The Pediatric Oncology Branch's

Leukemia, Lymphoma, Transplant and Cell Therapy Team

Our highly trained team is focused on developing and conducting a wide range of clinical trials in a quest to improve outcomes for children, adolescents, and young adults with leukemias and lymphomas.


Although cure rates are excellent for many subtypes of childhood leukemia and lymphoma, new approaches are needed to overcome resistance to standard therapies and to decrease treatment-associated sequelae in survivors of pediatric cancer.

Our goal, as the Leukemia, Lymphoma, Transplant and Cellular Therapy Team of the Hematologic Malignancies Section, is to develop cutting-edge, early-phase clinical trials for patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies, with a specific focus on developing novel therapies which can overcome chemotherapeutic or immunotherapeutic resistance. The trials implemented by our section seek to improve upon existing strategies, or address unmet needs, and incorporate the study of leukemia biology to optimize outcomes.

Our group is specifically focused on advancing CAR T-cell therapy for children and young adults with acute leukemias and lymphomas. Our focus is on using CAR T-cells to target new tumor markers in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and learn how to best deliver this care safely and effectively. With over a decade worth of experience in treating children and young adults with CAR T-cells and a highly collaborative infrastructure, our team has identified optimal strategies to treat cytokine release syndrome, pioneered novel treatment approaches for CAR T-cell mediated toxicity and embraces a holistic approach to ensure that each patient and family’s individual experiences are incorporated when planning how to optimize care.

Group photo of the team
Top row (L to R): Monica Nair, Sara Silbert, Nirali Shah, Lauren Little; Bottom row (L to R): Chloe Hoang, Toni Foley, Bonnie Yates, Haneen Shalabi, Alex Rankin; Missing: Marita Ollivierre

Our team is a member of the CARnation Consortium, a group of expert researchers and clinicians treating pediatric hematologic malignancies with immunotherapy. 

Doctor talking to a pediatric patient

Patients & Providers

We conduct collaborative clinical trials that focus on developing targeted agents and applying immunotherapy to treat high risk childhood leukemias and lymphomas that do not respond to chemotherapy. Our patients come to us from all over the world to receive treatment when previous therapies have failed. To learn more about our clinical trials, please contact our team.


Contact Our Team

240-858-3536 (Lauren Little, RN) or 240-383-6185 (Toni Foley, RN)


Headshot of Bonnie Yates
Research Nurse
Bonnie Yates, CRNP
Headshot of Toni Foley
Research Nurse
Toni Foley, R.N.
Research Nurse
Lauren Little, R.N.
Christopher D. Chien, Ph.D.
Advanced Studies Fellow
Alex Rankin, M.D.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Chloe Hoang


CARnation Consortium

CARnation Consortium logo

Learn about the efforts of the CARnation Consortium, a multi-institution, multidisciplinary collaborative effort encompassing retrospective and prospective studies focused on improving outcomes following CAR T-cell therapy in children and young adults.

10 Years of CAR T-cells in POB

A banner showing an immune cell celebrating the 10 year anniversary of CAR T cells in POB.

On July 13th, 2022, the POB celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the first patient infused with CD19 CAR T-cells in the Pediatric Oncology Branch. POB staff honored our patients and families and gave talks on key research advancements and milestones in immunotherapy research. Dr. Steve Rosenberg gave the keynote address, "The History of CD19 CAR." 

Watch a recording of the symposium here.

CAR T-cell Therapy: Beyond the Storm - May 2020

Beyond the storm image

Held virtually in May 2020, this conference served to bring together leading institutions and investigators focused on pediatric CAR T-cell efforts for an information exchange to specifically focus on other elements of CAR T-cell toxicities, beyond cytokine release syndrome (CRS).  One aim was to highlight the biologic underpinnings of various elements of the extended toxicity profile exhibited in patients and compile current approaches and best practices utilized in toxicity mitigation and management strategies. Furthermore, with novel antigens and CAR T-cell targets, this conference helped to establish standardized metrics of monitoring for these comprehensive toxicities as we go beyond B-cell targeting. This conference served to lay the foundation of how to best study these extended outcomes and optimize care for patients receiving CAR T-cell therapy, beyond the storm.

Read the resulting publication: Shalabi H., et al. “Beyond the storm - subacute toxicities and late effects in children receiving CAR T cells.” Nat Rev Clin Onc. 2020.