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Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, MD, PhD
Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, MD, PhD

Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, MD, PhD

Member, St. Jude Faculty

  • Director, Leukemia / Lymphoma Division




MD – University of California at San Diego (1988)
PhD – University of California at San Diego (1987)

Research Interests

I am interested in developing new strategies for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our new AML protocol (AML08) will determine if the combination of clofarabine and cytarabine is as effective as standard induction with cytarabine, daunomycin, and etoposide; and will test whether the infusion of haploidentical natural killer cells can reduce relapse rates. We will also explore novel therapies for certain high risk groups and continue our studies of minimal residual disease and genome-wide analysis in AML.

Selected Publications

Nguyen R, Wu H, Pounds S, Inaba H, Ribeiro RC, Cullins D, Rooney B, Bell T, Lacayo NJ, Heym K, Degar B, Schiff D, Janssen WE, Triplett B, Pui CH, Leung W, Rubnitz JE.  A phase II clinical trial of adoptive transfer of haploidentical natural killer cells for consolidation therapy of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. J Immunother Cancer 7:81, 2019. PMCID:PMC6425674

Rubnitz JE, Lacayo NJ, Inaba H, Heym K, Ribeiro RC, Taub J, McNeer J, Degar B, Schiff D, Yeoh AE, Coustan-Smith E, Wang L, Triplett B, Raimondi SC, Klco J, Choi J, Pounds S, Pui C-H. Clofarabine can replace anthracyclines and etoposide in remission induction therapy for childhood acute myeloid leukemia: the AML08 multicenter, randomized phase 3 trial. J Clin Oncol 37:2072-2081, 2019.

Rubnitz JE. How I treat pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. Blood 119(25):5980-8, 2012.

Rubnitz JE, Pounds S, Cao X, Jenkins L, Dahl G, Bowman WP, Taub JW, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC, Campana D, Inaba H. Treatment outcome in older patients with childhood acute myeloid leukemia.Cancer 118(24):6253-9, 2012.

Inaba H, Surprise HC, Pounds S, Cao X, Howard SC, Ringwald-Smith K, Buaboonnam J, Dahl G, Bowman WP, Taub JW, Campana D, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE. Effect of body mass index on the outcome of children with acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer 118(23):5989-96, 2012.

Bhojwani D, Pei D, Sandlund JT, Jeha S, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Raimondi SC, Shurtleff S, Onciu M, Cheng C, Coustan-Smith E, Bowman WP, Howard SC, Metzger ML, Inaba, H, Leung W, Evans WE, Campana D, Relling MV, Pui C-H. ETV6-RUNX1-positive childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: improved outcome with contemporary therapy. Leukemia 26:265–270, 2012. NIHMSID: NIHMS358751.

Inaba H, Rubnitz JE, Coustan-Smith E, Li L, Furmanski BD, Mascara GP, Heym KM, Christensen R, Onciu M, Shurtleff SA, Pounds SB, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC, Campana D, Baker SD. Phase I pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics study of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib in combination with clofarabine and cytarabine in pediatric relapsed/refractory leukemia. Journal of Clinical Oncology 29:3293-3300, 2011.

Hu S, Niu H, Inaba H, Orwick S, Rose C, Panetta JC, Yang S, Pounds S, Fan Y, Calabrese C, Rehg JE, Campana D, Rubnitz JE, Baker SD. Activity of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib in combination with cytarabine in acute myeloid leukemia. J Natl Cancer Inst 103:893-905, 2011.

Leung W, Campana D, Yang J Pei D, Coustan-Smith E, Gan K, Rubnitz JE, Sandlund JT, Ribeiro RC, Srinivasan A, Hartford C, Triplett BM, Dallas M, Pillai A, Handgretinger R, Laver J, Pui C-H. High success of hematopoietic cell transplantation regardless of donor source in children with very high-risk leukemia. Blood 118:223-230, 2011. PMCID: PMC3138677.

