James Amatruda, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine

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Overview

James F. Amatruda, MD, PhD is Section Head of Basic and Translational Research in the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute and the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and his MD,PhD from Washington University School of Medicine. He did internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, followed by fellowship training in Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care in Boston, MA. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Leonard Zon at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. From 2005-2019, Dr. Amatruda was on the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

Dr. Amatruda is a physician-scientist with a primary research and clinical focus on solid tumors of childhood including sarcomas, germ cell tumors and Wilms tumor. His lab has developed zebrafish models of genetic subtypes of pediatric solid tumors to better define their biology and to use that knowledge to identify and validate novel approaches for improved therapies. He has had long-standing leadership positions in the Children’s Oncology Group; serving as Chair for the Germ Cell Tumor Biology Committee and the Rare Tumors Biology Committee. He also serves as a member of the COG Solid Malignancies Integrated Translational Science Center Steering Committee, and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the William Guy Forbeck Foundation, the Pablove Foundation, Curing Kids Cancer and the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation.

Publications

  • DROSHA regulates mesenchymal gene expression in Wilms tumor Mol Cancer Res. 2024 Apr 22. . View in PubMed
  • Building advocacy into research Dis Model Mech. 2023 Dec 01; 16(12). . View in PubMed
  • Refining the serum miR-371a-3p test for viable germ cell tumor detection: identification and definition of an indeterminate range Res Sq. 2023 Mar 21. . View in PubMed
  • Combined low-pass whole genome and targeted sequencing in liquid biopsies for pediatric solid tumors NPJ Precis Oncol. 2023 Feb 20; 7(1):21. . View in PubMed
  • WILMS TUMOR MUTATIONAL SUBCLASSES CONVERGE TO DRIVE CCND2 OVEREXPRESSION medRxiv. 2023 Feb 02. . View in PubMed
  • Evaluation of miR-371a-3p to predict viable germ cell tumor in patients with pure seminoma receiving retroperitoneal lymph node dissection Andrology. 2023 05; 11(4):634-640. . View in PubMed
  • VGLL2-NCOA2 leverages developmental programs for pediatric sarcomagenesis Cell Rep. 2023 01 31; 42(1):112013. . View in PubMed
  • Integrated genomic analysis reveals aberrations in WNT signaling in germ cell tumors of childhood and adolescence Nat Commun. 2023 05 06; 14(1):2636. . View in PubMed
  • Seed Becoming Soil: A New Paradigm of the Ewing Sarcoma Tumor Microenvironment Clin Cancer Res. 2023 12 15; 29(24):5002-5004. . View in PubMed
  • Specifications of the ACMG/AMP Variant Classification Guidelines for Germline DICER1 Variant Curation Hum Mutat. 2023; 2023. . View in PubMed
  • Refining the serum miR-371a-3p test for viable germ cell tumor detection Sci Rep. 2023 06 29; 13(1):10558. . View in PubMed
  • Advancing clinical and translational research in germ cell tumours (GCT): recommendations from the Malignant Germ Cell International Consortium Br J Cancer. 2022 11; 127(9):1577-1583. . View in PubMed
  • Response to commentary re: Clinicopathologic predictors of outcomes in children with stage I testicular germ cell tumors: A pooled post hoc analysis of trials from the Children’s oncology group J Pediatr Urol. 2022 08; 18(4):513-514. . View in PubMed
  • Clinicopathologic predictors of outcomes in children with stage I testicular germ cell tumors: A pooled post hoc analysis of trials from the Children’s Oncology Group J Pediatr Urol. 2022 08; 18(4):505-511. . View in PubMed
  • Pitfalls in the diagnosis of yolk sac tumor: Lessons from a clinical trial Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2022 02; 69(2):e29451. . View in PubMed
  • In vivo 3D profiling of site-specific human cancer cell morphotypes in zebrafish J Cell Biol. 2022 11 07; 221(11). . View in PubMed
  • Small round cell sarcomas Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2022 10 06; 8(1):66. . View in PubMed
