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Arzu Onar-Thomas, PhD
Arzu Onar-Thomas, PhD


BS (Mathematical Sciences) – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
MS (Statistics) – University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
PhD (Statistics) – University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Research Interests

  • Dose finding methodologies as they apply to pediatric oncology
  • Efficacy designs in rare diseases
  • Clinical trial operations with specific focus on multi-institutional studies

Selected Publications

Baxter PA, Su JM, Onar Thomas A, Billups C, Li XN, Poussaint TY, Smith E, Thompson PA, Adesina A, Ansell P, Giranda VL, Paulino A, Kilburn L, Quaddoumi I, Broniscer A, Blaney SM, Dunkel I, Fouladi M, "A Phase I/II Study of Veliparib (ABT-888), an oral Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitor with Concurrent Radiation Therapy, Followed by Veliparib and Temozolomide in Children with Newly Diagnosed Pontine Glioma (DIPG): A Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium Study." Neuro Oncol. Jun 9;22(6):875-885, 2020.

Fangusaro J, Wu S, MacDonald S, Murphy E, Shaw D, Bartels U, Khatua S, Williams-Hughes C, Souweidane M, Lu SM, Morris D, Panigrahy A, Onar-Thomas A, Fouladi M, Gajjar A, Dhall G, "Outcomes of a Phase 2 Trial of Response-Based Radiation Therapy for Patients with Localized Central Nervous System Non-Germinomatous Germ Cell Tumors: A Children's Oncology Group Study, ACNS1123" J Clin Oncol. Dec 1;37(34):3283-3290, 2019.

Upadhyaya SA, Robinson GW, Onar-Thomas A, Orr BA, Billups CA, Bowers DC, Bendel AE, Hassall T, Crawford JR, Partap S, Fisher PG, Tatevossian RG, Seah T, Qaddoumi IA, Vinitsky A, Armstrong GT, Sabin ND, Tinkle CL, Klimo P., Indelicato DJ, Boop FA, Merchant TE, Ellison DW, Gajjar A, "Molecular Grouping and Outcomes of Young Children with Newly Diagnosed Ependymoma Treated on the Multi-Institutional SJYC07 Trial," Neuro-Oncology. Oct 9;21(10):1319-1330, 2019.

Lafay-Cousin L, Strother D. Bouffet E, Hawkins C, Eberhart C, Horbinski C, Rudneva V,  Heier L, Mark Souweidane MM, Williams-Hughes C, Onar-Thomas A, Billups A, Fouladi M,  Northcott P, Gajjar A, Robinson G. "A Phase II Study For Non Metastatic Desmoplastic Medulloblastoma In Children < 4 Years of Age, A Report of the Children's Oncology Group" J Clin Oncol. Jan 20;38(3):223-231, 2020. PMID: 31774708

Renfro LA, Ji L, Piao J, Onar-Thomas A, Kairalla JA, Alonzo TA, "Trial Design Challenges and Solutions for Precision Oncology in Rare Tumors: Experiences of the Children's Oncology Group," JCO Precision Oncology in Special Series: Statistical Methods in Precision Oncology; 3, 1-13, 2019.

Fangusaro J, Onar-Thomas A, Poussaint TY, Wu S, Ligon AH, Lindeman N, Banerjee A, Packer RJ, Kilburn L, Goldman S, Pollack IF, Qaddoumi I, Jakacki RI, Fisher PG, Dhall G, Baxter P, Kreissman S, Stewart CF, Jones DTW, Pfister SM, Vezina G, Stern JS, Panigrahy A, , Patay Z, Tamrazi B, Jones JY, Haque S, Enterline DS, Cha S, Fisher MJ, Doyle LA, Smith M, Dunkel IJ* and Fouladi M*, "Selumetinib in Children with BRAF-Aberrant or Neurofibromatosis type 1-Associated Recurrent, Refractory or Progressive Low-Grade Glioma: a Multi-Center Phase II Trial," Lancet Oncol. Jul; 20(7):1011-102, 2019.

Olivier TW, Bass JK, Ashford JM, Beaulieu R, Scott SM, Schreiber JE, Palmer S, Mabbott DJ, Swain MA, Bonner M, Frank R,  Chapeiski ML, Evankovich KD, Armstrong CL, Knight SJ, Wu S, Onar-Thomas A, Gajjar A and Conklin HM, “Cognitive Implications of Ototoxicity in Pediatric Patients with Embryonal Brain Tumors”. J Clin Oncol. 37:18, 1566-1575, 2019.

