Division Highlights - Hematology & Oncology

2007 - 2008 Highlights

Neha Patel, MD, joins division

Neha Patel, MD, expands pediatric neuro-oncology clinic to include neurocutaneous syndrome and neurofibromatosis

Kenneth DeSantes, MD, named clinical director of hematology/oncology and bone marrow transplant programs

Clinical team works to prepare AFCH MIBG room for first patient


The Division of Hematology & Oncology provides innovative, comprehensive, and compassionate family- centered care.

Our interdisciplinary team delivers integrated, state-of-the-art, multi-modality therapies, including stem cell transplant, that aim to cure all pediatric malignancies and optimally treat hematological disorders.

Laboratory and clinical researchers investigate ways to recognize and destroy cancer cells using immunologic and molecular biologic pathways. We participate in and lead many national, multi-institutional clinical trials, and have recently become involved in research on cancer survivorship and palliative care.

We also educate the next generation of laboratory and clinical innovators to provide leadership and excellence in the field.


Division Chief: Paul M. Sondel, MD, PhD, Professor Kenneth B. DeSantes, MD, Associate Professor

Paul M. Sondel, MD, PhD


Residency: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics

Fellowships: Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, Sidney Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Board certification: Pediatrics

Clinical interests: cancer immunology and immunotherapy, with an emphasis on the roles of monoclonal antibodies and NK cells

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Kenneth B. DeSantes, MD

Residency: Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

Fellowships: Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, Washington

Board certification: Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Clinical interests: general oncology, neuroblastoma, and bone marrow transplantation

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Carol A. Diamond, MD, Associate Professor Sinisa Dovat, MD, DSc, Assistant Professor

Carol A. Diamond, MD

Residency: University of California-San Francisco

Fellowships: Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, University of California-San Francisco

Board certification: Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Clinical interests: general oncology and non-malignant hematology

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Sinisa Dovat, MD, DSc

Residency: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Penn State

Fellowships: Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, University of California-Los Angeles

Board certification:Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology

Clinical interests: molecular leukemogenesis and functions of zinc finger genes in normal and pathologic hematopoiesis

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Margo L. Hoover-Regan, MD, Assistant Professor Neha J. Patel, MD, Assistant Professor

Margo L. Hoover-Regan, MD

Residency: University of Chicago Hospitals

Fellowships: Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Board certification: Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Clinical interests: general oncology, bone tumors, and pediatric palliative and end-of-life care

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Neha J. Patel, MD

Residency: University of Ohio-Toledo

Fellowships: Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Board certification: Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Clinical interests: neuro-oncology and neurocutaneous syndromes

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Diane M. Puccetti, MD, Associate Professor  

Diane M. Puccetti, MD

Residency: Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio

Fellowships: Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana

Board certification: Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

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Current Fellows

Name Residency Training Fellowship Training
Andrea Dvorak, MD Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA (2007-2009) July 2009 (projected completion June 2011)
Brian Gadbaw, MD University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI (2004-2007) July 2007 (projected completion June 2009)

Past Fellows

Name Completed Fellowship Current Employment
Shannon Dean, MD Resigned fellowship position August 2007 Hospitalist, University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics, Madison, WI
David Delgado, MD June 30, 2008 Clinical Instructor, University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Madison, WI
John Hipps, MD June 30, 2008 Fellow, Bone Marrow Transplant Program, St. Jude Children's Research Center, Memphis, TN
Kristine Catrine, MD Resigned fellowship position January 2010 Hospitalist, University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics, Madison, WI

Recent Publications

Kenneth B. DeSantes, MD

Gowans K, Bentz M, DeSantes K, Thompson KJ. Successful treatment of an infant with constitutional chromosomal abnormality and hemangiopericytoma with chemotherapy alone. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2007 Jun; 29(6):409-11. PubMed PCID: 17551404

Bunin NJ, Davies SM, Aplenc R, Camitta BM, DeSantes KB, Goyal BK, Kapoor N, Kernan NA, Rosenthal J, Smith FO, Eapen M. Unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation for children with acute myeloid leukemia beyond first remission or refractory to chemotherapy. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Sep 10; 26(26):4326-32. PubMed PCID: 18779619

Abstract: “KIR Receptor-Ligand Incompatibility Predicts Susceptibility of Osteosarcoma to NK-mediated Lysis.” Poster presentation at the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation meeting (San Diego, CA, 2008)

