Clinical Focus

  • Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
  • Leukemia
  • Relapsed leukemia
  • Infectious complication of oncology treatment
  • Fungal infections

Honors & Awards

  • AOA, Medical Honor Society (2007)
  • Fellow, Rachleff Hem-Onc Pediatric Fellowship fund (2012-2013)

Professional Education

  • Medical Education: Tufts University School of Medicine (2007) MA
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellowship (2014) CA
  • Residency: Mass General Hospital for Children Pediatric Residency (2011) MA
  • Internship: Mass General Hospital for Children Pediatric Residency (2008) MA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatrics (2010)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (2015)
  • Chief Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Pediatrics (2011)
  • Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Pediatrics (2010)
  • Doctor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine (2007)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

I am interested in the prevention and management of infectious complication in pediatric oncology patients. I am also interested in developing a protocol for the management of low risk patients with fever and neutropenia.

Clinical Trials

  • Home Away From Home - Quality of Life Surveys Recruiting

    Treatment for pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) involves intensive chemotherapy regimens that result in periods of profound neutropenia leaving patients susceptible to severe infectious complications. Infectious complications are the leading cause of treatment related mortality among AML patients, but there are little clinical data to inform whether management of neutropenia post AML chemotherapy should occur in an outpatient or inpatient setting. Further, no studies have been conducted that assess the impact of neutropenia management strategy on the quality of life of pediatric patients with AML and their caregivers.

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  • Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Pediatric Pulmonary Invasive Mold Infections Recruiting

    This study will establish a non-invasive diagnostic approach and evaluate clinical outcomes for children at high-risk for pulmonary invasive fungal infection (PIFI).

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  • Phase I Dose Escalation Study of CD19/CD22 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cells in Children and Young Adults With Recurrent or Refractory B Cell Malignancies Recruiting

    This phase I trial studies the best dose and side effects of CD19/CD22 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells when given together with chemotherapy, and to see how well they work in treating children or young adults with CD19 positive B acute lymphoblastic leukemia that has come back or does not respond to treatment. A CAR is a genetically-engineered receptor made so that immune cells (T cells) can attack cancer cells by recognizing and responding to the CD19/CD22 proteins. These proteins are commonly found on B acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as fludarabine phosphate and cyclophosphamide, work in different ways to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. Giving CD19/CD22-CAR T cells and chemotherapy may work better in treating children or young adults with B acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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  • Symptom Screening Linked to Care Pathways Recruiting

    Most children with cancer survive because they are given intensive treatments, but unfortunately, these treatments are associated with distressing symptoms. To address this problem, we developed the Symptom Screening in Pediatrics Tool (SSPedi) so that children receiving cancer treatments can communicate their bothersome symptoms, and Supportive care Prioritization, Assessment and Recommendations for Kids (SPARK), a web-based application that links identified symptoms to supportive care guidelines for symptom management. To establish that these tools improve the lives of children newly diagnosed with cancer, we will conduct a trial that randomizes 20 pediatric cancer institutions and measures the impact of three times weekly symptom screening, symptom feedback to healthcare providers and the development of care pathways for symptom management to improve total symptom burden, fatigue and quality of life.

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All Publications

  • Risk of bacterial bloodstream infection does not vary by central-line type during neutropenic periods in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. Infection control and hospital epidemiology Elgarten, C. W., Otto, W. R., Shenton, L., Stein, M. T., Horowitz, J., Aftandilian, C., Arnold, S. D., Bona, K. O., Caywood, E., Collier, A. B., Gramatges, M. M., Henry, M., Lotterman, C., Maloney, K., Modi, A. J., Mian, A., Mody, R., Morgan, E., Raetz, E. A., Verma, A., Winick, N., Wilkes, J. J., Yu, J. C., Aplenc, R., Fisher, B. T., Getz, K. D. 2022: 1-8


    BACKGROUND: Bloodstream infections (BSIs) are a frequent cause of morbidity in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), due in part to the presence of central venous access devices (CVADs) required to deliver therapy.OBJECTIVE: To determine the differential risk of bacterial BSI during neutropenia by CVAD type in pediatric patients with AML.METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis in a cohort of 560 pediatric patients (1,828 chemotherapy courses) receiving frontline AML chemotherapy at 17 US centers. The exposure was CVAD type at course start: tunneled externalized catheter (TEC), peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), or totally implanted catheter (TIC). The primary outcome was course-specific incident bacterial BSI; secondary outcomes included mucosal barrier injury (MBI)-BSI and non-MBI BSI. Poisson regression was used to compute adjusted rate ratios comparing BSI occurrence during neutropenia by line type, controlling for demographic, clinical, and hospital-level characteristics.RESULTS: The rate of BSI did not differ by CVAD type: 11 BSIs per 1,000 neutropenic days for TECs, 13.7 for PICCs, and 10.7 for TICs. After adjustment, there was no statistically significant association between CVAD type and BSI: PICC incident rate ratio [IRR] = 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75-1.32) and TIC IRR = 0.83 (95% CI, 0.49-1.41) compared to TEC. When MBI and non-MBI were examined separately, results were similar.CONCLUSIONS: In this large, multicenter cohort of pediatric AML patients, we found no difference in the rate of BSI during neutropenia by CVAD type. This may be due to a risk-profile for BSI that is unique to AML patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/ice.2022.82

