Nicholas A Vitanza, MD

Nicholas A Vitanza, MD

Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Brain Tumor Program, Immunotherapy Program

On staff since August 2016

Children's Title: Attending Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist, Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Academic Title: Associate Professor, Hematology/Oncology

Research Title: Principal Investigator, Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research

Research Center: Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research

"My goal is to find safer and more effective therapies for children with central nervous system (CNS) tumors (meaning, tumors of the brain and spine). As a pediatric neuro-oncologist, the director of the Vitanza Lab at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, and our CNS CAR T cell lead, I am fortunate to work at the intersection where laboratory science translates to new clinical trials. Our work has helped advance epigenetically targeted drugs and targeted immunotherapies - such as CAR T cells - to the clinic for patients with fatal tumors such as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), diffuse midline glioma (DMG), and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). Overseeing our multiple open CNS CAR T cell trials has allowed me to connect with in need families from all over the world and our pledge is to provide expert, compassionate care to each child we meet."

  • Biography

    Dr. Nicholas Vitanza is a pediatric neuro-oncologist and translational scientist whose career is dedicated to the care of children with high-grade CNS tumors, particularly diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), diffuse midline glioma H3K27M-altered (DMG), and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). During his pediatric oncology fellowship with Drs. Bill Carroll and Elizabeth Raetz at New York University, laboratory projects led to a COG clinical trial and an ASPHO award. He completed a second fellowship in pediatric neuro-oncology at Stanford University and a post-doc in Michelle Monje’s neuroscience/DIPG Lab, in which he performed high-throughput drug screens in patient-derived DIPG models and mechanistic analyses of epigenetic vulnerabilities in DIPG. This work led to publications in Cancer Cell and Science Translational Medicine, as well as a phase 1 clinical trial.

    In 2016, Dr. Vitanza joined the faculty at Seattle Children’s Hospital. His work and the work of the Vitanza Lab has focused on creating treatment-naïve biopsy-derived patient-derived DIPG/DMG models, discovering targetable molecular and immunologic vulnerabilities in these tumors, and translating these findings into innovative new clinical trials. Dr. Vitanza serves as Seattle Children’s DIPG Research Lead, overseeing a dedicated research program spanning laboratory work to patient care, and CNS CAR T Cell Lead, overseeing CAR T cell clinical trials for brain and spinal cord tumor patients. He has served as the Study Chair of multiple trials delivering repeated, locoregional chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, including BrainChild-01 (targeting HER2), BrainChild-02 (targeted EGFR), BrainChild-03 (targeting B7-H3), and BrainChild-04 (multi-antigen targeting of HER, EGFR, B7-H3, and IL-13ra2). BrainChild-03 and BrainChild-04 continue to actively enroll patients. His work has been shared at international conferences such as the International Society of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology and published in journals such as Neuro-Oncology, Nature Medicine, and Cancer Discovery. He was also an invited researcher to the Cancer Moonshot Brain Tumor Forum at the White House in 2023.

    His goal is to better understand vulnerabilities in DIPG, DMG, and ATRT; translate those scientific discoveries into improved outcomes for affected children; and ultimately cure the remaining incurable CNS tumors of childhood.


    • Related Pages

    • Vitanza Lab

      The Vitanza lab searches for new treatments that are both safe and curative for aggressive pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors, such as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), diffuse midline glioma H3 K27M-mutant (DMG), and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT).

    • Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Research Program

      Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and diffuse midline gliomas (DMG) are aggressive childhood cancers. The DIPG Research Program at Seattle Children’s focuses on development of new therapies for aggressive brain and central nervous system tumors through optimization of clinical care.

  • Patient Testimonials
    • Ryan Sandy Utah 04.06.21

      Dr Vitanza is the absolute best of the best. He has been guiding us with our five year old daughter, who was diagnosed with DIPG brain cancer, since the summer of 2020. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about his field of work, he is extremely compassionate and goes above and beyond to to provide support to families that have been dealt the most unimaginable diagnosis for their child. I feel that Dr. Vitanza has the children’s absolutely best interest at heart and his medical advice is a balance of beating the disease they have, while factoring in the best possible quality of life for their situation. I have never met a medical professional to his degree of patient dedication. He is also extremely responsive to any questions or concerns we have had and has an unrivaled response time to any questions we have directed to him. I am a hard person to gain my loyalty and trust and I can assure you that Dr. Vitanza has my complete trust for guidance for my daughter whom I care more about than anyone in this world. I would normally try and add some negative qualities to a review like this for a balanced critique but I honestly have nothing negative to say. Seattle Children’s is fortunate to have such dedicated Dr’s and staff.