Pui, CH, Pei D, Campana D, Bowman WP, Sandlund JT, Kaste SC, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Coustan-Smith E, Jeha S, Cheng C, Metzger ML, Bhojwani D, Inaba H, Raimondi SC, Onciu M, Howard SC, Leung W, Downing JR, Evans WE, Relling MV. Improved prognosis for older adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of Clinical Oncology 29:386-391, 2011. PMCID: PMC3058285.

Mann, G, Attarbaschi A, Schrappe M, De Lorenzo P, Peters C, Hann I, De Rossi G, Felice M, Lausen B, Leblanc T, Szczepanski T, Ferster A, Janka-Schaub G, Rubnitz J, Silverman LB, Stary J, Campbell M, Li CK, Suppiah R, Biondi A, Vora A, Valsecchi MG, Pieters R. Improved outcome with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in a poor prognostic subgroup of infants with mixed-lineage-leukemia (MLL)-rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukemia: results from the Interfant-99 Study. Blood 116:2644-2650, 2010. No NIH funding.

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 JR, Leung W, Pui CH, Campana D. Minimal residual disease-directed therapy for childhood acute myeloid leukaemia: results of the AML02 multicentre trial. Lancet Oncol 11:543-552, 2010. PMCID: PMC3171799.

Rubnitz JE, Inaba H, Ribeiro RC, Rooney B, Bell T, Pounds S, Pui C-H, Leung W. Pilot study to determine the safety and feasibility of haploidentical natural killer cell transplantation in childhood acute myeloid leukemia. Journal of Clinical Oncology 28: 955-959, 2010. PMCID: PMC2834435.

Inaba H, Stewart CF, Crews KR, Yang S, Pounds S, Pui C-H, Rubnitz JE, Razzouk BI, Ribeiro RC. Combination of cladribine plus topotecan for relapsed or refractory pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.Cancer 116:98-105, 2010. PMCID: PMC2920745.

Radtke I, Mullighan CG, Ishii M, Su X, Cheng J, Ma J, Ganti R, Cai Z, Goorha S, Pounds SB, Cao X, Obert C, Armstrong J, Zhang J, Song G, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Raimondi SC, Shurtleff SA, Downing JR. Genomic analysis reveals few genetic alterations in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.Proc Nat Acad Sci 106:12944-12949, 2009. PMCID: PMC2716382.

Balgobind BV, Raimondi SC, Harbott J, Zimmermann M, Alonzo T, Auvrignon A, Berna Beverloo H, Chang M, Creutzig U, Dworzak M, Forestier E, Gibson B, Hasle H, Harrison CJ, Heerema N, Kaspers G, Lezsl A, Litvinko N, Lo Nigro L, Morimoto A, Christine P, Pieters P, Reinhardt D, Rubnitz J, Smith FO, Stary J, Stasevich I, Strehl S, Taga T, Tomizawa D, Webb D, Zemanova Z, Zwaan CM, van den Heuvel-Eibrink MM. Novel prognostic subgroups in childhood 11q23/MLL-rearranged acute myeloid leukemia: results of an international retrospective study. Blood 114:2489-2496, 2009. PMCID: PMC2927031.

Pui C-H, Campana D, Pei, D, Bowman W, Sandlund JT, Kaste S, Ribeiro RC, Rubnitz JE, Raimondi SC, Onciu, M, Coustan-Smith E, Kun LE, Jeha S, Cheng C, Howard SC, Simmons V, Bayles A, Metzger ML, Boyett JM, Leung W, Handgretinger R, Downing JR, Evans WE, Relling MV. Treating Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia without Cranial Irradiation. N Engl J Med 360:2730-41, 2009. PMCID: PMC2754320.

Coustan-Smith E, Mullighan CG, Onciu M, Behm FG, Raimondi SC, Pei D, Cheng C, Su X, Rubnitz JE, Basso G, Biondi A, Pui C-H, Downing JR, Campana D. Early T-cell precursor leukaemia: a subtype of very high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Lancet Oncology 10:147-156, 2009. PMCID: PMC2840241.

