Keck School Faculty

Robert Charles Seeger, MD
Robert Charles Seeger, MD
Professor of Pediatrics;Section Head for Research in the Division of HemOncBMT
CHL Mail Stop 57 Off Campus Los Angeles
Dr. Seeger is Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine, Director of Cancer Research Program of the Saban Research Institute, and Division Head for Basic and Translational Research of the Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at CHLA. Dr. Seeger obtained MD and MS degrees from the University of Oregon School of Medicine, Pediatric training at the University of Minnesota, and research training at the NIH and University College London. Before joining USC in 1989 as a Professor of Pediatrics, he was Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine.

He is a well-funded investigator and currently is the Principal Investigator of a PPG, an R01, an R33, and two U10s. Dr. Seeger’s therapeutic research deals with immunotherapy strategies that seek to maximize natural killer (NK) cell activity with tumor cell targeting antibodies and with agents that modify the tumor microenvironment milieu to minimize NK suppressive effects of monocytes/macrophages producing IL-6 and TGFß1. His biomarker research, in collaboration with Dr. Shahab Asgharzadeh, has resulted in a 14-gene expression signature (TaqMan® Low Density Array, TLDA) that predicts outcome for children with high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma. He also has developed a second TLDA assay that quantifies expression of 5 neuroblastoma genes in bone marrow and blood with the ability to detect 1 tumor cell/million normal cells. This assay is proving useful for monitoring response and predicting outcome.

Finally, in his role as Principal Investigator of and NCI-funded Neuroblastoma PPG, he Co-Chairs the Scientific Review Committee of the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy consortium (NANT, see, which sets directions and reviews clinical trial proposals. The NANT is an early-phase clinical trials consortium of 15 institutions in North America that tests new treatments, biomarkers, and imaging for children with refractory or recurrent neuroblastoma. Thus, his expertise includes pre-clinical immunotherapy, biomarker development and application, and early phase clinical trials.

University of Southern California School: Mellon Mentoring Award, 2011

Willamette University: Distinguished Alumni Citation, 2008

: H. Russell Smith Award for Innovation in Pediatric Biomedical Research, 2001

Extracellular vesicles derived from natural killer cells use multiple cytotoxic proteins and killing mechanisms to target cancer cells J Extracell Vesicles. 2019; 8(1):1588538. . View in PubMed

Anti-CD105 Antibody Eliminates Tumor Microenvironment Cells and Enhances Anti-GD2 Antibody Immunotherapy of Neuroblastoma with Activated Natural Killer Cells Clin Cancer Res. 2019 08 01; 25(15):4761-4774. . View in PubMed

Activated Natural Killer Cells in Combination with Anti-GD2 Antibody Dinutuximab Improve Survival of Mice after Surgical Resection of Primary Neuroblastoma Clin Cancer Res. 2019 01 01; 25(1):325-333. . View in PubMed

Cross-Cohort Analysis Identifies a TEAD4-MYCN Positive Feedback Loop as the Core Regulatory Element of High-Risk Neuroblastoma Cancer Discov. 2018 05; 8(5):582-599. . View in PubMed

Colony stimulating factor 1 receptor blockade improves the efficacy of chemotherapy against human neuroblastoma in the absence of T lymphocytes Int J Cancer. 2018 09 15; 143(6):1483-1493. . View in PubMed

Clinically Relevant Cytotoxic Immune Cell Signatures and Clonal Expansion of T-Cell Receptors in High-Risk MYCN-Not-Amplified Human Neuroblastoma Clin Cancer Res. 2018 11 15; 24(22):5673-5684. . View in PubMed

Corrigendum: A Comprehensive Safety Trial of Chimeric Antibody 1418 With GM-CSF, IL-2, and Isotretinoin in High-Risk Neuroblastoma Patients Following Myeloablative Therapy: Children's Oncology Group Study ANBL0931. Front Immunol. 2018; 9:1641. . View in PubMed

A Comprehensive Safety Trial of Chimeric Antibody 1418 With GM-CSF, IL-2, and Isotretinoin in High-Risk Neuroblastoma Patients Following Myeloablative Therapy: Children's Oncology Group Study ANBL0931. Front Immunol. 2018; 9:1355. . View in PubMed

Expression of Five Neuroblastoma Genes in Bone Marrow or Blood of Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Neuroblastoma Provides a New Biomarker for Disease and Prognosis Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Sep 15; 23(18):5374-5383. . View in PubMed