  • Awards and Honors
    Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    Community Hero Award Seattle Sounders 2021
    Outstanding Research Award Stanford University, 7th Annual Stanford Pediatric Research Retreat 2016
    Outstanding Research Commendation International Society of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Conference, Liverpool, UK 2016
    Young Investigator Award American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 2014
    Research Training Award for Fellows (RTAF) American Society of Hematology 2013
    Frances Pope Memorial Foundation Fellow New York University Langone Medical Center 2012
    Resident Researcher of the Year Award Stony Brook University 2011
    Resident Teacher of the Year Award Stony Brook University 2009
  • Publications

    Book Chapters

    • Vitanza NA, Campen CJ, Fisher PG
      Epidemiology of Pediatric CNS Tumors
      Brain Tumors in Children, 2018
    • Vitanza NA, Fisher PG, Monje M.
      Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
      Swaiman's Pediatric Neurology: Principles and Practice , 7th Editio(2023)

    Other Publications

    • Thomas BC, Staudt DE, Douglas AM, Monje M, Vitanza NA, Dun MD
      CAR T cell therapies for diffuse midline glioma.
      37541803 Trends in cancer, 2023 Oct. : 9(10)791-804
    • Noll A, Myers C, Biery MC, Meechan M, Tahiri S, Rajendran A, Berens ME, Paine D, Byron S, Zhang J, Winter C, Pakiam F, Leary SES, Cole BL, Jackson ER, Dun MD, Foster JB, Evans MK, Pattwell SS, Olson JM, Vitanza NA
      Therapeutic HDAC inhibition in hypermutant diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
      37603953 Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 2023 Sept. : 43100921 PMCID:PMC10465940
    • Foster JB, Alonso MM, Sayour E, Davidson TB, Persson ML, Dun MD, Kline C, Mueller S, Vitanza NA, van der Lugt J
      Translational considerations for immunotherapy clinical trials in pediatric neuro-oncology.
      37244226 Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 2023 Aug. : 42100909 PMCID:PMC10232854
    • Crotty EE, Wilson AL, Davidson T, Tahiri S, Gust J, Griesinger AM, Venkataraman S, Park JR, Mueller S, Rood BR, Hwang EI, Wang LD, Vitanza NA
      Cellular Therapy for Children with Central Nervous System Tumors: Mining and Mapping the Correlative Data.
      37160547 Current oncology reports, 2023 Aug. : 25(8)847-855 PMCID:PMC10326126
    • Jackson ER, Duchatel RJ, Staudt DE, Persson ML, Mannan A, Yadavilli S, Parackal S, Game S, Chong WC, Jayasekara WSN, Grand ML, Kearney PS, Douglas AM, Findlay IJ, Germon ZP, McEwen HP, Beitaki TS, Patabendige A, Skerrett-Byrne DA, Nixon B, Smith ND, Day B, Manoharan N, Nagabushan S, Hansford JR, Govender D, McCowage GB, Firestein R, Howlett M, Endersby R, Gottardo NG, Alvaro F, Waszak SM, Larsen MR, Colino-Sanguino Y, Valdes-Mora F, Rakotomalala A, Meignan S, Pasquier E, André N, Hulleman E, Eisenstat DD, Vitanza NA, Nazarian J, Koschmann C, Mueller S, Cain JE, Dun MD
      ONC201 in Combination with Paxalisib for the Treatment of H3K27-Altered Diffuse Midline Glioma.
      37195023 Cancer research, 2023 May 17 : OF1-OF17
    • Jackson ER, Duchatel RJ, Staudt DE, Persson ML, Mannan A, Yadavilli S, Parackal S, Game S, Chong WC, Jayasekara WSN, Le Grand M, Kearney PS, Douglas AM, Findlay IJ, Germon ZP, McEwen HP, Beitaki TS, Patabendige A, Skerrett-Byrne DA, Nixon B, Smith ND, Day B, Manoharan N, Nagabushan S, Hansford JR, Govender D, McCowage GB, Firestein R, Howlett M, Endersby R, Gottardo NG, Alvaro F, Waszak SM, Larsen MR, Colino-Sanguino Y, Valdés-Mora F, Rakotomalala A, Meignan S, Pasquier E, Andre N, Hulleman E, Eisenstat DD, Vitanza NA, Nazarian J, Koschmann C, Mueller S, Cain JE, Dun MD
      ONC201 in combination with paxalisib for the treatment of H3K27-altered diffuse midline glioma.
      37145169 Cancer research, 2023 May 5
    • Mahdi J, Dietrich J, Straathof K, Roddie C, Scott BJ, Davidson TB, Prolo LM, Batchelor TT, Campen CJ, Davis KL, Gust J, Lim M, Majzner RG, Park JR, Partap S, Ramakrishna S, Richards R, Schultz L, Vitanza NA, Wang LD, Mackall CL, Monje M
      Tumor inflammation-associated neurotoxicity.
      37024595 Nature medicine, 2023 April : 29(4)803-810 PMCID:PMC10166099
    • Harvey K, Madsen PJ, Smith T, Griffin C, Patterson L, Vitanza NA, Storm PB, Resnick AC, Foster JB
      Intracranial Cannula Implantation for Serial Locoregional Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell Infusions in Mice.
      36912520 Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, 2023 Feb 24 : (192) PMCID:PMC10353014
    • Vitanza NA, Ronsley R, Choe M, Henson C, Breedt M, Barrios-Anderson A, Wein A, Brown C, Beebe A, Kong A, Kirkey D, Lee BM, Leary SES, Crotty EE, Hoeppner C, Holtzclaw S, Wilson AL, Gustafson JA, Foster JB, Iliff JJ, Goldstein HE, Browd SR, Lee A, Ojemann JG, Pinto N, Gust J, Gardner RA, Jensen MC, Hauptman JS, Park JR
      Locoregional CAR T cells for children with CNS tumors: Clinical procedure and catheter safety.
      36599192 Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 2023 Feb. : 36100870 PMCID:PMC9823206
    • Vitanza NA, Wilson AL, Huang W, Seidel K, Brown C, Gustafson JA, Yokoyama JK, Johnson AJ, Baxter BA, Koning RW, Reid AN, Meechan M, Biery MC, Myers C, Rawlings-Rhea SD, Albert CM, Browd SR, Hauptman JS, Lee A, Ojemann JG, Berens ME, Dun MD, Foster JB, Crotty EE, Leary SES, Cole BL, Perez FA, Wright JN, Orentas RJ, Chour T, Newell EW, Whiteaker JR, Zhao L, Paulovich AG, Pinto N, Gust J, Gardner RA, Jensen MC, Park JR
      Intraventricular B7-H3 CAR T Cells for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma: Preliminary First-in-Human Bioactivity and Safety.
      36259971 Cancer discovery, 2023 Jan 9 : 13(1)114-131 PMCID:PMC9827115
    • Hoellerbauer P, Biery MC, Arora S, Rao Y, Girard EJ, Mitchell K, Dighe P, Kufeld M, Kuppers DA, Herman JA, Holland EC, Soroceanu L, Vitanza NA, Olson JM, Pritchard JR, Paddison PJ
      Functional genomic analysis of adult and pediatric brain tumor isolates.
      36711964 bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2023 Jan 6 : PMCID:PMC9881972
    • Messinger D, Harris MK, Cummings JR, Thomas C, Yang T, Sweha SR, Woo R, Siddaway R, Burkert M, Stallard S, Qin T, Mullan B, Siada R, Ravindran R, Niculcea M, Dowling AR, Bradin J, Ginn KF, Gener MAH, Dorris K, Vitanza NA, Schmidt SV, Spitzer J, Li J, Filbin MG, Cao X, Castro MG, Lowenstein PR, Mody R, Chinnaiyan A, Desprez PY, McAllister S, Dun MD, Hawkins C, Waszak SM, Venneti S, Koschmann C, Yadav VN
      Therapeutic targeting of prenatal pontine ID1 signaling in diffuse midline glioma.
      35605606 Neuro-oncology, 2023 Jan 5 : 25(1)54-67 PMCID:PMC9825316
    • Boop S, Bonda D, Randle S, Leary S, Vitanza N, Crotty E, Novotny E, Friedman S, Ellenbogen RG, Durfy S, Goldstein H, Ojemann JG, Hauptman JS
      A Comparison of Clinical Outcomes for Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytomas Treated with Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy, Open Surgical Resection, and mTOR Inhibitors.
      37232001 Pediatric neurosurgery, 2023 : 58(3)150-159
    • Persson ML, Douglas AM, Alvaro F, Faridi P, Larsen MR, Alonso MM, Vitanza NA, Dun MD