  • Dysregulated heparan sulfate proteoglycan metabolism promotes Ewing sarcoma tumor growth Elife. 2022 03 14; 11. . View in PubMed
  • Ewing Sarcoma-Diagnosis, Treatment, Clinical Challenges and Future Perspectives J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 14; 10(8). . View in PubMed
  • Serum Small RNA Sequencing and miR-375 Assay Do Not Identify the Presence of Pure Teratoma at Postchemotherapy Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection Eur Urol Open Sci. 2021 Apr; 26:83-87. . View in PubMed
  • Prioritization of Novel Agents for Patients with Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) New Agents for Rhabdomyosarcoma Task Force J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 01; 10(7). . View in PubMed
  • A Multi-institutional Pooled Analysis Demonstrates That Circulating miR-371a-3p Alone is Sufficient for Testicular Malignant Germ Cell Tumor Diagnosis Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2021 12; 19(6):469-479. . View in PubMed
  • Impact of circulating microRNA test (miRNA-371a-3p) on appropriateness of treatment and cost outcomes in patients with Stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumours BJU Int. 2021 07; 128(1):57-64. . View in PubMed
  • The Road Ahead for Circulating microRNAs in Diagnosis and Management of Testicular Germ Cell Tumors Mol Diagn Ther. 2021 05; 25(3):269-271. . View in PubMed
  • Neonatal Malignant Disorders: Germ Cell Tumors Clin Perinatol. 2021 03; 48(1):147-165. . View in PubMed
  • Real-World Application of Pre-Orchiectomy miR-371a-3p Test in Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Management J Urol. 2021 Jan; 205(1):137-144. . View in PubMed
  • Germ Cell Tumor Cell Culture Techniques Methods Mol Biol. 2021; 2195:65-76. . View in PubMed
  • Developing and Using a Data Commons for Understanding the Molecular Characteristics of Germ Cell Tumors Methods Mol Biol. 2021; 2195:263-275. . View in PubMed
  • Outcomes of adolescent males with extracranial metastatic germ cell tumors: A report from the Malignant Germ Cell Tumor International Consortium Cancer. 2021 01 15; 127(2):193-202. . View in PubMed
  • Modeling the developmental origins of pediatric cancer to improve patient outcomes Dis Model Mech. 2021 02 22; 14(2). . View in PubMed
  • RAD21 is a driver of chromosome 8 gain in Ewing sarcoma to mitigate replication stress Genes Dev. 2021 04 01; 35(7-8):556-572. . View in PubMed
  • Correction to: Germ Cell Tumor Cell Culture Techniques Methods Mol Biol. 2021; 2195:C1. . View in PubMed
  • The developmental origin of cancers defines basic principles of cisplatin resistance Cancer Lett. 2021 10 28; 519:199-210. . View in PubMed
  • Publisher Correction: Oncogenic hijacking of a developmental transcription factor evokes vulnerability toward oxidative stress in Ewing sarcoma Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 23; 11(1):6068. . View in PubMed
  • Birth Characteristics and Risk of Early-Onset Synovial Sarcoma Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 06; 29(6):1162-1167. . View in PubMed
  • Development of a Data Model and Data Commons for Germ Cell Tumors JCO Clin Cancer Inform. 2020 06; 4:555-566. . View in PubMed
  • Serum MicroRNA-371a-3p Levels Predict Viable Germ Cell Tumor in Chemotherapy-naïve Patients Undergoing Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection Eur Urol. 2020 02; 77(2):290-292. . View in PubMed
  • GCNA Preserves Genome Integrity and Fertility Across SpeciesDev Cell. 2020 01 06; 52(1):38-52. e10. . View in PubMed
  • Oncogenic hijacking of a developmental transcription factor evokes vulnerability toward oxidative stress in Ewing sarcoma Nat Commun. 2020 05 15; 11(1):2423. . View in PubMed
  • Identification of testicular cancer driver genes by a cross-species comparative oncology approach Andrology. 2019 07; 7(4):545-554. . View in PubMed
  • New insights into germ cell tumor genomics Andrology. 2019 07; 7(4):507-515. . View in PubMed
  • Genetics of testicular germ cell tumors Curr Opin Urol. 2019 07; 29(4):344-349. . View in PubMed
  • pouC Regulates Expression of bmp4 During Atrioventricular Canal Formation in Zebrafish Dev Dyn. 2019 02; 248(2):173-188. . View in PubMed
