Division Highlights - Hematology & Oncology

The Division of Hematology and Oncology provides state-of-the-art integrated therapies, including stem cell transplant, aimed at curing malignancies and treating hematological disorders in children.

Research interests include ways to recognize and destroy cancer cells using immunologic and molecular biologic pathways, cancer survivorship, and palliative care.

2009 Highlights

  • The division moved into a new Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer-funded UW Childhood Cancer Research Wing at the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research.
  • Paul Sondel, MD, co-led a national trial testing an experimental immunotherapy treatment, based in part on his laboratory’s work, for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. The trial showed a 20% improvement in cure rates for children who received this immunotherapy.
  • Kenneth DeSantes, MD, obtained certification for American Family Children’s Hospital to administer MIBG treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma.
  • Kenneth DeSantes, MD, developed a novel stem cell transplant protocol for children with recurrent leukemia or solid tumors. The therapy infuses children with natural killer cells to help destroy the cancer.
  • Carol Diamond, MD, was named one of two recipients of the UW Medical Foundation’s first Clinical Practice Excellence Awards.
  • Research from Sinisa Dovat, MD, DSc, has helped explain the function of the Ikaros gene, which plays a key role in causing high-risk childhood leukemia.
  • Neha Patel, MD, established Wisconsin’s first comprehensive multidisciplinary clinic for children with neurocutaneous disorders who are at risk for cancer.


Paul M. Sondel, MD, PhD

Division Chief
Paul M. Sondel, MD, PhD


Kenneth B. DeSantes, MD

Associate Professor

Carol A. Diamond, MD

Associate Professor

Sinisa Dovat, MD, DSc

Assistant Professor

Margo L. Hoover-Regan, MD

Assistant Professor

Neha J. Patel, MD

Assistant Professor

Diane M. Puccetti, MD

Associate Professor


Recent Publications

Allen J, Donahue B, Mehta M, Miller DC, Rorke LB, Jakacki R, Robertson P, Sposto R, Holmes E, Vezina G, Muraszko K, Puccetti D, Prados M, Chan KW. A phase II study of preradiotherapy chemotherapy followed by hyperfractionated radiotherapy for newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor: a report from the Children's Oncology Group (CCG 9931). Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Jul 15;74(4):1006-11. Epub 2009 Apr 7.

Buhtoiarov IN, Rakhmilevich AL, Lanier LL, Ranheim EA, Sondel PM. Naive mouse macrophages become activated following recognition of L5178Y lymphoma cells via concurrent ligation of CD40, NKG2D, and CD18 molecules. J Immunol. 2009 Feb 15;182(4):1940-53.

Capitini CM, Cooper LJ, Egeler RM, Handgretinger R, Locatelli F, Sondel PM, Mackall CL. Highlights of the First International "Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology: Progress and Challenges" Meeting. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2009 Apr;31(4):227-44.

DeSantes KD, Sondel PM. Immunotherapy of Cancer. In: Orkin SH, Fisher DE, Look AT, Lux SE, Ginsburg D and Nathan DG, eds. Oncology of Infancy and Childhood. Philadelphia: Elsevier. 2009; 209-240.

Dovat S, Payne KJ. Tumor suppression in T cell leukemia--the role of Ikaros. Leuk Res. 2010 Apr;34(4):416-7. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

Gilman AL, Ozkaynak MF, Matthay KK, Krailo M, Yu AL, Gan J, Sternberg A, Hank JA, Seeger R, Reaman GH, Sondel PM. Phase I study of ch14.18 with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-2 in children with neuroblastoma after autologous bone marrow transplantation or stem-cell rescue: a report from the Children's Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jan 1;27(1):85-91. Epub 2008 Dec 1.

Hank JA, Gan J, Ryu H, Ostendorf A, Stauder MC, Sternberg A, Albertini M, Lo KM, Gillies SD, Eickhoff J, Sondel PM. Immunogenicity of the hu14.18-IL2 immunocytokine molecule in adults with melanoma and children with neuroblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Sep 15;15(18):5923-30. Epub 2009 Sep 8.

