Childhood cancer research laboratory
Our laboratory is focused on childhood cancer research with a goal of elucidating the underlying biology of the most aggressive malignancies. In such patients with typically incurable cancer, we are striving to identify new approaches to and types of treatment. We have multiple ongoing projects:
+ Identification of biologic drivers of ultra-high-risk neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is one of the most common and deadly childhood cancers. Despite intensive research, there are limited therapeutic strategies for patients with de novo chemotherapy resistance that leads to particularly poor outcomes. We have been studying neuroblastoma since 2009 and are identifying additional biologic drivers of highly lethal tumors.
We compare tumor features from patients with early death from tumor progression compared to those with a maintained complete response. We assess unique histo-morphologic and proteomic features and computationally integrate these data with genomic and transcriptomic datasets to develop a combined predictor of primary refractory disease. Patients with this entity require non-standard and/or intensified treatment. Oncogenic drivers are being characterized in the lab which will facilitate strategies for novel pharmacologic intervention.
+ Characterization of neuroblastoma development from neural crest cells. We are studying pathways and interactions that results in uncontrolled cell proliferation early in neuroblastoma development with an ultimate goal of identifying new targets and approaches for pharmacologic intervention.
+ Evaluation of novel combinatorial targeted therapeutic approaches in neuroblastoma. With expected outcomes lagging behind those of more common childhood cancers, children with neuroblastoma require new approaches to treatment. Our lab works with multiple international clinical and research consortium groups to perform preclinical studies that substantiate human clinical trials.
+ Detection of circulating tumor DNA in osteosarcoma. With no reliable non-invasive approach for disease monitoring during and after treatment, we are applying cutting edge next-generation sequencing approaches to identify solid tumors with a blood-based “liquid” biopsies. This will allow clinicians to assess tumor responsiveness to chemotherapy and predict likelihood of recurrence.
+ Assessment of accelerated aging using miRNA-seq in survivors of childhood cancer. Chemotherapy has many untoward effects on healthy cells and leads to many signs of accelerated aging in children treated for cancer. Using a known microRNA “aging” signature discovered at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, we are studying what causes this phenotype in childhood cancer, with a goal of offering improved intervention to minimize long-term toxicity of treatment.
Daniel A. Weiser, MD, is board-certified in pediatric hematology/oncology with clinical expertise in neuroblastoma and other tumors of the adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, and gonads. He is the medical director of the intra-abdominal solid tumor program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and brings together a highly specialized multi-disciplinary care team to provide comprehensive treatment for diverse pediatric malignancies. In addition, Dr. Weiser directs a childhood cancer research laboratory that focuses on the identification of new targeted agents for cancer therapy, especially in the treatment of rare and aggressive malignancies such as neuroblastoma. His research goals are to understand the role of certain genes in the risk, development, and treatment of cancer. The approaches taken and agents studied hold promise for improving management of all patients with solid tumors.
Dr. Weiser participates in the efforts of a number of professional organizations including the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association (ANRA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). He has received numerous awards including the Brigid Leventhal Special Merit Award from ASCO and the Conquer Cancer Foundation, and a prestigious K12 from the National Cancer Institute for the training of the next generation of physician-scientists in pediatric cancer. Dr. Weiser is actively involved in teaching and mentorship of trainees, and takes great pride in providing advanced and compassionate care to his patients and their families.
- Neuroblastoma (adrenal tumors)
- Wilms tumor (renal tumors)
- Hepatoblastoma (liver tumors)
- Germ cell tumors (including testicular and ovarian tumors)
- Thyroid and other rare tumors
- Experimental therapeutics
- Cancer genetics and biomarkers
- Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
- M.D. – Stony Brook University, NY
- Residency – Children’s Hospital of NY-Presbyterian, Columbia University, NY
- Chief Residency – Children’s Hospital of NY-Presbyterian, Columbia University, NY
- Fellowship – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA