Sarah K Tasian, MD

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Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Attending Physician , Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Co-Leader, Center for Childhood Cancer Research Leukemia Biorepository, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Co-Leader, Division of Oncology Precision Medicine Tumor Board, 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
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, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Pediatric Acute Leukemia (PedAL) Children's Initiative, and other leukemia/cell therapy consortia. 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:
Asen Bagashev, PhD (research associate/scientist)
John Chukinas, BS (research technician)
Yang Ding, MD (post-doctoral fellow/instructor)
Catherine Falkenstein, BS (research technician)
Lisa Niswander, MD PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
Colin Wakefield, BS (medical student)

Selected Publications

Zheng S, Gillespie E, Naqvi AS, Hayer KE, Ang Z, Torres-Diz M, Quesnel-Vallières M, Hottman DA, Bagashev A, Chukinas J, Schmidt C, Asnani M, Shraim R, Taylor DM, Rheingold SR, O'Brien MM, Singh N, Lynch KW, Ruella M, Barash Y, Tasian SK*, Thomas-Tikhonenko A*. (*co-senior authors): Modulation of CD22 Protein Expression in Childhood Leukemia by Pervasive Splicing Aberrations: Implications for CD22-Directed Immunotherapies. Blood Cancer Discov 3: 103-115, Mar 2022.

Tasian SK, Silverman LB, Whitlock JA, Sposto R, Loftus JP, Schafer ES, Schultz KR, Hutchinson RJ, Gaynon PS, Orgel E, Bateman CM, Cooper TM, Laetsch TW, Sulis ML, Chi YY, Malvar J, Wayne AS, Rheingold SR.: Temsirolimus combined with cyclophosphamide and etoposide for pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia Consortium trial (TACL 2014-001). Haematologica Feb 2022.

Hecht A, Meyer JA, Behnert A, Wong E, Chehab F, Olshen A, Hechmer A, Aftandilian C, Bhat R, Choi SW, Chonat S, Farrar JE, Fluchel M, Frangoul H, Han JH, Kolb EA, Kuo DJ, MacMillan ML, Maese L, Maloney KW, Narendran A, Oshrine B, Schultz KR, Sulis ML, Van Mater D, Tasian SK, Hofmann WK, Loh ML, Stieglitz E.: Molecular and phenotypic diversity of CBL-mutated juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Haematologica Online ahead of print: 178-186, January 2022.

Thomas KR, Allenspach EJ, Camp ND, Wray-Dutra MN, Khim S, Zielinska-Kwiatkowska A, Timms AE, Loftus JP, Liggitt HD, Georgopoulos K, Tasian SK, James RG, Rawlings DJ.: Activated interleukin-7 receptor signaling drives B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in mice. Leukemia Jan 2022.

Pearson AD, Rossig C, Mackall C, Shah NN, Baruchel A, Reaman G, Ricafort R, Heenen D, Bassan A, Berntgen M, Bird N, Bleickardt E, Bouchkouj N, Bross P, Brownstein C, Cohen SB, de Rojas T, Ehrlich L, Fox E, Gottschalk S, Hanssens L, Hawkins DS, Horak ID, Taylor DH, Johnson C, Karres D, Ligas F, Ludwinski D, Mamonkin M, Marshall L, Masouleh BK, Matloub Y, Maude S, McDonough J, Minard-Colin V, Norga K, Nysom K, Pappo A, Pearce L, Pieters R, Pule M, Quintás-Cardama A, Richardson N, Schüßler-Lenz M, Scobie N, Sersch MA, Smith MA, Sterba J, Tasian SK, Weigel B, Weiner SL, Zwaan CM, Lesa G, Vassal G.: Paediatric Strategy Forum for medicinal product development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cells in children and adolescents with cancer: ACCELERATE in collaboration with the European Medicines Agency with participation of the Food and Drug Administration. Eur J Cancer Jan 2022.

Lamble AJ, Eidenschink Brodersen L, Alonzo TA, Wang J, Pardo L, Sung L, Cooper TM, Kolb EA, Aplenc R, Tasian SK, Loken MR, Meshinchi S.: CD123 Expression Is Associated With High-Risk Disease Characteristics in Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol 40: 252-261, Jan 2022.

Bagashev A, Loftus JP, Ross S, Niswander LM, Qin H, Fry TJ, Tasian SK. : Precision Co-Targeting of the Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Receptor in Childhood CRLF2-Rearranged Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Blood Page: 1705, December 2021 Notes: Poster presentation by mentee at ASH annual meeting; Atlanta, Georgia (abstract achievement award for mentee).

Niswander LM, Chukinas JA, Graff Z, Bagashev A, Leach L, Fry TJ, Tasian SK. : Multi-Modal Targeting of FLT3 with Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Immunotherapy and Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition in High-Risk Pediatric Leukemias. Blood(404), December 2021 Notes: Oral presentation by mentee at ASH annual meeting; Atlanta, Georgia (abstract achievement award for mentee).

Hurtz C, Wertheim G, Chukinas JA, Loftus JP, Lee SJ, Kumar A, Chansali RS, Swaminathan S, Besson T, Shi J, Crispino JD, Tasian SK*, Carroll M*. : Pharmacologic Inhibition of DYRK1A Results in Hyperactivation and Hyperphosphorylation of MYC and ERK Rendering KMT2A-R ALL Cells Sensitive to BCL2 Inhibition. Blood Page: 506, December 2021 Notes: Oral presentation by mentee at ASH annual meeting; Atlanta, Georgia (*co-senior authors).

Bagashev A, Loftus JP, Wakefield C, Wertheim G, Hurtz C, Carroll M, Stegmaier K, Pikman Y, Tasian SK.: Alisertib Synergistically Strengthens the Anti-Leukemia Activity of Venetoclax in TCF3-HLF B-ALL. Blood Page: 705, December 2021 Notes: Oral presentation by mentee at ASH annual meeting; Atlanta, Georgia (abstract achievement award for mentee).

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Last updated: 03/15/2022
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