  • a-Fetoprotein as a predictor of outcome for children with germ cell tumors: A report from the Malignant Germ Cell International Consortium Cancer. 2019 10 15; 125(20):3649-3656. . View in PubMed
  • Detection of Relapse by Tumor Markers Versus Imaging in Children and Adolescents With Nongerminomatous Malignant Germ Cell Tumors: A Report From the Children’s Oncology Group J Clin Oncol. 2019 02 10; 37(5):396-402. . View in PubMed
  • Differences in DNA methylation profiles by histologic subtype of paediatric germ cell tumours: a report from the Children’s Oncology Group Br J Cancer. 2018 10; 119(7):864-872. . View in PubMed
  • Practice Patterns and Impact of Postchemotherapy Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection on Testicular Cancer Outcomes Eur Urol Oncol. 2018 08; 1(3):242-251. . View in PubMed
  • Is carboplatin-based chemotherapy as effective as cisplatin-based chemotherapy in the treatment of advanced-stage dysgerminoma in children, adolescents and young adults? Gynecol Oncol. 2018 08; 150(2):253-260.. View in PubMed
  • Comparison of carboplatin versus cisplatin in the treatment of paediatric extracranial malignant germ cell tumours: A report of the Malignant Germ Cell International Consortium Eur J Cancer. 2018 07; 98:30-37. . View in PubMed
  • EGF Receptor and mTORC1 Are Novel Therapeutic Targets in Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 05; 17(5):1079-1089. . View in PubMed
  • Gonadal dysgenesis is associated with worse outcomes in patients with ovarian nondysgerminomatous tumors: A report of the Children’s Oncology Group AGCT 0132 study Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018 04; 65(4). . View in PubMed
  • Adolescents and Young Adults With a “Rare” Cancer: Getting Past Semantics to Optimal Care for Patients With Germ Cell Tumors Oncologist. 2018 02; 23(2):272. . View in PubMed
  • Differences at Presentation and Treatment of Testicular Cancer in Hispanic Men: Institutional and National Hospital-based Analyses Urology. 2018 02; 112:103-111. . View in PubMed
  • Family history of cancer in children and adolescents with germ cell tumours: a report from the Children’s Oncology Group Br J Cancer. 2018 01; 118(1):121-126. . View in PubMed
  • Distinct DICER1 Hotspot Mutations Identify Bilateral Tumors as Separate Events JCO Precis Oncol. 2018; 2. . View in PubMed
  • Mutations in microRNA processing genes in Wilms tumors derepress the IGF2 regulator PLAG1 Genes Dev. 2018 08 01; 32(15-16):996-1007. . View in PubMed
  • Integrative Bayesian Analysis Identifies Rhabdomyosarcoma Disease Genes Cell Rep. 2018 07 03; 24(1):238-251. . View in PubMed
  • PAX3-FOXO1 transgenic zebrafish models identify HES3 as a mediator of rhabdomyosarcoma tumorigenesis Elife. 2018 06 05; 7. . View in PubMed
  • Klinefelter syndrome in males with germ cell tumors: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group Cancer. 2018 10 01; 124(19):3900-3908. . View in PubMed
  • Pediatric Germ Cell Tumors: A Developmental Perspective Adv Urol. 2018; 2018:9059382. . View in PubMed
  • Retrotransposons Mimic Germ Plasm Determinants to Promote Transgenerational InheritanceCurr Biol. 2017 Oct 09; 27(19):3010-3016. e3. . View in PubMed
  • C/EBPß-1 promotes transformation and chemoresistance in Ewing sarcoma cells Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 18; 8(16):26013-26026. . View in PubMed
  • Reduced and Compressed Cisplatin-Based Chemotherapy in Children and Adolescents With Intermediate-Risk Extracranial Malignant Germ Cell Tumors: A Report From the Children’s Oncology Group J Clin Oncol. 2017 Apr 10; 35(11):1203-1210. . View in PubMed
  • Variants in BAK1, SPRY4, and GAB2 are associated with pediatric germ cell tumors: A report from the children’s oncology group Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2017 07; 56(7):548-558. . View in PubMed
  • Testicular germ cell tumor genomics Curr Opin Urol. 2017 01; 27(1):41-47. . View in PubMed
  • Fasting selectively blocks development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia via leptin-receptor upregulation Nat Med. 2017 01; 23(1):79-90. . View in PubMed
  • Erratum: Publisher Correction: Somatic mutations in DROSHA and DICER1 impair microRNA biogenesis through distinct mechanisms in Wilms tumours Nat Commun. 2017; 8:16177. . View in PubMed
