Nirali N. Shah, M.D., M.H.Sc.
- Center for Cancer Research
- National Cancer Institute
- Building 10-CRC, Room 1-5752
- Bethesda, MD 20814-1826
Dr. Shah is a physician scientist who serves as the Head of the Hematologic Malignancies Section of the Pediatric Oncology Branch. Her research focuses on the development of targeted immunotherapy approaches to treat high-risk blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, in children, adolescents, and young adults. She is also interested in the prevention and treatment of relapsed disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Her clinical trials focus on exploring and improving chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell based therapies and other antibody-based therapies to target surface proteins found on leukemia cells to improve outcomes for patients with blood cancers that do not respond to chemotherapy. Her research aims to reduce the toxicities and late effects of these therapies. Dr. Shah also served as the NCI Fellowship Program director for the joint Johns Hopkins Hospital-National Cancer Institute Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program and is an alumnus of the program.
Areas of Expertise
1) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for pediatric leukemia, 2) immunotherapy for relapsed/refractory pediatric leukemia and lymphoma, 3) early-phase clinical trials in pediatric oncology, 4) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, 5) bioethics of pediatric phase I clinical trials
Information for Patients
Learn more about the Leukemia, Lymphoma, Transplant and Cell Therapy Team and clinical trials.
Dr. Shah’s research focuses on translation of immunotherapeutic approaches to treat high-risk hematologic malignancies in children, adolescents, and young adults. Her clinical work has included implementation of conduct of several Phase I trials for the treatment of relapsed/refractory pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Prior trials have included a pediatric phase I trial of vincristine sulfate liposomal injections (Marqibo®), a pediatric phase I trial of moxetumomab pasudotox, (an anti-CD22 targeted immunotoxin based therapy), and a pilot trial using WT1 dendritic cell vaccines for the treatment of post-transplant relapsed leukemia. Results from the trials have included establishment of a safety profile, identification of a dose and an understanding of pharmacokinetics leading to development of Phase 2 multicenter studies that she will be leading. More recently she has led the effort in CAR-T cell therapy targeting CD22 for the treatment of relapsed/refractory ALL and will be leading a trial using a combinatorial CD19/CD22 targeted CAR-T cell approach.
In addition to her work in leukemia, she also serves to support pediatric transplantation at the NCI by serving as an associate investigator on several transplant trials focused on patients with primary immunodeficiency and is leading the effort on transplantation for children with DOCK8 deficiency in collaboration with investigators in NIAID.
Other collaborative research efforts include studies on:
- CAR-T cell toxicity
- Infectious disease
- Patient-reported outcomes
- Late effects
- Antigen modulation
- Education of minors who donate stem cells
CD22-targeted CAR T cells induce remission in B-ALL that is naive or resistant to CD19-targeted CAR immunotherapy.
Blinatumomab Nonresponse and High-Disease Burden Are Associated With Inferior Outcomes After CD19-CAR for B-ALL
CD4/CD8 T-Cell Selection Affects Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Potency and Toxicity: Updated Results From a Phase I Anti-CD22 CAR T-Cell Trial
Nirali N. Shah, M.D., M.H.Sc.
Dr. Shah received her M.D. in 2004 from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. She subsequently completed a dual residency program in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Harvard Combined Residency program and trained jointly at the Children’s Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital, during which time she also served as Chief Resident. She then joined the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship joint training program between the National Cancer Institute, Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) and Johns Hopkins University and was an Associate Research Physician in the Pediatric Oncology Branch. In 2019 she was appointed as an NIH Lasker Investigator. Additional training has included obtaining a Masters of Health Science in Clinical Research through the joint NIH-Duke University School of Medicine; and completion of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Clinical Research Training Course (2012). She is a member of multiple societies, including the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the Children’s Oncology Group, the Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma consortium and the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium. Dr. Shah is board certified in General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology Oncology.
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