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Prof Dario Campana

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  • Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore




Paediatric Haematology & Oncology, Paediatric Medicine

Special Interests:

Classification, prognostication and monitoring of acute leukemia, Cell therapy of cancer


Professor Dario Campana’s research strives to improve prognostication and monitoring of haematologic malignancies, as well as to develop novel and practical approaches to enhance the anti-cancer activity of immune cells. Achievements include the development of effective methods for monitoring residual disease in acute leukemia leading to high cure rates in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the discovery of early T-cell precursor ALL (a subset of ALL with poor response to therapy), the development of the first anti-CD19-41BB-CD3 zeta chimeric antigen receptor, as well as of other methods to activate and genetically modify immune cells currently in clinical trials.

Prof Campana was Lecturer in Immunology at the Royal Free Hospital, University of London (UK) before moving to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. When he left for Singapore in July 2011, he was Vice Chair for Laboratory Research in the Department of Oncology, Full Member in the Departments of Oncology and Pathology, and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Tennessee. He is the scientific founder of two biotechnology companies. 

His special interests are in classification, prognostication and monitoring of acute leukaemia and cell therapy of cancer.

As Principle Investigator

STaR Award – Cell therapy of Cancer
2005 – 2007: Study on the paediatric prevalence of adverse drug reaction and allergy in SingaporeFunding Agency: NMRC


1998 - Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation
2008 - Elected Member, Association of American Physicians
2009 - American Association for Cancer Research, Team Science Award
2010 - STaR Investigator Award, National Medical Research Council, Singapore
2013 - Mrs. Lee Kong Chian Chair in Advanced Cellular Therapy
2016 - STaR Investigator Award, National Medical Research Council, Singapore