Association of high microvessel avß3 and low PTEN with poor outcome in stage 3 neuroblastoma: rationale for using first in class dual PI3K/BRD4 inhibitor, SF1126 Oncotarget. 2017 Aug 08; 8(32):52193-52210. . View in PubMed

Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Share Characteristics and Protumorigenic Activity with Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Cancer Res. 2017 09 15; 77(18):5142-5157. . View in PubMed

Biological roles and potential applications of immune cell-derived extracellular vesicles J Extracell Vesicles. 2017; 6(1):1400370. . View in PubMed

A novel minimal residual disease model of neuroblastoma in mice J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Jun; 51(6):991-4. . View in PubMed

A LIN28B-RAN-AURKA Signaling Network Promotes Neuroblastoma Tumorigenesis Cancer Cell. 2015 Nov 09; 28(5):599-609. . View in PubMed

CASC15-S Is a Tumor Suppressor lncRNA at the 6p22 Neuroblastoma Susceptibility Locus Cancer Res. 2015 Aug 01; 75(15):3155-66. . View in PubMed

Exosome-mediated transfer of microRNAs within the tumor microenvironment and neuroblastoma resistance to chemotherapy J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jul; 107(7). . View in PubMed

Augmented expression of MYC and/or MYCN protein defines highly aggressive MYC-driven neuroblastoma: a Children's Oncology Group study Br J Cancer. 2015 Jun 30; 113(1):57-63. . View in PubMed

Cytotoxicity of CD56-positive lymphocytes against autologous B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells Leukemia. 2015 Apr; 29(4):788-97. . View in PubMed

Age-dependent prognostic effect by Mitosis-Karyorrhexis Index in neuroblastoma: a report from the Children's Oncology Group Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2014 Nov-Dec; 17(6):441-9. . View in PubMed

Drugging MYCN through an allosteric transition in Aurora kinase A Cancer Cell. 2014 Sep 08; 26(3):414-427. . View in PubMed

Critical role of STAT3 in IL-6-mediated drug resistance in human neuroblastoma Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 01; 73(13):3852-64. . View in PubMed

Antibody targeting of anaplastic lymphoma kinase induces cytotoxicity of human neuroblastoma Oncogene. 2012 Nov 15; 31(46):4859-67. . View in PubMed

Clinical significance of tumor-associated inflammatory cells in metastatic neuroblastoma J Clin Oncol. 2012 Oct 01; 30(28):3525-32. . View in PubMed

Common variation at BARD1 results in the expression of an oncogenic isoform that influences neuroblastoma susceptibility and oncogenicity Cancer Res. 2012 Apr 15; 72(8):2068-78. . View in PubMed

Antitumor activity of hu1418-IL2 in patients with relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma: a Children's Oncology Group (COG) phase II study. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Nov 20; 28(33):4969-75. . View in PubMed

Anti-GD2 antibody with GM-CSF, interleukin-2, and isotretinoin for neuroblastoma N Engl J Med. 2010 Sep 30; 363(14):1324-34. . View in PubMed

ATM is down-regulated by N-Myc-regulated microRNA-421 Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jan 26; 107(4):1506-11. . View in PubMed

Clinicopathological characteristics of ganglioneuroma and ganglioneuroblastoma: a report from the CCG and COG Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2009 Oct; 53(4):563-9. . View in PubMed

Common variations in BARD1 influence susceptibility to high-risk neuroblastoma Nat Genet. 2009 Jun; 41(6):718-23. . View in PubMed

Consensus criteria for sensitive detection of minimal neuroblastoma cells in bone marrow, blood and stem cell preparations by immunocytology and QRT-PCR: recommendations by the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Task Force Br J Cancer. 2009 May 19; 100(10):1627-37. . View in PubMed

An integrated cross-platform prognosis study on neuroblastoma patients Genomics. 2008 Oct; 92(4):195-203. . View in PubMed

Chromosome 6p22 locus associated with clinically aggressive neuroblastoma N Engl J Med. 2008 Jun 12; 358(24):2585-93. . View in PubMed

Cdc6 knockdown inhibits human neuroblastoma cell proliferation Mol Cell Biochem. 2008 Apr; 311(1-2):189-97. . View in PubMed

De novo identification of MIZ-1 (ZBTB17) encoding a MYC-interacting zinc-finger protein as a new favorable neuroblastoma gene Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Oct 15; 13(20):6001-9. . View in PubMed