    View details for PubMedID 35465865

  • Breakthrough Trichosporon asahii in a Patient With New Diagnosis B-ALL on Echinocandin Prophylaxis: A Case Report. Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology Mahoney, D., Aftandilian, C. 2022; 44 (2): e514-e517


    Invasive fungal disease is a difficult to diagnose complication of therapy in patients with hematologic malignancy. Antifungal prophylaxis is recommended in high-risk populations, but its use in other populations is less clear. This brief report describes a patient with Trisomy 21 on caspofungin prophylaxis who died of disseminated Trichosporon asahii during induction therapy for new diagnosis low-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, accompanied by a review of similar cases in the literature. Her case highlights the utility of relatively novel diagnostic modalities and reinforces the need for caution in placing patients on antifungal prophylaxis.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPH.0000000000002339

    View details for PubMedID 35200226

  • Neutropenia and Infection Prophylaxis in Childhood Cancer. Current oncology reports Villeneuve, S., Aftandilian, C. 2022


    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Pediatric oncology patients frequently experience episodes of prolonged neutropenia which puts them at high risk for infection with significant morbidity and mortality. Here, we review the data on infection prophylaxis with a focus on both pharmacologic and ancillary interventions. This review does not include patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.RECENT FINDINGS: Patients with hematologic malignancies are at highest risk for infection. Bacterial and fungal prophylaxis decrease the risk of infection in certain high-risk groups. Ancillary measures such as ethanol locks, chlorhexidine gluconate baths, GCSF, IVIG, and mandatory hospitalization do not have enough data to support routine use. There is limited data on risk of infection and role of prophylaxis in patients receiving immunotherapy and patients with solid tumors. Patients with Down syndrome and adolescent and young adult patients may benefit from additional supportive care measures and protocol modifications. Consider utilizing bacterial and fungal prophylaxis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia or relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. More research is needed to evaluate other supportive care measures and the role of prophylaxis in patients receiving immunotherapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11912-022-01192-5

    View details for PubMedID 35230594

  • Evaluation of domain generalization and adaptation on improving model robustness to temporal dataset shift in clinical medicine. Scientific reports Guo, L. L., Pfohl, S. R., Fries, J., Johnson, A. E., Posada, J., Aftandilian, C., Shah, N., Sung, L. 2022; 12 (1): 2726


    Temporal dataset shift associated with changes in healthcare over time is a barrier to deploying machine learning-based clinical decision support systems. Algorithms that learn robust models by estimating invariant properties across time periods for domain generalization (DG) and unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) might be suitable to proactively mitigate dataset shift. The objective wasto characterize the impact of temporal dataset shift on clinical prediction models and benchmark DG and UDA algorithms on improving model robustness. In this cohort study, intensive care unit patients from the MIMIC-IV database were categorized by year groups (2008-2010, 2011-2013, 2014-2016 and 2017-2019). Tasks were predicting mortality, long length of stay, sepsis and invasive ventilation. Feedforward neural networks were used as prediction models. The baseline experiment trained models using empirical risk minimization (ERM) on 2008-2010 (ERM[08-10]) and evaluated them on subsequent year groups. DG experiment trained models using algorithms that estimated invariant properties using 2008-2016 and evaluated them on 2017-2019. UDA experiment leveraged unlabelled samples from 2017 to 2019 for unsupervised distribution matching. DG and UDA models were compared to ERM[08-16] models trained using 2008-2016. Main performance measures were area-under-the-receiver-operating-characteristic curve (AUROC), area-under-the-precision-recall curve and absolute calibration error. Threshold-based metrics including false-positives and false-negatives were used to assess the clinical impact of temporal dataset shift and its mitigation strategies. In the baseline experiments, dataset shift was most evident for sepsis prediction (maximum AUROC drop, 0.090; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.080-0.101). Considering a scenario of 100 consecutively admitted patients showed that ERM[08-10] applied to 2017-2019 was associated with one additional false-negative among 11 patients with sepsis, when compared to the model applied to 2008-2010. When compared with ERM[08-16], DG and UDA experiments failed to produce more robust models (range of AUROC difference, -0.003 to 0.050). In conclusion,DG and UDA failed to produce more robust models compared to ERM in the setting of temporal dataset shift. Alternate approaches are required to preserve model performance over time in clinical medicine.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-06484-1