Rubnitz JE, Crews KR, Pounds S, Yang S, Campana D, Gandhi VV, Raimondi SC, Downing JR, Razzouk BI, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC. Combination of cladribine and cytarabine is effective for childhood acute myeloid leukemia: Results of the St. Jude AML97 trial. Leukemia 23:1410-1416, 2009. PMCID: PMC2726271.

Rubnitz JE, Onciu M, Pounds S, Shurtleff S, Cao X, Raimondi SC, Behm FG, Campana D, Razzouk BI, Ribeiro RC, Downing JR, Pui C-H. Acute mixed lineage leukemia in children: The experience of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Blood 113:5083-5089, 2009. PMCID: PMC2686179.

Lamba JK, Pounds S, Cao X, Downing JR, Campana D, Ribeiro RC, Pui C-H, Rubnitz JE. Coding polymorphisms in CD33 and response to gemtuzumab ozogamicin in pediatric patients with AML: a pilot study. Leukemia 23:402-404, 2009. PMCID: PMC2659556.

Kurt B, Flynn P, Shenep JL, Ribeiro RC, Pui C-H, Lensing S, Pounds S, Razzouk BI, Rubnitz JE. Prophylactic Antibiotics Reduce Morbidity Due to Septicemia During Intensive Treatment for Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Cancer 113:376-382, 2008.

Rubnitz JE, Wichlan D, Devidas M, Shuster J, Linda SB, Kurtzberg J, Bell B, Hunger SP, Chauvenet A, Pui C-H, Camitta B, Pullen J. Prospective Analysis of TEL Gene Rearrangements in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: a Children’s Oncology Group Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology 26:2186-2191, 2008.

Rubnitz JE, Howard SC, Willis J, Razzouk BI, Fan Y, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC, Pounds S, Hayden RT. Mannose binding lectin levels may not predict infection among children with leukemia. Pediatric Blood and Cancer 50:866-868, 2008.

Pieters R, Schrappe M, De Lorenzo P, Hann I, De Rossi G, Felice M, Hovi L, LeBlanc T, Szczepanski T, Ferster A, Janka G, Rubnitz J, Silverman L, Stary J, Campbell M, Li C-K, Mann G, Suppiah R, Biondi A, Vora A, Valsecchi M A treatment protocol for infants younger than 1 year with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Interfant-99): an observational study and a multicentre randomised trial.The Lancet 370:240-250, 2007.

Schultz KR, Pullen JK, Sather HN, Shuster JJ, Devidas M, Borowitz MJ, Carroll AJ, Heerema NA,Rubnitz JE, Loh ML, Raetz EA, Winick NJ, Hunger SP, Carroll WL, Gaynon PS, Camitta BM. Risk and response-based classification of childhood B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A combined analysis of prognostic markers from the pediatric oncology group (POG) and children’s cancer group (CCG). Blood 109:926-935, 2007.

Rubnitz JE, Razzouk BI, Lensing S, Pounds SP, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC. Prognostic factors and outcome of recurrence in childhood acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer 109:157-163, 2007.

Rubnitz JE, Lensing S, Razzouk BI, Pounds SP, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC. Effect of Race on Outcome of White and Black Children with Acute Myeloid Leukemia: The St. Jude Experience. Pediatric Blood and Cancer 48:10-15, 2007.

Ribeiro RC, Razzouk BI, Pounds S, Hijiya N, Pui C-H, Rubnitz JE. Successive clinical trials for childhood acute myeloid leukemia at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, from 1980 to 2000. Leukemia 19:2125-2129, 2005.

Rubnitz JE, Hijiya N, Zhou Y, Hancock ML, Rivera GK, Pui C-H. Lack of benefit of early detection of relapse after completion of therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatric Blood and Cancer 44:138-141, 2005.

Rubnitz JE, Lensing S, Zhou Y, Sandlund JT, Razzouk BI, Ribeiro RC, Pui C-H. Death during induction therapy and in first remission of acute leukemia in childhood: The St. Jude experience. Cancer 101:1677-1684, 2004.

Last update: September 2019