      The intrinsic and microenvironmental features of diffuse midline glioma: Implications for the development of effective immunotherapeutic treatment strategies.
      35481923 Neuro-oncology, 2022 Sep 1 : 24(9)1408-1422 PMCID:PMC9435509
    • Przystal JM, Cianciolo Cosentino C, Yadavilli S, Zhang J, Laternser S, Bonner ER, Prasad R, Dawood AA, Lobeto N, Chin Chong W, Biery MC, Myers C, Olson JM, Panditharatna E, Kritzer B, Mourabit S, Vitanza NA, Filbin MG, de Iuliis GN, Dun MD, Koschmann C, Cain JE, Grotzer MA, Waszak SM, Mueller S, Nazarian J
      Imipridones affect tumor bioenergetics and promote cell lineage differentiation in diffuse midline gliomas.
      35157764 Neuro-oncology, 2022 Sep 1 : 24(9)1438-1451 PMCID:PMC9435508
    • Cantor E, Wierzbicki K, Tarapore RS, Ravi K, Thomas C, Cartaxo R, Nand Yadav V, Ravindran R, Bruzek AK, Wadden J, John V, May Babila C, Cummings JR, Rahman Kawakibi A, Ji S, Ramos J, Paul A, Walling D, Leonard M, Robertson P, Franson A, Mody R, Garton HJL, Venneti S, Odia Y, Kline C, Vitanza NA, Khatua S, Mueller S, Allen JE, Gardner SL, Koschmann C
      Serial H3K27M cell-free tumor DNA (cf-tDNA) tracking predicts ONC201 treatment response and progression in diffuse midline glioma.
      35137228 Neuro-oncology, 2022 Aug 1 : 24(8)1366-1374 PMCID:PMC9340643
    • Zhang M, Wong SW, Wright JN, Wagner MW, Toescu S, Han M, Tam LT, Zhou Q, Ahmadian SS, Shpanskaya K, Lummus S, Lai H, Eghbal A, Radmanesh A, Nemelka J, Harward S 2nd, Malinzak M, Laughlin S, Perreault S, Braun KRM, Lober RM, Cho YJ, Ertl-Wagner B, Ho CY, Mankad K, Vogel H, Cheshier SH, Jacques TS, Aquilina K, Fisher PG, Taylor M, Poussaint T, Vitanza NA, Grant GA, Pfister S, Thompson E, Jaju A, Ramaswamy V, Yeom KW
      MRI Radiogenomics of Pediatric Medulloblastoma: A Multicenter Study.
      35438562 Radiology, 2022 Aug. : 304(2)406-416 PMCID:PMC9340239
    • Zhang M, Wang E, Yecies D, Tam LT, Han M, Toescu S, Wright JN, Altinmakas E, Chen E, Radmanesh A, Nemelka J, Oztekin O, Wagner MW, Lober RM, Ertl-Wagner B, Ho CY, Mankad K, Vitanza NA, Cheshier SH, Jacques TS, Fisher PG, Aquilina K, Said M, Jaju A, Pfister S, Taylor MD, Grant GA, Mattonen S, Ramaswamy V, Yeom KW
      Radiomic signatures of posterior fossa ependymoma: Molecular subgroups and risk profiles.
      34850171 Neuro-oncology, 2022 Jun 1 : 24(6)986-994 PMCID:PMC9159456
    • Scherpelz KP, Crotty EE, Paulson VA, Lockwood CM, Leary SES, Ellenbogen RG, Lee A, Ermoian RP, Vitanza NA, Cole BL
      Two cases of pineal anlage tumor with molecular analysis.
      35129878 Pediatric blood & cancer, 2022 April : 69(4)e29596
    • Levy S, Somasundaram L, Raj IX, Ic-Mex D, Phal A, Schmidt S, Ng WI, Mar D, Decarreau J, Moss N, Alghadeer A, Honkanen H, Sarthy J, Vitanza A, Hawkins RD, Mathieu J, Wang Y, Baker D, Bomsztyk K, Ruohola-Baker H
      dCas9 fusion to computer-designed PRC2 inhibitor reveals functional TATA box in distal promoter region.
      35235780 Cell reports, 2022 Mar 1 : 38(9)110457 PMCID:PMC8984963
    • Gardner SL, Tarapore RS, Allen J, McGovern SL, Zaky W, Odia Y, Daghistani D, Diaz Z, Hall MD, Khatib Z, Koschmann C, Cantor E, Kurokawa R, MacDonald TJ, Aguilera D, Vitanza NA, Mueller S, Kline C, Lu G, Allen JE, Khatua S
      Phase I dose escalation and expansion trial of single agent ONC201 in pediatric diffuse midline gliomas following radiotherapy.
      36382108 Neuro-oncology advances, 2022 Jan. : 4(1)vdac143 PMCID:PMC9639395
    • Findlay IJ, De Iuliis GN, Duchatel RJ, Jackson ER, Vitanza NA, Cain JE, Waszak SM, Dun MD