    View details for PubMedID 35177653

  • Comparison of the Transcriptomic Signatures in Pediatric and Adult CML. Cancers Youn, M., Smith, S. M., Lee, A. G., Chae, H., Spiteri, E., Erdmann, J., Galperin, I., Jones, L. M., Donato, M., Abidi, P., Bittencourt, H., Lacayo, N., Dahl, G., Aftandilian, C., Davis, K. L., Matthews, J. A., Kornblau, S. M., Huang, M., Sumarsono, N., Redell, M. S., Fu, C. H., Chen, I., Alonzo, T. A., Eklund, E., Gotlib, J., Khatri, P., Sweet-Cordero, E. A., Hijiya, N., Sakamoto, K. M. 1800; 13 (24)


    Children with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) tend to present with higher white blood counts and larger spleens than adults with CML, suggesting that the biology of pediatric and adult CML may differ. To investigate whether pediatric and adult CML have unique molecular characteristics, we studied the transcriptomic signature of pediatric and adult CML CD34+ cells and healthy pediatric and adult CD34+ control cells. Using high-throughput RNA sequencing, we found 567 genes (207 up- and 360 downregulated) differentially expressed in pediatric CML CD34+ cells compared to pediatric healthy CD34+ cells. Directly comparing pediatric and adult CML CD34+ cells, 398 genes (258 up- and 140 downregulated), including many in the Rho pathway, were differentially expressed in pediatric CML CD34+ cells. Using RT-qPCR to verify differentially expressed genes, VAV2 and ARHGAP27 were significantly upregulated in adult CML CD34+ cells compared to pediatric CML CD34+ cells. NCF1, CYBB, and S100A8 were upregulated in adult CML CD34+ cells but not in pediatric CML CD34+ cells, compared to healthy controls. In contrast, DLC1 was significantly upregulated in pediatric CML CD34+ cells but not in adult CML CD34+ cells, compared to healthy controls. These results demonstrate unique molecular characteristics of pediatric CML, such as dysregulation of the Rho pathway, which may contribute to clinical differences between pediatric and adult patients.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/cancers13246263

    View details for PubMedID 34944883

  • Medical Outcomes, Quality of Life, and Family Perceptions for Outpatient vs Inpatient Neutropenia Management After Chemotherapy for Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia. JAMA network open Getz, K. D., Szymczak, J. E., Li, Y., Madding, R., Huang, Y. V., Aftandilian, C., Arnold, S. D., Bona, K. O., Caywood, E., Collier, A. B., Gramatges, M. M., Henry, M., Lotterman, C., Maloney, K., Mian, A., Mody, R., Morgan, E., Raetz, E. A., Rubnitz, J., Verma, A., Winick, N., Wilkes, J. J., Yu, J. C., Fisher, B. T., Aplenc, R. 2021; 4 (10): e2128385