  • Blockade to pathological remodeling of infarcted heart tissue using a porcupine antagonist Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 02 14; 114(7):1649-1654. . View in PubMed
  • Risk of second malignant neoplasms in women and girls with germ cell tumors Ann Oncol. 2017 02 01; 28(2):329-332. . View in PubMed
  • The second European interdisciplinary Ewing sarcoma research summit–A joint effort to deconstructing the multiple layers of a complex disease Oncotarget. 2016 Feb 23; 7(8):8613-24. . View in PubMed
  • Cancer. 2016 Jan 15; 122(2):230-7. . View in PubMed
  • Bmp15 Is an Oocyte-Produced Signal Required for Maintenance of the Adult Female Sexual Phenotype in Zebrafish PLoS Genet. 2016 09; 12(9):e1006323. . View in PubMed
  • Paediatric extracranial germ-cell tumours Lancet Oncol. 2016 04; 17(4):e149-e162. . View in PubMed
  • Zebrafish Germ Cell Tumors Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016; 916:479-94. . View in PubMed
  • Zebrafish as a Model for the Study of Solid Malignancies Methods Mol Biol. 2016; 1451:121-42. . View in PubMed
  • p53 genes function to restrain mobile elements Genes Dev. 2016 Jan 01; 30(1):64-77. . View in PubMed
  • Risk of second gonadal cancers in women and children with germ cell tumors Cancer. 2016 07 01; 122(13):2076-82. . View in PubMed
  • Genetic inhibition of autophagy promotes p53 loss-of-heterozygosity and tumorigenesis Oncotarget. 2016 10 18; 7(42):67919-67933. . View in PubMed
  • Biochemical Analysis of Tankyrase Activity in Zebrafish In Vitro and In Vivo Methods Mol Biol. 2016; 1481:95-100. . View in PubMed
  • Recurrent internal tandem duplications of BCOR in clear cell sarcoma of the kidney Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 17; 6:8891. . View in PubMed
  • Pediatric and Adolescent Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors: The Road to Collaboration J Clin Oncol. 2015 Sep 20; 33(27):3018-28. . View in PubMed
  • Surveillance after initial surgery for Stage I pediatric and adolescent boys with malignant testicular germ cell tumors: Report from the Children’s Oncology Group J Pediatr Surg. 2015 Jun; 50(6):1000-3. . View in PubMed
  • Revised risk classification for pediatric extracranial germ cell tumors based on 25 years of clinical trial data from the United Kingdom and United States J Clin Oncol. 2015 Jan 10; 33(2):195-201. . View in PubMed
  • Somatic mutations in DROSHA and DICER1 impair microRNA biogenesis through distinct mechanisms in Wilms tumours Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 05; 2:4802. . View in PubMed
  • PAX7 expression defines germline stem cells in the adult testis J Clin Invest. 2014 Sep; 124(9):3929-44. . View in PubMed
  • Adolescents and young adults with a “rare” cancer: getting past semantics to optimal care for patients with germ cell tumors Oncologist. 2014 Jul; 19(7):689-92. . View in PubMed
  • Spotlight on zebrafish: translational impact Dis Model Mech. 2014 Jul; 7(7):731-3. . View in PubMed
  • The oxygen-rich postnatal environment induces cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest through DNA damage response Cell. 2014 Apr 24; 157(3):565-79. . View in PubMed
  • Autophagy is essential for cardiac morphogenesis during vertebrate development Autophagy. 2014 Apr; 10(4):572-87. . View in PubMed
  • DNA methylation analysis reveals distinct methylation signatures in pediatric germ cell tumors BMC Cancer. 2013 Jun 27; 13:313. . View in PubMed
  • Children’s Oncology Group’s 2013 blueprint for research: rare tumors Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Jun; 60(6):1016-21. . View in PubMed
  • A big catch for germ cell tumour research PLoS Genet. 2013 Apr; 9(4):e1003481. . View in PubMed
  • The development of highly potent inhibitors for porcupine J Med Chem. 2013 Mar 28; 56(6):2700-4. . View in PubMed
  • C/EBP transcription factors mediate epicardial activation during heart development and injury Science. 2012 Dec 21; 338(6114):1599-603. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple isoforms of CDC25 oppose ATM activity to maintain cell proliferation during vertebrate development Mol Cancer Res. 2012 Nov; 10(11):1451-61. . View in PubMed
  • Fetal and neonatal germ cell tumors Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Aug; 17(4):222-230. . View in PubMed
