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

Arzu Onar-Thomas, PhD

Member, St. Jude Faculty



BS (Mathematical Sciences) – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (1993)
MS (Statistics) – University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (1995)
PhD (Statistics) – University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (1998)

Research Interests

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

Selected Publications

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.

Broniscer A, Merchant TE, Nguyen R, Onar-Thomas A, Gajjar A, Patay Z. Treatment-related non-contiguous radiologic changes in children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma treated with expanded irradiation fields and antiangiogenic therapy Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys Dec 1;99(5):1295-1305, 2017.

Banerjee A, Jakacki R, Onar-Thomas A, Wu S, Nicolaides T, Fangusaro J, Phillips J, Perry A, Tagen M, Prados M, Pacjer RJ, Poussaint TY, Qaddoumi I, Gururangan S, Pollacj I, Goldman S, Doyle A, Smith M, Stewart, C, Boyett JM, Kun LE, Fouladi M. A Phase 1 Trial of the MEK Inhibitor Selumetinib (AZD6244) in Pediatric Patients with Recurrent or Refractory Low Grade Glioma: A Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) Study. Neuro Oncol Aug 1;19(8):1135-1144, 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).

Broniscer A, Chamdine O, Hwang S, Lin T, Pounds S, Onar-Thomas A, Shurtleff S, Allen S, Gajjar A, Northcott P, Orr BA. Gliomatosis cerebri in children shares molecular characteristics with other pediatric gliomas. Acta Neuropathologica Feb;131(2):299-307, 2016.

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.

Gurney JG, Bass JK, Onar-Thomas A, Huang J, Chintagumpala M, Bouffet E, Hassall T, Gururangan S, Heath JA, Kellie S, Cohn R, Fisher MJ, Panandiker AP, Merchant TE, Srinivasan A, Wetmore C, Qaddoumi I, Stewart CF, Armstrong GT, Broniscer A, Gajjar A. Evaluation of amifostine for protection against cisplatin-induced serious hearing loss in children treated for average-risk or high-risk medulloblastoma. Neuro Oncol Jun;16(6):848-55, 2014.

Wu G, Diaz AK, Paugh BS, Rankin SL, Ju B, Li Y, Zhu X, Qu C, Chen X, Zhang J, Easton J, Edmonson M, Ma X, Lu C, Nagahawatte P, Hedlund E, Rusch M, Pounds S, Lin T, Onar-Thomas A, Huether R, Kriwacki R, Parker M, Gupta P, Becksfort J, Wei L, Mulder HL, Boggs K, Vadodaria B, Yergeau D, Russell JC, Ochoa K, Fulton RS, Fulton LL, Jones C, Boop FA, Broniscer A, Wetmore C, Gajjar A, Ding L, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Taylor MR, Downing JR, Ellison DW, Zhang J, Baker SJ. The genomic landscape of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and pediatric non-brainstem high-grade glioma. Nat Genet May;46(5):444-50, 2014.

Gururangan S, Fangusaro J, Poussaint TY, McLendon RE, Onar-Thomas A, Wu S, Packer RJ, Banerjee A, Gilbertson RJ, Fahey F, Vajapeyam S, Jakacki R, Gajjar A, Goldman S, Pollack IF, Friedman HS, Boyett JM, Fouladi M, Kun LE. Efficacy of bevacizumab plus irinotecan in children with recurrent low-grade gliomas--a Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium study. Neuro Oncol Jan;16(2):310-7, 2014.

Fangusaro J, Gururangan S, Poussaint TY, McLendon RE, Onar-Thomas A, Warren KE, Wu S, Packer RJ, Banerjee A, Gilbertson RJ, Jakacki R, Gajjar A, Goldman S, Pollack IF, Friedman HS, Boyett JM, Kun LE, Fouladi M. Bevacizumab (BVZ)-associated toxicities in children with recurrent central nervous system tumors treated with BVZ and irinotecan (CPT-11): a Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium Study (PBTC-022). Cancer Dec 1;119(23):4180-7, 2013.

Palmer SL, Armstrong C, Onar-Thomas A, Wu S, Wallace D, Bonner MJ, Schreiber J, Swain M, Chapieski L, Mabbott D, Knight S, Boyle R, Gajjar A. Processing speed, attention, and working memory after treatment for medulloblastoma: an international, prospective, and longitudinal study. J Clin Oncol Oct 1;31(28):3494-500, 2013.

Broniscer A, Baker SD, Wetmore C, Pai Panandiker AS, Huang J, Davidoff AM, Onar-Thomas A, Panetta JC, Chin TK, Merchant TE, Baker JN, Kaste SC, Gajjar A, Stewart CF. Phase I trial, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of vandetanib and dasatinib in children with newly diagnosed diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Clin Cancer Res Jun 1;19(11):3050-8, 2013.

Robinson G, Parker M, Kranenburg TA, Lu C, Chen X, Ding L, Phoenix TN, Hedlund E, Wei L, Zhu X, Chalhoub N, Baker SJ, Huether R, Kriwacki R, Curley N, Thiruvenkatam R, Wang J, Wu G, Rusch M, Hong X, Becksfort J, Gupta P, Ma J, Easton J, Vadodaria B, Onar-Thomas A, Lin T, Li S, Pounds S, Paugh S, Zhao D, Kawauchi D, Roussel MF, Finkelstein D, Ellison DW, Lau CC, Bouffet E, Hassall T, Gururangan S, Cohn R, Fulton RS, Fulton LL, Dooling DJ, Ochoa K, Gajjar A, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Downing JR, Zhang J, Gilbertson RJ. Novel mutations target distinct subgroups of medulloblastoma. Nature Aug 2;488(7409):43-8, 2012.

Jakacki RI, Burger PC, Zhou T, Holmes EJ, Kocak M, Onar A, Goldwein J, Mehta M, Packer RJ, Tarbell N, Fitz C, Vezina G, Hilden J, Pollack IF. Outcome of children with metastatic medulloblastoma treated with carboplatin during craniospinal radiotherapy: a Children's Oncology Group Phase I/II study. J Clin Oncol Jul 20;30(21):2648-53, 2012.

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

Onar A, Kocak M, Boyett JM. Continual reassessment method vs traditional empirically based design: modifications motivated by Phase I trials in pediatric oncology by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. J Biopharm Stat 19(3):437-55, 2009. PubMed PMID: 19384687; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2976658

See full list of publications

Last update: March 2018