    Importance: Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) requires multiple courses of intensive chemotherapy that result in neutropenia, with significant risk for infectious complications. Supportive care guidelines recommend hospitalization until neutrophil recovery. However, there are little data to support inpatient over outpatient management.Objective: To evaluate outpatient vs inpatient neutropenia management for pediatric AML.Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used qualitative and quantitative methods to compare medical outcomes, patient health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and patient and family perceptions between outpatient and inpatient neutropenia management. The study included patients from 17 US pediatric hospitals with frontline chemotherapy start dates ranging from January 2011 to July 2019, although the specific date ranges differed for the individual analyses by design and relative timing. Data were analyzed from August 2019 to February 2020.Exposures: Discharge to outpatient vs inpatient neutropenia management.Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes of interest were course-specific bacteremia incidence, times to next course, and patient HRQOL. Course-specific mortality was a secondary medical outcome.Results: Primary quantitative analyses included 554 patients (272 [49.1%] girls and 282 [50.9%] boys; mean [SD] age, 8.2 [6.1] years). Bacteremia incidence was not significantly different during outpatient vs inpatient management (67 courses [23.8%] vs 265 courses [29.0%]; adjusted rate ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.06; P=.08). Outpatient management was not associated with delays to the next course compared with inpatient management (mean [SD] 30.7 [12.2] days vs 32.8 [9.7] days; adjusted mean difference, -2.2; 95% CI, -4.1 to -0.2, P=.03). Mortality during intensification II was higher for patients who received outpatient management compared with those who received inpatient management (3 patients [5.4%] vs 1 patient [0.5%]; P=.03), but comparable with inpatient management at other courses (eg, 0 patients vs 5 patients [1.3%] during induction I; P=.59). Among 97 patients evaluated for HRQOL, outcomes did not differ between outpatient and inpatient management (mean [SD] Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory total score, 70.1 [18.9] vs 68.7 [19.4]; adjusted mean difference, -2.8; 95% CI, -11.2 to 5.6). A total of 86 respondents (20 [23.3%] in outpatient management, 66 [76.7%] in inpatient management) completed qualitative interviews. Independent of management strategy received, 74 respondents (86.0%) expressed satisfaction with their experience. Concerns for hospital-associated infections among caregivers (6 of 7 caregiver respondents [85.7%] who were dissatisfied with inpatient management) and family separation (2 of 2 patient respondents [100%] who were dissatisfied with inpatient management) drove dissatisfaction with inpatient management. Stress of caring for a neutropenic child at home (3 of 3 respondents [100%] who were dissatisfied with outpatient management) drove dissatisfaction with outpatient management.Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that outpatient neutropenia management was not associated with higher bacteremia incidence, treatment delays, or worse HRQOL compared with inpatient neutropenia management among pediatric patients with AML. While outpatient management may be safe for many patients, course-specific mortality differences suggest that outpatient management in intensification II should be approached with caution. Patient and family experiences varied, suggesting that outpatient management may be preferred by some but may not be feasible for all families. Further studies to refine and standardize safe outpatient management practices are warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.28385

    View details for PubMedID 34709389

  • Comparative Effectiveness of Echinocandins vs Triazoles or Amphotericin B Formulations as Initial Directed Therapy for Invasive Candidiasis in Children and Adolescents. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Fisher, B. T., Zaoutis, T. E., Xiao, R., Wattier, R. L., Castagnola, E., Pana, Z. D., Fullenkamp, A., Boge, C. L., Ross, R. K., Yildirim, I., Palazzi, D. L., Danziger-Isakov, L., Vora, S. B., Arrieta, A., Yin, D. E., Aviles-Robles, M., Sharma, T., Tribble, A. C., Maron, G., Berman, D., Green, M., Sung, L., Romero, J., Hauger, S. B., Roilides, E., Belani, K., Nolt, D., Soler-Palacin, P., Lopez-Medina, E., Muller, W. J., Halasa, N., Dulek, D., Hussain, I. Z., Pong, A., Hoffman, J., Rajan, S., Gonzalez, B. E., Hanisch, B., Aftandilian, C., Carlesse, F., Abzug, M. J., Huppler, A. R., Salvatore, C. M., Ardura, M. I., Chakrabarti, A., Santolaya, M. E., Localio, A. R., Steinbach, W. J. 2021


    BACKGROUND: Invasive candidiasis is the most common invasive fungal disease in children and adolescents, but there are limited pediatric-specific antifungal effectiveness data. We compared the effectiveness of echinocandins to triazoles or amphotericin B formulations (triazole/amphotericin B) as initial directed therapy for invasive candidiasis.METHODS: This multinational observational cohort study enrolled patients aged >120 days and <18 years with proven invasive candidiasis from January 1, 2014, to November 28, 2017, at 43 International Pediatric Fungal Network sites. Primary exposure was initial directed therapy administered at the time qualifying culture became positive for yeast. Exposure groups were categorized by receipt of an echinocandin vs receipt of triazole/amphotericin B. Primary outcome was global response at 14 days following invasive candidiasis onset, adjudicated by a centralized data review committee. Stratified Mantel-Haenszel analyses estimated risk difference between exposure groups.RESULTS: Seven-hundred and fifty invasive candidiasis episodes were identified. After exclusions, 541 participants (235 in the echinocandin group and 306 in the triazole/amphotericin B group) remained. Crude failure rates at 14 days for echinocandin and triazole/amphotericin B groups were 9.8% (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 6.0% to 13.6%) and 13.1% (95% CI: 9.3% to 16.8%), respectively. The adjusted 14-day risk difference between echinocandin and triazole/amphotericin B groups was -7.1% points (95% CI: -13.1% to -2.4%), favoring echinocandins. The risk difference was -0.4% (95% CI: -7.5% to 6.7%) at 30 days.CONCLUSIONS: In children with invasive candidiasis, initial directed therapy with an echinocandin was associated with reduced failure rate at 14 days but not 30 days. These results may support echinocandins as initial directed therapy for invasive candidiasis in children and adolescents.CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT01869829.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jpids/piab024