Johnson EE, Yamane BH, Buhtoiarov IN, Lum HD, Rakhmilevich AL, Mahvi DM, Gillies SD, Sondel PM. Radiofrequency ablation combined with KS-IL2 immunocytokine (EMD 273066) results in an enhanced antitumor effect against murine colon adenocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Aug 1;15(15):4875-84. Epub 2009 Jul 28.

Kim JH, Ebersole T, Kouprina N, Noskov VN, Ohzeki J, Masumoto H, Mravinac B, Sullivan BA, Pavlicek A, Dovat S, Pack SD, Kwon YW, Flanagan PT, Loukinov D, Lobanenkov V, Larionov V. Human gamma-satellite DNA maintains open chromatin structure and protects a transgene from epigenetic silencing. Genome Res. 2009 Apr;19(4):533-44. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Parrish YK, Baez I, Milford TA, Benitez A, Galloway N, Rogerio JW, Sahakian E, Kagoda M, Huang G, Hao QL, Sevilla Y, Barsky LW, Zielinska E, Price MA, Wall NR, Dovat S, Payne KJ. IL-7 Dependence in human B lymphopoiesis increases during progression of ontogeny from cord blood to bone marrow. J Immunol. 2009 Apr 1;182(7):4255-66.

Popescu M, Gurel Z, Ronni T, Song C, Hung KY, Payne KJ, Dovat S. Ikaros stability and pericentromeric localization are regulated by protein phosphatase 1. J Biol Chem. 2009 May 15;284(20):13869-80. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Wu QL, Buhtoiarov IN, Sondel PM, Rakhmilevich AL, Ranheim EA. Tumoricidal effects of activated macrophages in a mouse model of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. J Immunol. 2009 Jun 1;182(11):6771-8.

Yamane BH, Hank JA, Albertini MR, Sondel PM. The development of antibody-IL-2 based immunotherapy with hu14.18-IL2 (EMD-273063) in melanoma and neuroblastoma. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2009 Jul;18(7):991-1000. Review.

Grant Support

Principal Investigator Funding Agency Title
Delgado, David DHHS, PHS, National Institutes of Health Academic Clinical Oncologist Training Program (K12)
DeSantes, Kenneth National Childhood Cancer Foundation Per Case & Specimen Reimbursement
DeSantes, Kenneth National Childhood Cancer Foundation Children's Oncology Group (Cog) Chair's Grant
DeSantes, Kenneth Solving Kids Cancer Reduced Intensity Haploidentical Transplantation with NK
Diamond, Carol Medical College of Wisconsin Molecular and Clinical Biology of von Willebrand Disease
Dovat, Sinisa UWF - University of Wisconsin Foundation UW-Cure Kids Cancer Coalition
Dovat, Sinisa UW - ICTR Pathogenesis of Childhood Leukemia
Dovat, Sinisa St Baldricks Foundation The Role of Ikaros in Myeloid Differentiation
Popescu, Marcela DHHS, PHS, National Institutes of Health Academic Clinical Oncologist Training Program (K12)
Sondel, Paul Children's Hospital Los Angeles Biology and Therapy of High Risk Neuroblastoma
Sondel, Paul National Childhood Cancer Foundation COG Immunotherapy Reference & Resource
Sondel, Paul National Childhood Cancer Foundation Children's Oncology Group (COG) Study Chair Support
Sondel, Paul DHHS, PHS, National Institutes of Health Flagellar Gene Homologues In Brucella Melitensis (Pre-Doc Fellowship)
Sondel, Paul DHHS, PHS, National Institutes of Health Clinical Development of Hu14.18-IL2 Targeted Therapy
Sondel, Paul DHHS, PHS, National Institutes of Health Antitumor Mechanisms of alpha-CD40/CpG-activated Macrophages
Sondel, Paul DOD, Army Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Using Redirected Endogenous Anti-Gal Antibody
Sondel, Paul St Jude Medical HU14.18K322A in Children and Adolescents with Neuroblastoma or Melanoma
Sondel, Paul Abbie's Fund Destruction of Neuroblastoma via Synapse Formation with hu14.18-IL2