Dr. Soheil Meshinchi removes samples from a cryogenic freezer
Dr. Soheil Meshinchi removes samples from a cryogenic freezer.

About Dr. Meshinchi

Soheil Meshinchi, MD, PhD is a pediatric oncologist and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) physician. Dr. Meshinchi is an expert in leukemia biology, peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for children with leukemia, management of post-transplant relapse and targeted therapies for acute myeloid leukemia patients. He serves as director of the largest genome and transcriptome sequencing project in pediatric and young adult AML and has created a robust biorepository of viable cells, plasma and extracted nucleic acids from over 100,000 specimens from 3,000 patients.

Dr. Meshinchi provides scientific leadership for many national and international committees and cooperative research efforts. He has a wealth of expertise in genomic profiling and determining the prognostic value of specific molecular alterations in AML and has developed numerous clinical assays that have been implemented in cooperative group trials. He has also fostered a consortium of computational and laboratory scientists to interrogate genomic data generated from these samples in order to guide the development of novel biomarkers and therapeutics.

TpAML Project

The Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) program applies a comprehensive genomic approach to determine molecular changes that drive childhood cancers. The goal of the program is to use data to guide the development of effective, less toxic therapies. TARGET is organized into a collaborative network of disease-specific project teams.

The TARGET Acute Myeloid Leukemia projects elucidate comprehensive molecular characterization to determine the genetic changes that drive the initiation and progression of high-risk or hard-to-treat childhood cancers. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer that originates in the bone marrow from immature white blood cells known as myeloblasts. About 25% of all children with leukemia have AML. Although survival rates have increased since the 1970s, approximately half of all childhood AML cases relapse despite intensive treatment. Additional therapies following relapse are often unsuccessful and can be especially difficult and damaging for children. These patients would clearly benefit from targeted therapeutic approaches.

Through comprehensive genome-wide characterization, TARGET researchers are identifying the genetic and epigenetic alterations of relapsed disease. The ultimate goal is to translate their discoveries into novel treatments that will improve outcomes for children with AML. To learn more about pediatric AML and current treatment strategies, visit the NCI pediatric AML website.

The TARGET AML project team consists of multiple COG investigators at various institutions. The AML team works with the scientists, analysts, project managers and technicians from the COG (Biorepository, Data and Statistics Core) and NCI offices (Office of Cancer Genomics, Clinical Therapy Evaluation Program, and Center for Bioinformatics and Information Technology). This collaborative network is co-led by Dr. Soheil Meshinchi and Dr. Robert Arceci of Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Project Stella

Project Stella is named for Stella Novotny, an unforgettable little girl who lost her life to AML weeks after her fourth birthday. Stella was a natural-born performer who made life her stage. Whether she was dressing up as a superhero, dancing to Lady Gaga, or running around with her brother, George, she brought a larger-than-life spirit to everything she did. After Stella's passing, her parents, Casey Kriedman Novotny and Jed Novotny, were compelled to change the outcome for other children and families facing AML — and that's how Fred Hutch's Project Stella was born.

The Meshinchi Lab at Fred Hutch
The Meshinchi Lab at Fred Hutch.

Precision Medicine/Pediatric AML

Fred Hutch at ASH 2019

Researchers from the Meshinchi Lab presented oral abstracts that focused on mapping genetic mutations to patient outcomes. The ongoing genomic profiling work can help guide targeted treatments for patients with AML, the deadliest leukemia among children and young adults.

Response to Sorafenib in FLT3/ITD AML is dependent on co-occurring mutational profile [Read full abstract]
Dr. Katherine Tarlock

Somatic Bzip mutations of CEBPA are associated with favorable outcome regardless of presence as single vs. double mutation  [Read full abstract]
Dr. Katherine Tarlock

Structural variants involving MLLT10/AF10 are associated with adverse outcomes in AML regardless of the partner gene – a COG/Tpaml study  [Read full abstract]
Rhonda Ries

Correlation of CD123 expression level with disease characteristics and outcomes in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group  [Read full abstract]
Dr. Adam Lamble


Mesothelin as Unique Target for Antibody-Drug Conjugate use in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

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