Miao F, Milone MC, June CH, Teachey DT, Tasian SK, Aplenc R, Gill SI.: CD38 as a pan-hematologic target for chimeric antigen receptor T cells. Blood Adv May 2023.

Hughes AD and Tasian SK: In Which Trial Do I Belong? The PedAL APAL2020SC and EuPAL 2021 Registry Sorting Hats for Relapsed/Refractory Pediatric Acute Leukemias. The Hematologist 20(3), May 2023 Notes:

Niswander LM, Chung P, Diorio C, Tasian SK.: Clinical responses in pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory leukemia treated with azacitidine and venetoclax. Haematologica Apr 2023.

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Last updated: 07/25/2023
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