      Pharmaco-proteogenomic profiling of pediatric diffuse midline glioma to inform future treatment strategies.
      34759345 Oncogene, 2021 Nov 10
    • Ganapathi SS, Havard ME, Ferguson M, Cole BL, Millard NE, Vitanza NA
      Extramedullary Hematopoiesis in the Dura Mater During Treatment of a CNS Embryonal Tumor.
      33031159 Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology, 2021 Nov 1 : 43(8)e1217-e1219
    • Zhang M, Wong SW, Wright JN, Toescu S, Mohammadzadeh M, Han M, Lummus S, Wagner MW, Yecies D, Lai H, Eghbal A, Radmanesh A, Nemelka J, Harward S, Malinzak M, Laughlin S, Perreault S, Braun KRM, Vossough A, Poussaint T, Goetti R, Ertl-Wagner B, Ho CY, Oztekin O, Ramaswamy V, Mankad K, Vitanza NA, Cheshier SH, Said M, Aquilina K, Thompson E, Jaju A, Grant GA, Lober RM, Yeom KW
      Machine Assist for Pediatric Posterior Fossa Tumor Diagnosis: A Multinational Study.
      34392363 Neurosurgery, 2021 Oct 13 : 89(5)892-900
    • Field MT, Chapple A, Hoeppner C, Boiko JR, Tellinghuisen A, Joshi S, Vitanza NA
      Care Coordination in a SARS-CoV-2-infected Child With Newly Diagnosed Medulloblastoma and Fanconi Anemia.
      33235157 Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology, 2021 Oct 1 : 43(7)e972-e974
    • Karajannis MA, Mauguen A, Maloku E, Xu Q, Dunbar EM, Plotkin SR, Yaffee A, Wang S, Roland JT, Sen C, Placantonakis DG, Golfinos JG, Allen JC, Vitanza NA, Chiriboga LA, Schneider RJ, Deng J, Neubert TA, Goldberg JD, Zagzag D, Giancotti FG, Blakeley JO
      Phase 0 Clinical Trial of Everolimus in Patients with Vestibular Schwannoma or Meningioma.
      34224367 Molecular cancer therapeutics, 2021 Sept. : 20(9)1584-1591 PMCID:PMC8419097
    • Vitanza NA, Johnson AJ, Wilson AL, Brown C, Yokoyama JK, Künkele A, Chang CA, Rawlings-Rhea S, Huang W, Seidel K, Albert CM, Pinto N, Gust J, Finn LS, Ojemann JG, Wright J, Orentas RJ, Baldwin M, Gardner RA, Jensen MC, Park JR
      Locoregional infusion of HER2-specific CAR T cells in children and young adults with recurrent or refractory CNS tumors: an interim analysis.
      34253928 Nature medicine, 2021 Sept. : 27(9)1544-1552
    • Vitanza NA, Biery MC, Myers C, Ferguson E, Zheng Y, Girard EJ, Przystal JM, Park G, Noll A, Pakiam F, Winter CA, Morris SM, Sarthy J, Cole BL, Leary SES, Crane C, Lieberman NAP, Mueller S, Nazarian J, Gottardo R, Brusniak MY, Mhyre AJ, Olson JM
      Optimal therapeutic targeting by HDAC inhibition in biopsy-derived treatment-naïve diffuse midline glioma models.
      33130903 Neuro-oncology, 2021 Mar 25 : 23(3)376-386 PMCID:PMC7992886
    • Vitanza NA, Khalatbari H, Ermoian R, Sarthy J, Lockwood CM, Cole BL, Leary SES
      Molecularly Targeted Treatments for NF1-Mutant Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
      32862234 The journal of applied laboratory medicine, 2021 Mar 1 : 6(2)550-553
    • Crotty E, Downey K, Ferrerosa L, Flores C, Hegde B, Raskin S, Hwang E, Vitanza N, Okada H
      Considerations when treating high-grade pediatric glioma patients with immunotherapy.
      33225764 Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 2021 Feb. : 21(2)205-219 PMCID:PMC7880880
    • Duchatel RJ, Mannan A, Woldu AS, Hawtrey T, Hindley PA, Douglas AM, Jackson ER, Findlay IJ, Germon ZP, Staudt D, Kearney PS, Smith ND, Hindley KE, Cain JE, André N, La Madrid AM, Nixon B, De Iuliis GN, Nazarian J, Irish K, Alvaro F, Eisenstat DD, Beck A, Vitanza NA, Mueller S, Morris JC, Dun MD
      Preclinical and clinical evaluation of German-sourced ONC201 for the treatment of H3K27M-mutant diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