    View details for PubMedID 34374424

  • Systematic Review of Approaches to Preserve Machine Learning Performance in the Presence of Temporal Dataset Shift in Clinical Medicine. Applied clinical informatics Guo, L. L., Pfohl, S. R., Fries, J., Posada, J., Fleming, S. L., Aftandilian, C., Shah, N., Sung, L. 2021; 12 (4): 808-815


    OBJECTIVE: The change in performance of machine learning models over time as a result of temporal dataset shift is a barrier to machine learning-derived models facilitating decision-making in clinical practice. Our aim was to describe technical procedures used to preserve the performance of machine learning models in the presence of temporal dataset shifts.METHODS: Studies were included if they were fully published articles that used machine learning and implemented a procedure to mitigate the effects of temporal dataset shift in a clinical setting. We described how dataset shift was measured, the procedures used to preserve model performance, and their effects.RESULTS: Of 4,457 potentially relevant publications identified, 15 were included. The impact of temporal dataset shift was primarily quantified using changes, usually deterioration, in calibration or discrimination. Calibration deterioration was more common (n=11) than discrimination deterioration (n=3). Mitigation strategies were categorized as model level or feature level. Model-level approaches (n=15) were more common than feature-level approaches (n=2), with the most common approaches being model refitting (n=12), probability calibration (n=7), model updating (n=6), and model selection (n=6). In general, all mitigation strategies were successful at preserving calibration but not uniformly successful in preserving discrimination.CONCLUSION: There was limited research in preserving the performance of machine learning models in the presence of temporal dataset shift in clinical medicine. Future research could focus on the impact of dataset shift on clinical decision making, benchmark the mitigation strategies on a wider range of datasets and tasks, and identify optimal strategies for specific settings.

    View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0041-1735184

    View details for PubMedID 34470057

  • Psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young adult cancer survivors and parents of children with cancer. Smith, S. M., Kumar, D., Benedict, C., Heathcote, L. C., Aftandilian, C., Bondy, M., Schapira, L. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2021
  • Molecular and phenotypic diversity of CBL-mutated juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Haematologica Hecht, A., Meyer, J. A., Behnert, A., Wong, E., Chehab, F., Olshen, A., Hechmer, A., Aftandilian, C., Bhat, R., Choi, S. W., Chonat, S., Farrar, J. E., Fluchel, M., Frangoul, H., Han, J. H., Kolb, E. A., Kuo, D. J., MacMillan, M. L., Maese, L., Maloney, K. W., Narendran, A., Oshrine, B., Schultz, K. R., Sulis, M. L., Van Mater, D., Tasian, S. K., Hofmann, W., Loh, M. L., Stieglitz, E. 2020; Online ahead of print


    Mutations in the gene CBL were first identified in adults with various myeloid malignancies. Some patients with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) were also noted to harbor mutations in CBL, but were found to have generally less aggressive disease courses compared to other forms of Ras pathway-mutant JMML. Importantly, and in contrast to most reports in adults, the majority of CBL mutations in JMML patients are germline with acquired uniparental disomy occurring in affected marrow cells. Here, we systematically studied a large cohort of 33 JMML patients with CBL mutations and found this disease to be highly diverse in presentation and overall outcome. Moreover, we discovered somatically-acquired CBL mutations in 15% of pediatric patients who presented with more aggressive disease. Neither clinical features nor methylation profiling were able to distinguish somatic CBL patients from germline CBL patients, highlighting the need for germline testing. Overall, we demonstrate that disease courses are quite heterogeneous even among germline CBL patients. Prospective clinical trials are warranted to find ideal treatment strategies for this diverse cohort of patients.

    View details for DOI 10.3324/haematol.2020.270595

    View details for PubMedID 33375775

  • Paraneoplastic Neurologic Symptoms in a Pediatric Patient with Hodgkin Lymphoma. Cancer investigation Baniel, C. C., Donaldson, S. S., Aftandilian, C., Hiniker, S. M. 2020: 1–7


    Neurological paraneoplastic syndromes are exceedingly rare, and often difficult to recognize clinically. Paraneoplastic achalasia is a condition characterized by new onset dysphagia that is unrelated to tumor burden, most often due to the development of auto-immune antibodies targeting esophageal tissue. Due to the rarity of this condition, diagnosis is often delayed, leading to increased time to treatment. Here we report a case of a rare paraneoplastic achalasia in a female child with EBV+Hodgkin lymphoma, review literature describing paraneoplastic achalasia, and discuss treatment strategies for improving clinical outcome in these patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/07357907.2020.1852412