Journals & Publications

Selected Publications (From a total of 335):
1. Coustan-Smith E, Behm FG, Sanchez J, Hancock ML, Boyett JM, Raimondi SC, Rubnitz JE, Rivera GK, Sandlund JT, Pui C-H, Campana D. Immunologic detection of minimal residual disease in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Lancet, 351:550-554, 1998.
2. Imai C, Mihara K, Andreansky M, Nicholson IC, Pui C-H, Geiger TG, Campana D. Chimeric receptors with 4-1BB signaling capacity provoke potent cytotoxicity against acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia, 18: 676-684, 2004.
3. Iwamoto S, Mihara K, Downing JR, Pui C-H, Campana D. Mesenchymal cells regulate the response of acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells to asparaginase. J Clin Invest, 117:1049-1057, 2007.
4. Fujisaki H, Kakuda H, Shimasaki N, Lockey T, Eldridge PW, Leung W, Campana D. Expanded natural killer cells for cell therapy of acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer Res, 69:4010-4017, 2009.
5. Coustan-Smith E, Mullighan CG, Onciu M, Behm FG, Raimondi SC, Pei D, Cheng C, Su X, Rubnitz JE, Basso G, Biondi A, Pui CH, Downing JR, Campana D. A new biologic subtype of very high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Lancet Oncology, 10:147-156, 2009.
6. Pui CH, Campana D, Pei D, Bowman WP, Sandlund JT, Kaste SC, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Raimondi SC, Onciu M, Coustan-Smith E, Kun LE, Jeha S, Cheng C, Howard SC, Simmons V, Bayles A, Metzger M, Boyett JM, Leung W, Handgretinger R, Downing JR, Evans WE, Relling MV. Treating childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia without prophylactic cranial irradiation. N Engl J Med, 360: 2730-2741, 2009.
7. Rubnitz JE, Inaba H, Dahl G, Ribeiro RC, Bowman WP, Taub J, Pounds S, Razzouk BI, Lacayo NJ, Cao X, Meshinchi S, Degar B, Airewele G, Raimondi SC, Onciu M, Coustan-Smith E, Downing JM, Leung W, Pui CH, Campana D. Minimal residual disease–directed therapy for childhood acute myeloid leukemia: results of the AML02 Multicenter Trial. Lancet Oncology, 11:543-552, 2010.
8. Coustan-Smith E, Song G, Clark C, Key L, Liu P, Mehrpooya M, Stow P, Su X, Shurtleff S, Pui CH, Downing JR, Campana D. New markers for minimal residual disease detection in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood, 117: 6267-6276, 2011.
9. Zhang J, Ding L, Holmfeldt L, Wu G, Heatley SL, Payne-Turner D, Easton J, Chen X, Wang J, Rusch M, Lu C, Chen SC, Wei L, Collins-Underwood JR, Ma J, Roberts KG, Pounds SB, Ulyanov A, Becksfort J, Gupta P, Huether R, Kriwacki RW, Parker M, McGoldrick DJ, Zhao D, Alford D, Espy D, Bobba KC, Song G, Pei D, Cheng C, Roberts S, Barbato MI, Campana D, et al. The genetic basis of early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nature, 481: 157-163, 2012.
10. Shimasaki N, Fujisaki H, Cho D, Masselli M, Lockey T, Eldridge P, Leung WH, Campana D. A clinically adaptable method to enhance the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells against B-cell malignancies. Cytotherapy, 14: 830-840, 2012.
11. Inaba H, Coustan-Smith E, Cao X, Pounds SB, Shurtleff SA,Wang KY, Raimondi SC, Onciu M, Jacobsen J, Ribeiro RC, Dahl G, Bowman WP, Taub JW, Degar B, Leung W, Downing JR, Pui CH, Rubnitz JE, Campana D. Comparative analysis of different approaches to measure treatment response in acute myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol, 30: 3625-3632, 2012.
12. Faham M, Zheng J, Moorhead M, Carlton V, Stow P, Coustan-Smith E, Pui CH, Campana D. Deep sequencing approach for minimal residual disease detection in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood, 120:5173-5180, 2012.
13. Chang YH, Connolly J, Shimasaki N, Mimura K, Kono K, Campana D. A chimeric receptor with NKG2D specificity enhances natural killer cell activation and killing of tumor cells. Cancer Res, 73: 1777-1786, 2013.
14. Kudo K, Imai C, Lorenzini P, Kamiya T, Kono K, Davidoff AM, Chng WJ, Campana D. T lymphocytes expressing a CD16 signaling receptor exert antibody-dependent cancer cell killing. Cancer Res, 74: 93-103, 2014.
15. Imamura M, Shook D, Kamiya T, Shimasaki N, Chai S, Coustan-Smith E, Imai C, Campana D. Autonomous growth and increased cytotoxicity of natural killer cells expressing membrane-bound interleukin-15. Blood, 124:1081-1088, 2014.
16. Pui CH, Pei D, Coustan-Smith E, Jeha S, Cheng C, Bowman WP, Sandlund JT, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Inaba H, Bhojwani D, Gruber TA, Leung WH, Downing JR, Evans WE, Relling MV, Campana D. Clinical utility of sequential minimal residual disease measurements in the context of risk-based therapy in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Lancet Oncology, 16: 465-474, 2015.
17. Kamiya T, Chang YH, Campana D. Expanded and activated natural killer cells for immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Immunol Res, 4:574-81, 2016.
18. Pui CH, Pei D, Raimondi SC, Coustan-Smith E, Jeha S, Cheng C, Bowman WP, Sandlund JT, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Inaba H, Gruber TA, Leung WH, Yang JJ, Downing JR, Evans 19. WE, Relling MV, Campana D. Clinical impact of minimal residual disease in children with different subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia receiving response-adapted therapy. Leukemia, 31:333-339, 2017.
20. Campana D, Pui C-H. Evidence-Based Focused Review: Minimal residual disease-guided therapy in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood, 129:1913-1918, 2017.
Taub JW, Berman JN, Hitzler JK, Sorrell AD, Lacayo NJ, Mast K, Head D, Raimondi S, Hirsch B, Ge Y, Gerbing RB, Wang YC, Alonzo TA, Campana D, Coustan-Smith E, Mathew P, Gamis AS. Improved outcomes for myeloid leukemia of Down syndrome: A report from the Children's Oncology Group AAML041 trial. Blood, in press, 2017.

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