      34988452 Neuro-oncology advances, 2021 Jan. : 3(1)vdab169 PMCID:PMC8709907
    • Tam LT, Yeom KW, Wright JN, Jaju A, Radmanesh A, Han M, Toescu S, Maleki M, Chen E, Campion A, Lai HA, Eghbal AA, Oztekin O, Mankad K, Hargrave D, Jacques TS, Goetti R, Lober RM, Cheshier SH, Napel S, Said M, Aquilina K, Ho CY, Monje M, Vitanza NA, Mattonen SA
      MRI-based radiomics for prognosis of pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: an international study.
      33977272 Neuro-oncology advances, 2021 Jan. : 3(1)vdab042 PMCID:PMC8095337
    • Petralia F, Tignor N, Reva B, Koptyra M, Chowdhury S, Rykunov D, Krek A, Ma W, Zhu Y, Ji J, Calinawan A, Whiteaker JR, Colaprico A, Stathias V, Omelchenko T, Song X, Raman P, Guo Y, Brown MA, Ivey RG, Szpyt J, Guha Thakurta S, Gritsenko MA, Weitz KK, Lopez G, Kalayci S, Gümüş ZH, Yoo S, da Veiga Leprevost F, Chang HY, Krug K, Katsnelson L, Wang Y, Kennedy JJ, Voytovich UJ, Zhao L, Gaonkar KS, Ennis BM, Zhang B, Baubet V, Tauhid L, Lilly JV, Mason JL, Farrow B, Young N, Leary S, Moon J, Petyuk VA, Nazarian J, Adappa ND, Palmer JN, Lober RM, Rivero-Hinojosa S, Wang LB, Wang JM, Broberg M, Chu RK, Moore RJ, Monroe ME, Zhao R, Smith RD, Zhu J, Robles AI, Mesri M, Boja E, Hiltke T, Rodriguez H, Zhang B, Schadt EE, Mani DR, Ding L, Iavarone A, Wiznerowicz M, Schürer S, Chen XS, Heath AP, Rokita JL, Nesvizhskii AI, Fenyö D, Rodland KD, Liu T, Gygi SP, Paulovich AG, Resnick AC, Storm PB, Rood BR, Wang P, Children’s Brain Tumor Network., Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium.
      Integrated Proteogenomic Characterization across Major Histological Types of Pediatric Brain Cancer.
      33242424 Cell, 2020 Dec 23 : 183(7)1962-1985.e31 PMCID:PMC8143193
    • Biery MC, Noll A, Myers C, Morris SM, Winter CA, Pakiam F, Cole BL, Browd SR, Olson JM, Vitanza NA
      A Protocol for the Generation of Treatment-naïve Biopsy-derived Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma and Diffuse Midline Glioma Models.
      33768215 Journal of experimental neurology, 2020 Dec. : 1(4)158-167 PMCID:PMC7990285
    • Sarthy JF, Meers MP, Janssens DH, Henikoff JG, Feldman H, Paddison PJ, Lockwood CM, Vitanza NA, Olson JM, Ahmad K, Henikoff S
      Histone deposition pathways determine the chromatin landscapes of H3.1 and H3.3 K27M oncohistones.
      32902381 eLife, 2020 Sep 9 : 9 PMCID:PMC7518889
    • Crotty EE, Leary SES, Geyer JR, Olson JM, Millard NE, Sato AA, Ermoian RP, Cole BL, Lockwood CM, Paulson VA, Browd SR, Ellenbogen RG, Hauptman JS, Lee A, Ojemann JG, Vitanza NA
      Children with DIPG and high-grade glioma treated with temozolomide, irinotecan, and bevacizumab: the Seattle Children's Hospital experience.
      32556862 Journal of neuro-oncology, 2020 July : 148(3)607-617
    • Michaiel G, Strother D, Gottardo N, Bartels U, Coltin H, Hukin J, Wilson B, Zelcer S, Hansford JR, Hassall T, AbdelBaki MS, Cole KA, Hoffman L, Smiley NP, Smith A, Vinitsky A, Vitanza NA, Wright A, Yeo KK, Chow LML, Vanan MI, Dhall G, Bouffet E, Lafay-Cousin L
      Intracranial growing teratoma syndrome (iGTS): an international case series and review of the literature.
      32297094 Journal of neuro-oncology, 2020 May : 147(3)721-730
    • Williams JR, Young CC, Vitanza NA, McGrath M, Feroze AH, Browd SR, Hauptman JS
      Progress in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: advocating for stereotactic biopsy in the standard of care.
      31896081 Neurosurgical focus, 2020 Jan 1 : 48(1)E4
    • Ravanpay AC, Gust J, Johnson AJ, Rolczynski LS, Cecchini M, Chang CA, Hoglund VJ, Mukherjee R, Vitanza NA, Orentas RJ, Jensen MC