    View details for PubMedID 33191790

  • Summary of COVID-19 clinical practice adjustments across select institutions PEDIATRIC BLOOD & CANCER Schultz, L., Link, M. P., Rheingold, S., Hawkins, D. S., Dome, J. S., Wickiser, J., Kung, A. L., Henderson, T. O., Aftandilian, C. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.28411

    View details for Web of Science ID 000549825100001

  • Summary of COVID-19 clinical practice adjustments across select institutions. Pediatric blood & cancer Schultz, L., Link, M. P., Rheingold, S., Hawkins, D. S., Dome, J. S., Wickiser, J., Kung, A. L., Henderson, T. O., Aftandilian, C. 2020: e28411

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.28411

    View details for PubMedID 32779834

  • Mucormycosis diagnosed during induction chemotherapy in five pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatric blood & cancer Aftandilian, C., Eguiguren, L., Mathew, R., Messner, A. 2019: e27834


    Mucormycosis in pediatric oncology patients is a rare invasive fungal infection associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We describe five patients diagnosed with mucormycosis during induction chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at our institution. All of the patients in our series survived, some in spite of having disseminated disease. Most of the patients' chemotherapy was modified with the aim of controlling their leukemia while minimizing immunosuppression until their fungal infection was under control. Although mucormycosis is frequently fatal, rapid diagnosis and a multidisciplinary approach can lead to excellent outcomes, even in patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.27834

    View details for PubMedID 31131954

  • Comparison of the Transcriptomic Signature of Pediatric Vs. Adult CML and Normal Bone Marrow Stem Cells Chae, H., Murphy, L. C., Donato, M., Lee, A. G., Sweet-Cordero, E., Abidi, P., Bittencourt, H., Lacayo, N. J., Dahl, G., Aftandilian, C., Davis, K. L., Huang, M., Sumarsono, N., Redell, M., Fu, C. H., Chen, I. L., Alonzo, T. A., Eklund, E. A., Gotlib, J. R., Khatri, P., Hijiya, N., Sakamoto, K. M. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2018
  • Chromation Remodeling Therapy and Capizzi Methotrexate in Treatment-Related MDS/AML Aftandilian, C., Sakamoto, K. M., Davis, K. L., Dahl, G., Lacayo, N. J. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2018
  • Identifying patient- and family-centered outcomes relevant to inpatient versus at-home management of neutropenia in children with acute myeloid leukemia. Pediatric blood & cancer Szymczak, J. E., Getz, K. D., Madding, R., Fisher, B., Raetz, E., Hijiya, N., Gramatges, M. M., Henry, M., Mian, A., Arnold, S. D., Aftandilian, C., Collier, A. B., Aplenc, R. 2018; 65 (4)


    Efficacy of therapeutic strategies relative to patient- and family-centered outcomes in pediatric oncology must be assessed. We sought to identify outcomes important to children with acute myeloid leukemia and their families related to inpatient versus at-home management of neutropenia. We conducted qualitative interviews with 32 children ≥8 years old and 54 parents. Analysis revealed the impact of neutropenia management strategy on siblings, parent anxiety, and child sleep quality as being outcomes of concern across respondents. These themes were used to inform the design of a questionnaire that is currently being used in a prospective, multiinstitutional comparative effectiveness trial.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.26927

    View details for PubMedID 29286570

  • Identifying patient- and family-centered outcomes relevant to inpatient versus at-home management of neutropenia in children with acute myeloid leukemia PEDIATRIC BLOOD & CANCER Szymczak, J. E., Getz, K. D., Madding, R., Fisher, B., Raetz, E., Hijiya, N., Gramatges, M. M., Henry, M., Mian, A., Arnold, S. D., Aftandilian, C., Collier, A. B., Aplenc, R. 2018; 65 (4)

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.26927

    View details for Web of Science ID 000425642100028

  • Multisite external validation of a risk prediction model for the diagnosis of blood stream infections in febrile pediatric oncology patients without severe neutropenia. Cancer Esbenshade, A. J., Zhao, Z., Aftandilian, C., Saab, R., Wattier, R. L., Beauchemin, M., Miller, T. P., Wilkes, J. J., Kelly, M. J., Fernbach, A., Jeng, M., Schwartz, C. L., Dvorak, C. C., Shyr, Y., Moons, K. G., Sulis, M., Friedman, D. L. 2017