A phase I clinical trial of the hu1418-IL2 (EMD 273063) as a treatment for children with refractory or recurrent neuroblastoma and melanoma: a study of the Children's Oncology Group. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Mar 15; 12(6):1750-9. . View in PubMed

Chromosome 1p and 11q deletions and outcome in neuroblastoma N Engl J Med. 2005 Nov 24; 353(21):2243-53. . View in PubMed

Evidence for an age cutoff greater than 365 days for neuroblastoma risk group stratification in the Children's Oncology Group J Clin Oncol. 2005 Sep 20; 23(27):6459-65. . View in PubMed

Enlarged and prominent nucleoli may be indicative of MYCN amplification: a study of neuroblastoma (Schwannian stroma-poor), undifferentiated/poorly differentiated subtype with high mitosis-karyorrhexis index Cancer. 2005 Jan 01; 103(1):174-80. . View in PubMed

Expression of CD1d by myelomonocytic leukemias provides a target for cytotoxic NKT cells Leukemia. 2003 Jun; 17(6):1068-77. . View in PubMed

Antidisialoganglioside/granulocyte macrophage-colony-stimulating factor fusion protein facilitates neutrophil antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and depends on FcgammaRII (CD32) and Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) for enhanced effector cell adhesion and azurophil granule exocytosis Blood. 2002 Jun 01; 99(11):4166-73. . View in PubMed

Buthionine sulfoximine and myeloablative concentrations of melphalan overcome resistance in a melphalan-resistant neuroblastoma cell line J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2001 Nov; 23(8):500-5. . View in PubMed

Detection of minimal residual disease in bone marrow during or after therapy as a prognostic marker for high-risk neuroblastoma J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2001 Mar-Apr; 23(3):150-2. . View in PubMed

Comprehensive analysis of chromosome 1p deletions in neuroblastoma Med Pediatr Oncol. 2001 Jan; 36(1):32-6. . View in PubMed

Allelic deletion at chromosome bands 11q14-23 is common in neuroblastoma Med Pediatr Oncol. 2001 Jan; 36(1):24-7. . View in PubMed

Antineuronal antibodies in patients with neuroblastoma and paraneoplastic opsoclonus-myoclonus J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2000 Jul-Aug; 22(4):315-20. . View in PubMed

Biologic factors determine prognosis in infants with stage IV neuroblastoma: A prospective Children's Cancer Group study J Clin Oncol. 2000 Mar; 18(6):1260-8. . View in PubMed

Favorable biology and outcome of stage IV-S neuroblastoma with supportive care or minimal therapy: a Children's Cancer Group study J Clin Oncol. 2000 Feb; 18(3):477-86. . View in PubMed

Expression of protein gene product 95 and tyrosine hydroxylase in childhood small round cell tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 2000 Feb; 6(2):551-8. . View in PubMed

Biologic variables in the outcome of stages I and II neuroblastoma treated with surgery as primary therapy: a children's cancer group study J Clin Oncol. 2000 Jan; 18(1):18-26. . View in PubMed

Allelic deletion at 11q23 is common in MYCN single copy neuroblastomas Oncogene. 1999 Sep 02; 18(35):4948-57. . View in PubMed

Drug resistance patterns of human neuroblastoma cell lines derived from patients at different phases of therapy Cancer Res. 1998 Dec 01; 58(23):5396-405. . View in PubMed

Engraftment after myeloablative doses of 131I-metaiodobenzylguanidine followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation for treatment of refractory neuroblastoma Med Pediatr Oncol. 1998 Jun; 30(6):339-46. . View in PubMed

Double-alkylator non-total-body irradiation regimen with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in pediatric solid tumors J Clin Oncol. 1998 Mar; 16(3):937-44. . View in PubMed

A Phase I study of human gamma interferon gene-transduced tumor cells in patients with neuroblastoma Hum Gene Ther. 1998 Feb 10; 9(3):379-90. . View in PubMed

Drug resistance in human neuroblastoma cell lines correlates with clinical therapy Eur J Cancer. 1997 Oct; 33(12):2002-6. . View in PubMed

A phase I/IB trial of murine monoclonal anti-GD2 antibody 14G2a plus interleukin-2 in children with refractory neuroblastoma: a report of the Children's Cancer Group. Cancer. 1997 Jul 15; 80(2):317-33. . View in PubMed