      EGFR806-CAR T cells selectively target a tumor-restricted EGFR epitope in glioblastoma.
      31903167 Oncotarget, 2019 Dec 17 : 10(66)7080-7095 PMCID:PMC6925027
    • Lin GL, Wilson KM, Ceribelli M, Stanton BZ, Woo PJ, Kreimer S, Qin EY, Zhang X, Lennon J, Nagaraja S, Morris PJ, Quezada M, Gillespie SM, Duveau DY, Michalowski AM, Shinn P, Guha R, Ferrer M, Klumpp-Thomas C, Michael S, McKnight C, Minhas P, Itkin Z, Raabe EH, Chen L, Ghanem R, Geraghty AC, Ni L, Andreasson KI, Vitanza NA, Warren KE, Thomas CJ, Monje M
      Therapeutic strategies for diffuse midline glioma from high-throughput combination drug screening.
      31748226 Science translational medicine, 2019 Nov 20 : 11(519) PMCID:PMC7132630
    • Ermoian RP, Vitanza NA
      No Further Therapy.
      31327426 International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics, 2019 Aug 1 : 104(5)969-970
    • Vitanza NA, Monje M
      Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma: From Diagnosis to Next-Generation Clinical Trials.
      31290035 Current treatment options in neurology, 2019 Jul 10 : 21(8)37
    • Steineck A, Krumm N, Sarthy JF, Pritchard CC, Chapman T, Stacey AW, Vitanza NA, Cole B
      Response to Pembrolizumab in a Patient With Xeroderma Pigmentosum and Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
      32923855 JCO precision oncology, 2019 : 3 PMCID:PMC7446378
    • Lieberman NAP, DeGolier K, Kovar HM, Davis A, Hoglund V, Stevens J, Winter C, Deutsch G, Furlan SN, Vitanza NA, Leary SES, Crane CA
      Characterization of the immune microenvironment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: implications for development of immunotherapy.
      30169876 Neuro-oncology, 2019 Jan 1 : 21(1)83-94 PMCID:PMC6303470
    • Bayart CB, Ishak GE, Finn LS, Lee A, Baran F, Sun A, Gupta D, Vitanza NA
      Pilocytic astrocytoma with leptomeningeal spread in a patient with incontinentia pigmenti presenting with unilateral nystagmus.
      29171168 Pediatric blood & cancer, 2018 March : 65(3)
    • Lieberman NAP, Vitanza NA, Crane CA
      Immunotherapy for brain tumors: understanding early successes and limitations.
      29322843 Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 2018 March : 18(3)251-259
    • Rogawski DS, Vitanza NA, Gauthier AC, Ramaswamy V, Koschmann C
      Integrating RNA sequencing into neuro-oncology practice.
      28746860 Translational research : the journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 2017 Nov. : 18993-104 PMCID:PMC5659901
    • Marini BL, Benitez LL, Zureick AH, Salloum R, Gauthier AC, Brown J, Wu YM, Robinson DR, Kumar C, Lonigro R, Vats P, Cao X, Kasaian K, Anderson B, Mullan B, Chandler B, Linzey JR, Camelo-Piragua SI, Venneti S, McKeever PE, McFadden KA, Lieberman AP, Brown N, Shao L, Leonard MAS, Junck L, McKean E, Maher CO, Garton HJL, Muraszko KM, Hervey-Jumper S, Mulcahy-Levy JM, Green A, Hoffman LM, Dorris K, Vitanza NA, Wang J, Schwartz J, Lulla R, Smiley NP, Bornhorst M, Haas-Kogan DA, Robertson PL, Chinnaiyan AM, Mody R, Koschmann C
      Blood-brain barrier-adapted precision medicine therapy for pediatric brain tumors.
      28860053 Translational research : the journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 2017 Oct. : 18827.e1-27.e14 PMCID:PMC5584679
    • Nagaraja S, Vitanza NA, Woo PJ, Taylor KR, Liu F, Zhang L, Li M, Meng W, Ponnuswami A, Sun W, Ma J, Hulleman E, Swigut T, Wysocka J, Tang Y, Monje M
      Transcriptional Dependencies in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
      28434841 Cancer cell, 2017 May 8 : 31(5)635-652.e6 PMCID:PMC5462626