    Pediatric oncology patients are at an increased risk of invasive bacterial infection due to immunosuppression. The risk of such infection in the absence of severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count ≥ 500/μL) is not well established and a validated prediction model for blood stream infection (BSI) risk offers clinical usefulness.A 6-site retrospective external validation was conducted using a previously published risk prediction model for BSI in febrile pediatric oncology patients without severe neutropenia: the Esbenshade/Vanderbilt (EsVan) model. A reduced model (EsVan2) excluding 2 less clinically reliable variables also was created using the initial EsVan model derivative cohort, and was validated using all 5 external validation cohorts. One data set was used only in sensitivity analyses due to missing some variables.From the 5 primary data sets, there were a total of 1197 febrile episodes and 76 episodes of bacteremia. The overall C statistic for predicting bacteremia was 0.695, with a calibration slope of 0.50 for the original model and a calibration slope of 1.0 when recalibration was applied to the model. The model performed better in predicting high-risk bacteremia (gram-negative or Staphylococcus aureus infection) versus BSI alone, with a C statistic of 0.801 and a calibration slope of 0.65. The EsVan2 model outperformed the EsVan model across data sets with a C statistic of 0.733 for predicting BSI and a C statistic of 0.841 for high-risk BSI.The results of this external validation demonstrated that the EsVan and EsVan2 models are able to predict BSI across multiple performance sites and, once validated and implemented prospectively, could assist in decision making in clinical practice. Cancer 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.30792

    View details for PubMedID 28542918

  • Pediatric Oncology Discharges With Febrile Neutropenia: Variation in Location of Care JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY ONCOLOGY Alvarez, E., Chamberlain, L. J., Aftandilian, C., Saynina, O., Wise, P. 2017; 39 (1): E1-E7


    We examined the use of Pediatric Cancer Specialty Centers (PCSCs) over time and the length of stay (LOS) in pediatric oncology patients with a diagnosis of febrile neutropenia. PCSCs were defined as Children's Oncology Group and California Children's Services designated centers. We performed a retrospective analysis on all discharges of pediatric (0 to 18) oncology patients with febrile neutropenia in California (1983 to 2011) using the private Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development database. We examined influence of age, sex, race/ethnicity, payer, income, distance, tumor type, and complications on utilization of PCSCs and LOS (SAS 9.2). Analysis of 24,559 pediatric oncology febrile neutropenia discharges showed hospitalizations in PCSCs increasing from 48% in 1983 to 94% in 2011. The adjusted regression analysis showed decreased PCSC utilization for ages 15 to 18, Hispanic patients, and those living >40 miles away. The median PCSC LOS was 9 days compared with 7 days at a non-PCSC (P<0.0001). Discharge from a PCSC was associated with a LOS >8 days after controlling for complications. Inpatient PCSC care for febrile neutropenia in California has increased since 1983. Receiving care at a PCSC is influenced by age, tumor type, ethnicity, geography, and complications.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000716

    View details for Web of Science ID 000391634100001

    View details for PubMedID 27918351

  • Invasive Fungal Disease in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY ONCOLOGY Aftandilian, C., Weinberg, K., Willert, J., Kharbanda, S., Porteus, M., Maldonado, Y., Agarwal, R. 2016; 38 (7): 574-580
  • Invasive Fungal Disease in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant. Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology Aftandilian, C., Weinberg, K., Willert, J., Kharbanda, S., Porteus, M., Maldonado, Y., Agarwal, R. 2016; 38 (7): 574-580


    Invasive fungal disease (IFD) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). We analyzed the outcome of 152 consecutive pediatric patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT from 2005 to 2012: 126 of these without a history of IFD and 26 with IFD before HSCT. Antifungal prophylaxis agent was determined by the primary transplant attending. The rate of IFD after HSCT among patients with or without prior IFD was similar (7.7% with and 7.1% without a history of fungal disease before transplant). Mortality in these 2 populations did not differ (35% vs. 28%, P=0.48, χ). Patients deemed at higher risk for IFD were generally placed on voriconazole prophylaxis; however, this did not affect rates of posttransplant IFD. All-cause mortality in patients with posttransplant IFD was significantly higher than those without posttransplant IFD (67% vs. 21%, P<0.0001,χ). Identifying risk factors for posttransplant IFD remains a high priority to improve outcome of HSCT.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000629

    View details for PubMedID 27658021

  • Evaluation of Febrile, Nonneutropenic Pediatric Oncology Patients with Central Venous Catheters Who Are Not Given Empiric Antibiotics JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS Bartholomew, F., Aftandilian, C., Andrews, J., Gutierrez, K., Luna-Fineman, S., Jeng, M. 2015; 166 (1): 157-162