Sinisa Dovat, MD, DSc

Ronni T, Payne KJ, Ho S, Bradley MN, Dorsam G, Dovat S. Human Ikaros function in activated T cells is regulated by coordinated expression of its largest isoforms. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 26; 282(4): 2538-47. PubMed PMID: 17135265

Tcheng WY, Dovat S, Gurel Z, Donkin J, Wong WY. Severe congenital protein C deficiency: description of a new mutation and prophylactic protein C therapy and in vivo pharmacokinetics. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2008 Feb; 30(2): 166-71. PubMed PMID: 18376272

Neha J. Patel, MD

Patel N, Haley K, Showman A, Siegel M, Gardner S, Hukin J, Sullivan M, Cornelius A, McCowaged G, Allen J, Ji L, Sposto, Finlay J. “The Treatment of Young Children with High Grade Gliomas (HGG) and Diffuse Intrinsic Brain Stem Gliomas (DIBSG): Results of an Irradiation-avoiding Strategy, The “Head Start” Protocols 1991-2007.” Oral presentation at the International Society of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (abstract) (Chicago, IL, 2008)

Zheng H, Chang L, Patel N, Yang J, Lowe L, Burns DK, Zhu Y. Induction of Abnormal Proliferation by nonmyelinating Schwann Cells Triggers Neurofibroma Formation. Cancer Cell. 2008; 13(2):117-28.

Diane M. Puccetti, MD

Urbon A, Casey K, Knight P, Puccetti D. Neuro-Oncology clinic: Bringing the specialists to the patient. 13th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Chicago, IL (abstract), Neuro-Oncology 2008; 10(3): 457.

Allen J, Donahue B, Mehta M, Miller D, Rorke L, Jakacki R, Robertson P, Sposto R, Holmes E, Vezina G, Muraszko K, Puccetti D, Prados M. Final report of CCG protocol 9931 for high-risk medulloblastoma/PNET: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by hyperfractionated craniospinal radiotherapy. 13th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Chicago, IL (abstract), Neuro-Oncology 2008; 10(3): 479.

Puccetti D, Allen D, Bradley K, Casey K, Grayev A, Bermans I, Salamat S, Stafstrom C, Urbon A, Ward M. Late recurrence of medulloblastoma with spinal cord lesion treated with surgical resection and oral etoposide. 13th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Chicago, IL (abstract), Neuro-Oncology 2008; 10(3): 481.

Ward M, Puccetti D. Long-term disability issues associated with pediatric CNS tumors. 13th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Chicago, IL (abstract), Neuro-Oncology. 2008; 10(3): 493.

Puccetti D, Allen D, Bradley K, Casey K, Grayev A, Iskandar B, Salamat S, Stafstrom C, Osenga K, Ward M. Tale of two tumors: Tuberous sclerosis associated chordoma and glioblastoma multiforme. 13th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Chicago, IL (abstract), Neuro-Oncology. 2008; 10(3): 504.

Hipps J, Mcmanus M, Bradley K, Grayev A, Salamat S, Albright L, Puccetti D. Treatment of a child with pineal rhabdomyosarcoma with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 13th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Chicago, IL (abstract), Neuro-Oncology 2008; 10(3): 505.

Paul M. Sondel, MD, PhD

Peshes-Yaloz N, Rosen D, Sondel PM, Krammer PH, Berke G. Up-regulation of Fas (CD95) expression in tumour cells in vivo. Immunology. 2007 April; 120(4): 502-11. PubMed PMID: 17343612, PMCID: PMC2265906

Mahvi DM, Henry MB, Albertini MR, Weber S, Meredith K, Schalch H, Rakhmilevich A, Hank J, Sondel P. Intratumoral injection of IL-12 plasmid DNA – results of a phase I/IB clinical trial. Cancer Gene Ther. 2007 Aug; 14(8): 717-23. PubMed PMID: 17557109

Johnson E, Dean SM, Sondel PM. Antibody-based immunotherapy in high-risk neuroblastoma. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2007; 9(34): 1-21. PubMed PMID: 18081947

Cassaday RD, Sondel PM, King DM, Macklin MD, Gan J, Warner TF, Zuleger CL, Bridges AJ, Schalch HG, Kim KM, Hank JA, Mahvi DM, Albertini MR. A phase I study of immunization using particle-mediated epidermal delivery of genes for gp100 and GM-CSF into uninvolved skin of melanoma patients. Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Jan 15; 13(2 Pt 1): 540-9. PubMed PMID: 17255276