    • Vitanza NA, Partap S
      Pediatric Ependymoma.
      26503805 Journal of child neurology, 2016 Oct. : 31(12)1354-66
    • Vitanza NA
      50 Years Ago in TheJournal ofPediatrics: Induction of Remission in Acute Leukemia of Childhood by Combination of Prednisone and Either 6-Mercaptopurine or Methotrexate.
      27234282 The Journal of pediatrics, 2016 June : 173100
    • Vitanza NA, Shaw TM, Gardner SL, Allen JC, Harter DH, Karajannis MA
      Noncarboplatin-induced Sensorineural Hearing Loss in a Patient With an Intracranial Nongerminomatous Germ Cell Tumor.
      23652864 Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology, 2016 May : 38(4)312-6
    • Vitanza NA, Cho YJ
      Advances in the biology and treatment of pediatric central nervous system tumors.
      26709691 Current opinion in pediatrics, 2016 Feb. : 28(1)34-9
    • Vitanza NA, Hogan LE, Zhang G, Parker RI
      The Progression of Bone Mineral Density Abnormalities After Chemotherapy for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
      25222061 Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology, 2015 July : 37(5)356-61
    • Vitanza NA
      50 Years Ago in The Journal of Pediatrics: A Long-Term Study of Cerebrospinal Leukemia.
      26117636 The Journal of pediatrics, 2015 July : 167(1)80
    • Vitanza NA, Zaky W, Blum R, Meyer JA, Wang J, Bhatla T, Morrison DJ, Raetz EA, Carroll WL
      Ikaros deletions in BCR-ABL-negative childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia are associated with a distinct gene expression signature but do not result in intrinsic chemoresistance.
      24976218 Pediatric blood & cancer, 2014 Oct. : 61(10)1779-85 PMCID:PMC4217284
    • Bhatla T, Jones CL, Meyer JA, Vitanza NA, Raetz EA, Carroll WL
      The biology of relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia: opportunities for therapeutic interventions.
      24942023 Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology, 2014 Aug. : 36(6)413-8 PMCID:PMC4264573
  • Research Funding
    Grant Title Grantor Amount Award Date
    We Love You Connie Foundation Research Grant 2022 - 2026
    Cookies for Kid's Cancer Translational Science Award 2021 - 2023
    Defeat DIPG/ChadTough Young Investigator Award 2019 - 2020
    American Society of Hematology Research Training Award Jul 1, 2013 - Jun 30, 2014
    Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine Catalytic Collaboration Award
    Matthew Larson Grant 2022


Board Certification(s)

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Medical/Professional School

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Cupecoy
New York University, New York, New York


State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY


Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital-Stanford, Palo Alto, CA
New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY
NYU Langone Hospital, New York, NY
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Clinical Interests

Brain and spinal cord tumors of childhood; diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG); diffuse midline glioma (DMG); CAR T cell immunotherapy; early phase clinical trials

Research Description

My laboratory research focuses on developing new, targeted drugs and CAR T cell therapies against pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors, particularly diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), diffuse midline glioma (DMG), and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT).

Research Focus Area

DIPG, DMG, ATRT, CAR T cell therapy, epigenetics, early phase clinical trials