    To evaluate the practice of empiric antibiotics for febrile, nonneutropenic pediatric oncology patients with a central venous catheter (CVC) in place.Episodes of fever without neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] ≥500 cells/mm(3)) were reviewed retrospectively in pediatric oncology patients with a CVC undergoing chemotherapy. Characteristics and symptoms were compared between patients with bacteremia and patients without bacteremia.A total of 392 episodes of nonneutropenic fever in 138 subjects (52 females; 38%) were reviewed. In this cohort, the median age at an episode was 7 years, and the majority of patients had a diagnosis of acute leukemia (54%). Median ANC was 3100 cells/mm(3) (IQR, 1570-5980 cells/mm(3)). Median temperature was 38.7°C (IQR, 38.3-39.2°C). Twenty-four infectious episodes (6%) occurred in 18 subjects, and 5 CVCs required removal; all patients requiring removal admitted and received antibiotics owing to chills. There were no significant difference in age, sex, or ANC between patients with bacteremia and those without bacteremia; however, mean temperature was higher in the patients with bacteremia (39.4°C vs 38.7°C; P = .003). No deaths due to sepsis occurred, and no CVCs were removed because antibiotics were not administered empirically.Our practice of observing pediatric oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy with CVCs who are not neutropenic does not appear to lead to increased serious adverse outcomes and avoids antibiotic exposure for >90% of patients without a bacterial infection.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.09.008

    View details for PubMedID 25444524

  • The Neutropenic Diet ... Still Ageless? C. Aftandilian Article Reviewed ONCOLOGY-NEW YORK Aftandilian, C. C., Milotich, C., Sakamoto, K. M. 2012; 26 (6): 586-589
  • The neutropenic diet... still ageless? Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.) Aftandilian, C. C., Milotich, C., Sakamoto, K. M. 2012; 26 (6): 586-?

    View details for PubMedID 22870544

  • Burkitt Lymphoma With Pancreatic Involvement JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY ONCOLOGY Aftandilian, C. C., Friedmann, A. M. 2010; 32 (8): E338-E340


    A 10-year-old boy was referred to our clinic for tonsillectomy and was found to have a large mass within his oropharynx. Intraoperative biopsies confirmed Burkitt lymphoma. Further imaging and biopsy revealed pancreatic involvement. He was treated with multiagent chemotherapy. He remains disease-free 6 years later. Review of the literature demonstrates other cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with pancreatic involvement with good outcomes. Pancreatic involvement is a relatively rare occurrence in childhood lymphoma.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPH.0b013e3181ed1178

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283538300021

    View details for PubMedID 20930650

  • Group therapy for substance use disorders: What do we know? HARVARD REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY Weiss, R. D., Jaffee, W. B., de Menil, V. P., Cogley, C. B. 2004; 12 (6): 339-350


    Although group therapy is the most prevalent treatment modality for substance use disorders, an up-to-date review of treatment outcome literature does not exist. A search of the literature yielded 24 treatment outcome studies comparing group therapy to other treatment conditions. These studies fell into one of six research design categories: (1) group therapy versus no group therapy; (2) group therapy versus individual therapy; (3) group therapy plus individual therapy versus group therapy alone; (4) group therapy plus individual therapy versus individual therapy alone; (5) group therapy versus another group therapy with different content or theoretical orientation; and (6) more group therapy versus less group therapy. In general, treatment outcome studies did not demonstrate differences between group and individual modalities, and no single type of group therapy reliably demonstrated greater efficacy than others. Unique methodological and logistical hurdles encountered in research on group therapy for substance use disorders, as well as considerations for future research, are also discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/1067322049095723

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226593100004

    View details for PubMedID 15764469

  • Requiring remission of undue influence of weight and shape on self-evaluation in the definition of recovery for bulimia nervosa Annual Conference of the Academy-for-Eating-Disorders Cogley, C. B., Keel, P. K. JOHN WILEY & SONS INC. 2003: 200–210


    The current study evaluated the concurrent validity of requiring remission of undue influence of weight and shape on self-evaluation (undue influence) in defining recovery from bulimia nervosa (BN).Three groups completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire, the Body Shape Questionnaire, and the Social Adjustment Scale: 31 women were fully recovered from BN (FR), 28 women had no behavioral symptoms of BN (partially recovered [PR]), and 59 matched non-eating-disordered controls (MC).The PR group had more pathologic scores on depression, anxiety, body dissatisfaction, and social adjustment compared with both the FR and MC groups, which did not differ from each other.These findings suggest that including remission of cognitive symptoms in a standardized definition of recovery may prove to be clinically useful in establishing reliable prognostic indicators. Future research should evaluate the role played by cognitive symptoms in triggering relapse.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/eat.10187

    View details for Web of Science ID 000184510900003

    View details for PubMedID 12898556