Neal ZC, Sondel PM, Bates MK, Gillies SD, Herweijer H. Flt3-L gene therapy enhances immunocytokine-mediated antitumor effects and induces long-term memory. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2007 Nov; 56(11): 1765-74. PubMed PMID: 17426968

Buhtoiarov IN, Sondel PM, Eickhoff JC, Rakhmilevich AL. Macrophages are essential for antitumour effects against weakly immunogenic murine tumours induced by class B CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides. Immunology. 2007 Mar; 120(3): 412-23. PubMed PMID: 17163960, PMCID: PMC2265883

Johnson EE, Lum HD, Rakhmilevich AL, Schmidt BE, Furlong M, Buhtoiarov IN, Hank JA, Raubitschek A, Colcher D, Reisfeld RA, Gillies SD, Sondel PM. Intratumoral immunocytokine treatment results in enhanced antitumor effects. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2008 Dec; 57(12): 1891-902. PubMed PMID: 18438664, PMCID: PMC2574976

Rakhmilevich AL, Buhtoiarov IN, Malkovsky M, Sondel PM. CD40 ligation in vivo can induce T cell independent antitumor effects even against immunogenic tumors. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2008 Aug; 57(8): 1151-60. PubMed PMID: 18214476

Meany HJ, Seibel NL, Sun J, Finklestein JZ, Sato J, Kelleher J, Sondel P, Reaman G. Phase 2 trial of recombinant tumor necrosis factor-alpha in combination with dactinomycin in children with recurrent Wilms tumor. J Immunother. 2008 Sept; 31(7): 679-83. PubMed PMID: 18600176, PMCID: PMC2677078

Grupp SA, Verneris M, Sondel PM, Cooper LJ. Immunotherapy for pediatric cancer. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2008; 14(1 Suppl 1): 33-43.

Grant Support

Kenneth B. DeSantes, MD

  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, 133-JJ15 (2006-2008)
    “Reduced Intensity Haplo-identical Transplantation with NK Cell Infusions for Pediatric Acute Leukemia and High Risk Solid Tumor”
    Role: PI
  • National Childhood Cancer Foundation, 144-QG11 (2008)
    “Children’s Oncology Group Chair Grant”
    Role: PI
  • National Childhood Cancer Foundation, 144-MC05 (2008)
    “Children’s Oncology Group Per Case Reimbursement”
    Role: PI
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, 133-JX66 (2008)
    “Support for Research Data Management”
    Role: PI

Sinisa Dovat, MD, DSc

  • St Baldrick’s Foundation Career Development Award (07/01/2008–6/30/2011)
    “The Role of Ikaros in Myeloid Differentiation”
    Role: PI
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Inc. (04/01/2005–02/01/2010)
    “The Role of Ikaros in Malignant Transformation”
    Role: PI
  • UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (08/2008-07/2009)
    Pathogenesis of Childhood LeukemiaThe goal of this project is to identify CK2 kinase as a major contributory protein to T cell transformation and thus, as a target for a specific chemotherapy regimen.
    Role: PI

Diane M. Puccetti, MD

  • M-2006-1095 (2007-present)
    “Learning Needs of Children and Young Adults Following Cancer Treatment”
    Role: Committee Member

