Allison F. O'Neill, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Hepatoblastoma, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Immunotherapy, Interventional radiology and cancer imaging
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
Boston Children's Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Boston Combined Residency Program, Boston Children's Hospital/Boston Medical Center, Pediatrics
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
I am a Pediatric Oncology physician-scientist with an interest in translational research and a growing expertise in the care of pediatric solid tumor patients. I have followed a unique path, focused initially on the use of imaging to enhance diagnostics and therapeutics in pediatric solid tumor patients, now with an increasing interest in the Ewing sarcoma cell surfaceome and immune environment. My prior work generating a targeted imaging probe to more sensitively and specifically diagnose Ewing sarcoma micro-metastases inspired a growing interest in targeted immunotherapeutics. My subsequent training in cancer immunology, including but not limited to antibody humanization, characterization, and engineering, has generated the skills necessary to pursue novel immunotherapeutics for pediatric patients. In concert with my preclinical training, I have focused on developing clinical solid tumor expertise, recognizing my career goals of becoming a leader in the care of solid tumor patients with a focus on translational research and innovation.
I lead the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s pediatric Liver Tumor Program, working closely with surgeons, interventional radiologists, and preclinical researchers to bring innovative care to patients with all types of primary liver tumors. I am involved nationally in the Children’s Oncology Group Liver Tumor Committee and internationally with the SIOP Liver Tumor Working Group working to author an upcoming collaborative international clinical trial. My unique split between patient care and research has allowed an opportunity to develop and refine skills in teaching medical students, residents and fellows, training laboratory technicians and post-doctoral fellows, and counseling trainees regarding the intricacies relevant to a career in translational research. With continued support from a multidisciplinary team, I hope to bring the power of cancer imaging and immunotherapy to bear on the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric solid tumor patients.
- Targeted Immunotherapy for Ewing Sarcoma - The long-term goal of this subset of projects is to develop new, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients with Ewing sarcoma focused on antibody-specific approaches.
- Improved Therapies for Pediatric Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) - The over-arching goal of this group of projects is to better understand the genomic phenotype of pediatric hepatocellular carcinomas while identifying therapies, both standard and immonotherapeutic, that will yield improved outcomes. Dr. O'Neill has also authored the HCC arm of the Pediatric Hepatic International Tumors Trial (PHITT).
- Clinical Discovery in Pediatric Hepatoblastoma - Dr. O'Neill's interests in pediatric hepatoblastoma include better understanding the kinetics of alpha feto-protein and improving the treatment of patients with high risk disease. She coordinates the international Online Consultation Forum through SIOP which allows physicians worldwide the opportunity to discuss cases of a difficult nature with international experts. Institutionally, Dr. O'Neill heads the DFCI Liver Tumor Program working jointly with surgeons, preclinical researchers, and clinicians to assure a comprehensive patient-care experience.
- Oncology/Interventional Radiology Collaborative - The goal of this working relationship is to prioritize interventional techniques for patients with relapsed/refractory solid tumors and to better document our institutional experiences and outcomes utilizing these approaches.