Smith SMC, Bianski BM, Orr BA, Harknett G, Onar-Thomas A, Merchant TE, Roussel MF, Tinkle CL, "Preclinical Modeling of Image-Guided Craniospinal Irradiation for the Treatment of High-Risk Medulloblastoma" Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018. Mar 1;103(3):728-737, 2019.

Robinson GW, Rudneva VA, Buchhalter I, Billups C, Waszak S, Smith K, Bowers DC, Bendel A, Fisher A, Partap S, Crawford J, Hassall T, Indelicato DJ, Boop F, Klimo P, Sabin ND, Patay Z, Merchant TE, Stewart CF, Orr BA, Korbel JO, Jones DTW, Sharma T, Lichter P, Kool M, Korshunov A, Pfister SM, Gilbertson RJ, Sanders RP, Onar-Thomas A, Ellison DW, Gajjar A, and Northcott PA "Risk-adapted therapy for young children with medulloblastoma (SJYC07): results and molecular analysis from a prospective, multicenter phase II trial", Lancet Oncology, Vol 19, issue 6, pp.768-784. PMID: 29778738, PMCID: PMC6078206.

Robinson GW, Kaste SC, Chemaitilly W, Bowers D, Laughton S, Smith A, Gottardo N, Partap S, Bendel A, Wright  KD, Orr BA, Warner WC, Onar-Thomas A, Gajjar A. Irreversible Growth Plate Fusions in Children with Medulloblastoma Treated with Targeted Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitor. Oncotarget Sep 19; 8(41):69295–69302, 2017.

Zhu L, Poppleton Finkelstein D, Shi L, Wang M, Terrada DL, Wang K, Utley S, Pounds S, Neale J, Ellison DW, Onar-Thomas A*, Gilbertson1 RJ*. Multi-organ mapping of cancer risk. Cell 166(5):1132-1146.e7, 2016. (* Co-corresponding author).

Bass JK, Hua CH, Huang J, Onar-Thomas A, Ness KN, Jones S, White S, Bhagat SP, Chang KW, Merchant TE. Hearing loss in patients who received cranial radiation therapy for childhood cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology Apr 10;34(11):1248-55, 2016.

Murugesan M, Currle DS, Eden C, Thiruvenkatam R, Boulos N, Dapper J, Kranenburg TA, Neale G, Olsen S, Finkelstein D, Wright K, Gupta G, Ellison DW, Onar-Thomas A, Gilbertson RJ. In vivo oncogenomics screen identifies novel ependymoma oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes within large chromosomal alterations. Nature Genetics Aug;47(8): 878-887, 2015.

Robinson GW, Orr BA, Wu G, Gururangan S, Lin T, Qaddoumi I, Packer R, Goldman S, Prados M, Desjardins A, Chingtagumpala M, Tabeke N, Kaste SC, Rusch M, Allen SJ, Onar-Thomas A, Stewart C, Fouladi M, Boyett JM, Gilbertson RJ, Curran T, Ellison DW, Gajjar A. Vismodegib Exerts Targeted Efficacy Against Recurrent SHH-Subgroup Medulloblastoma: Results from Phase II Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium Studies – PBTC-025B and PBTC-032. Journal of Clinical Oncology 20;33(24):2646-54, 2015.

Xu H, Robinson GW, Huang J, Lim JYS, Bass J, Broniscer A, Chingtagumpala M, Bouffet E, Gururangan S, Hassall T, Fisher M, Cohn R, Zuo J, Onar-Thomas A, Gajjar A, Stewart CF, Yang JJ. Common Variants in ACYP2 Influence the Susceptibility to Cisplatin-induced Hearing Loss. Nature Genetics Mar;47(3):263-6, 2015.

Paugh BS, Broniscer A, Qu C, Miller CP, Zhang J, Tatevossian RG, Olson JM, Geyer JR, Chi SN, da Silva NS, Onar-Thomas A, Baker JN, Gajjar A, Ellison DW, Baker SJ. Genome-wide analyses identify recurrent amplifications of receptor tyrosine kinases and cell-cycle regulatory genes in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. J Clin Oncol Oct 20;29(30):3999-4006, 2011.

Onar-Thomas A, Xiong Z. A simulation-based comparison of the traditional method, Rolling-6 design and a frequentist version of the continual reassessment method with special attention to trial duration in pediatric Phase I oncology trials. Contemp Clin Trials May;31(3):259-70, 2010. PubMed PMID: 20298812; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2863035

Last update: June 2020