Paul M. Sondel, MD, PhD

  • NIH/NCI 5 R01 CA032685-25 (03/27/06-12/31/09)
    “Clinical Development of Hu14.18-IL2 Targeted Therapy”
    Supports clinical trials of hu14.18-IL2 for patients with GD2+ tumors.
    Role: PI
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (04/01/07-03/31/09)
    “KIR-Incompatible Transplantation In Pediatric Osteosarcoma and Phabdomyosarcoma”
    Role: Co-investigator
  • NIH/NCI 2 P30 CA014520-34 (04/01/07-03/31/12)
    “UWCCC Cancer Center Support Grant”
    Support for senior and program leaders of cancer center; administration and evaluation of research cancer center members; support of shared resources and services for peer-reviewed, cancer-related projects; developmental support for new investigators, projects and shared resources.
    Role: Associate Director, Translational Research
  • NIH/NCRR 1 UL1 RR025011-01 (09/17/07-05/31/12)
    “Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award”
    Create an environment that facilitates the transformation of research at the University into a continuum extending from investigation through discovery to translation into practice, thereby linking even the most basic research to practical improvements in human health.
    Role: Chair, Scientific Review Committee
  • NIH/NCI R01 CA087025-05 (9/15/08-07/31/13)
    “T-Cell Independent Antitumor Mechanisms of CD40 Ligation”
    Determine the mechanisms of macrophage activation and subsequent tumor killing by anti-CD40 mAb and CpG in vitro and in mice.
    Role: PI
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (04/01/07-03/31/09)
    “Combination Immunotherapy plus Resveratrol as treatment for Murine Neuroblastoma”
    Initial pilot work in vitro and in mice looks at the potential synergy of hu14.18-IL2 + resveratrol.
    Role: PI
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (04/01/07-03/31/09)
    “Anti-CD40 treatment for spontaneous Murine Neuroblastoma”
    Initial pilot work in vitro and in mice looking at the potential efficacy of this immunotherapy.
    Role: Co-investigator
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (04/01/07-03/31/09)
    Analysis of network responses in children with neuroblastoma receiving hu14.18-IL2.
    Lab analyses of serum specimens from treated patients.
    Role: Co-investigator
  • Abbies Fund (Surrey UK) MSN122042 (12/01/08–11/30/10)
    “Destruction of neuroblastoma via Synapse Formation with the Novel Therapeutic Immunocytokine: hu14.18-IL2”
    Evaluate the mechanisms by which hu14.18-IL2 can form immune synapses between NK cells and tumor cells via the IL2 receptors on NK cells.
    Role: Co-investigator
  • DOD/Army/CDMRP W81XWH-08-1-0278 (04/15/08-11/15/09)
    “Directing Potent Endogenous Anti-Gal Antibody Against Ovarian Cancer (concept program)”
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • DOD/Army/CDMRP OC073412 (09/01/08-08/31/11)
    “Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Using Redirected Endogenous Anti-Gal Antibody (translational research partnership program)”
    Translational studies designed to direct endogenous anti-Gal antibody against human cancers through the use of a novel bifunctional ligand
    Role: Co-investigator
  • UW-Coulter Biomedical Engineering Foundation PRJ14CS (06/01/08–05/30/09)
    “In Vitro and In Vivo PK Testing of the IPN System for Delivery of Immunocytokines as Immunotherapy”
    Evaluating the in vitro release of hu14.18-IL2 from the IPN system to enable slow release in vivo. Subsequent studies are planned to test release and pharmacokinetis of release in naïve (tumor free mice).
    Role: Co-investigator
  • NIH/NCI/Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Nant Consortium) P01 CA081403-08 (06/01/02-05/31/09)
    “Biology and Therapy of High Risk Neuroblastoma”
    A clinical consortium of 14 childhood cancer centers performing innovative Phase I clinical trials for children with neuroblastoma.
    Role: Local PI
  • NIH/NCI/Children's Oncology Group U10 CA098543-05 (03/01/07-02/29/11)
    “Chairman Award: Immunotherapy Reference and Resource”
    Collect and store lab samples from COG patients receiving immunotherapy for measurement of sIL2-receptor levels, ch14.18 chimeric antibody and HACA (human anti-chimeric antibody) levels for neuroblastoma patients in theANBL0032 phase-3 study (ch14.18 + IL2 + GM-CSF).
    Role: Director of one of the COG neuroblastoma reference laboratories
  • NIH/NCI/Children's Oncology Group U10 CA098543-05 (03/01/07-02/29/11)
    “Chairman Award: Study Chair Support”
    Dr. Sondel’s effort for this research relates to his role as
    Role: Chair of the completed COG-ADVL0018 phase I study of hu14.18-IL2 (still in analysis for biological endpoints), and chair of the COG-ANBL0322 Phase II study of hu14.18-IL2.
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (04/01/07-03/31/09)
    “Support for Clinical Research Data Management”
    Role: Co-PI
  • NIH-F31 GM067386 (09/01/06-02/28/10)
    “The Ability of Resveratrol to Enhance Immunotherapy of Cancer”
    Fellowship support for Brenda L. Soto, PhD candidate in Dr. Sondel’s lab
    Role: PhD and Fellowship grant mentor