  • Diverse chemical scaffolds support direct inhibition of the membrane-bound O-acyltransferase porcupine J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 29; 287(27):23246-54. . View in PubMed
  • In vivo Wnt signaling tracing through a transgenic biosensor fish reveals novel activity domains Dev Biol. 2012 Jun 15; 366(2):327-40. . View in PubMed
  • Studying synthetic lethal interactions in the zebrafish system: insight into disease genes and mechanisms Dis Model Mech. 2012 Jan; 5(1):33-7. . View in PubMed
  • A zebrafish transgenic model of Ewing’s sarcoma reveals conserved mediators of EWS-FLI1 tumorigenesis Dis Model Mech. 2012 Jan; 5(1):95-106. . View in PubMed
  • Mutation in the type IB bone morphogenetic protein receptor Alk6b impairs germ-cell differentiation and causes germ-cell tumors in zebrafish Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 09; 108(32):13153-8. . View in PubMed
  • Bone morphogenetic protein signalling activity distinguishes histological subsets of paediatric germ cell tumours Int J Androl. 2011 Aug; 34(4 Pt 2):e218-33. . View in PubMed
  • High-resolution array CGH identifies common mechanisms that drive embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma pathogenesis Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2011 Jun; 50(6):397-408. . View in PubMed
  • Genome-wide RNAi screen reveals disease-associated genes that are common to Hedgehog and Wnt signaling Sci Signal. 2011 Jan 25; 4(157):ra4. . View in PubMed
  • Analysis of cell proliferation, senescence, and cell death in zebrafish embryos Methods Cell Biol. 2011; 101:19-38. . View in PubMed
  • Zebrafish models of germ cell tumor Methods Cell Biol. 2011; 105:3-24. . View in PubMed
  • Breast cancer between faith and medicine: the Peres Maldonado ex-voto Med Humanit. 2010 Dec; 36(2):112-4. . View in PubMed
  • Trends in incidence and survival of pediatric and adolescent patients with germ cell tumors in the United States, 1975 to 2006 Cancer. 2010 Oct 15; 116(20):4882-91. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of vascular cadherin knockdown on zebrafish vasculature during development PLoS One. 2010 Jan 20; 5(1):e8807. . View in PubMed
  • Identification of a heritable model of testicular germ cell tumor in the zebrafish Zebrafish. 2009 Dec; 6(4):319-27. . View in PubMed
  • Emi1 maintains genomic integrity during zebrafish embryogenesis and cooperates with p53 in tumor suppression Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Nov; 29(21):5911-22. . View in PubMed
  • Structure-activity relationship studies of small-molecule inhibitors of Wnt response Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2009 Jul 15; 19(14):3825-7. . View in PubMed
  • Small molecule-mediated disruption of Wnt-dependent signaling in tissue regeneration and cancer Nat Chem Biol. 2009 Feb; 5(2):100-7. . View in PubMed
  • p53 ancestry: gazing through an evolutionary lens Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 10; 9(10):758-62. . View in PubMed
  • Chk1 suppresses a caspase-2 apoptotic response to DNA damage that bypasses p53, Bcl-2, and caspase-3 Cell. 2008 May 30; 133(5):864-77. . View in PubMed
  • Genetic models of cancer in zebrafish Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2008; 271:1-34. . View in PubMed
  • The INT6 cancer gene and MEK signaling pathways converge during zebrafish development PLoS One. 2007 Sep 26; 2(9):e959. . View in PubMed
  • A mutation in separase causes genome instability and increased susceptibility to epithelial cancer Genes Dev. 2007 Jan 01; 21(1):55-9. . View in PubMed
  • Small molecules that delay S phase suppress a zebrafish bmyb mutant Nat Chem Biol. 2005 Dec; 1(7):366-70. . View in PubMed
  • A zebrafish bmyb mutation causes genome instability and increased cancer susceptibility Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 13; 102(37):13194-9. . View in PubMed
  • BRAF mutations are sufficient to promote nevi formation and cooperate with p53 in the genesis of melanoma Curr Biol. 2005 Feb 08; 15(3):249-54. . View in PubMed
  • Analysis of the cell cycle in zebrafish embryos Methods Cell Biol. 2004; 76:109-25. . View in PubMed
  • Zebrafish as a cancer model system Cancer Cell. 2002 Apr; 1(3):229-31. . View in PubMed
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