Consolidation chemoradiotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation versus continued chemotherapy for metastatic neuroblastoma: a report of two concurrent Children's Cancer Group studies J Clin Oncol. 1996 Sep; 14(9):2417-26. . View in PubMed

Expression of stem cell factor and c-kit in human neuroblastomaThe Children's Cancer Group. Blood. 1994 Nov 15; 84(10):3465-72. . View in PubMed

Allogeneic versus autologous purged bone marrow transplantation for neuroblastoma: a report from the Childrens Cancer Group J Clin Oncol. 1994 Nov; 12(11):2382-9. . View in PubMed

Bone abnormalities detected with skeletal scintigraphy after bone marrow harvest in patients with childhood neuroblastoma Radiology. 1994 Sep; 192(3):755-8. . View in PubMed

Comparison of autologous and allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for neuroblastoma Prog Clin Biol Res. 1994; 385:301-7. . View in PubMed

Deletion of chromosome 11 and of 14q sequences in neuroblastoma Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 1993 May; 7(1):32-7. . View in PubMed

Evidence for nm23 RNA overexpression, DNA amplification and mutation in aggressive childhood neuroblastomas Oncogene. 1993 Apr; 8(4):855-65. . View in PubMed

Escalating dose of continuous infusion combination chemotherapy for refractory neuroblastoma J Clin Oncol. 1993 Apr; 11(4):623-9. . View in PubMed

Cell type-specific expression and negative regulation by retinoic acid of the human N-myc promoter in neuroblastoma cells Oncogene. 1992 Apr; 7(4):711-7. . View in PubMed

A significant association of Ha-ras p21 in neuroblastoma cells with patient prognosisA retrospective study of 103 cases. Cancer. 1991 Sep 15; 68(6):1296-302. . View in PubMed

Aggressive surgery combined with intensive chemotherapy improves survival in poor-risk neuroblastoma J Pediatr Surg. 1991 Sep; 26(9):1119-23; discussion 1123-4. . View in PubMed

Chromogranin A in children with neuroblastomaSerum concentration parallels disease stage and predicts survival. J Clin Invest. 1990 May; 85(5):1555-9. . View in PubMed

A surgical perspective on the current staging in neuroblastoma--the International Neuroblastoma Staging System proposal J Pediatr Surg. 1989 Apr; 24(4):386-90. . View in PubMed

Excellent outcome of stage II neuroblastoma is independent of residual disease and radiation therapy J Clin Oncol. 1989 Feb; 7(2):236-44. . View in PubMed

Expression of a developmental stage-specific antigen by neuronal precursor cells of human fetal cerebellum J Neuroimmunol. 1988 Nov; 20(1):3-14. . View in PubMed

Detection of N-myc gene expression in neuroblastoma tumors by in situ hybridization Am J Pathol. 1988 Jun; 131(3):391-7. . View in PubMed

Characterization of N-myc amplification units in human neuroblastoma cells Mol Cell Biol. 1988 Feb; 8(2):522-30. . View in PubMed

Bone marrow transplantation for poor prognosis neuroblastoma Prog Clin Biol Res. 1988; 271:203-13. . View in PubMed

Expression of N-myc by neuroblastomas with one or multiple copies of the oncogene Prog Clin Biol Res. 1988; 271:41-9. . View in PubMed

Biological classification of cell lines derived from human extra-cranial neural tumors Prog Clin Biol Res. 1988; 271:291-306. . View in PubMed

Characterization of human neuroblastoma cell lines that lack N-myc gene amplification Prog Clin Biol Res. 1988; 271:57-69. . View in PubMed

Delayed surgery and bone marrow transplantation for widespread neuroblastoma Ann Surg. 1987 Oct; 206(4):514-20. . View in PubMed

Consistent N-myc copy number in simultaneous or consecutive neuroblastoma samples from sixty individual patients Cancer Res. 1987 Aug 15; 47(16):4248-53. . View in PubMed

Amplification and rearrangement of DNA sequences from the chromosomal region 2p24 in human neuroblastomas Cancer Res. 1986 Oct; 46(10):5297-301. . View in PubMed

Clinical implications of oncogene activation in human neuroblastomas Cancer. 1986 Jul 15; 58(2 Suppl):541-5. . View in PubMed

Amplification units containing human N-myc and c-myc genes Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Feb; 83(4):1031-5. . View in PubMed

Expression of GD2 ganglioside by untreated primary human neuroblastomas Cancer Res. 1986 Jan; 46(1):440-3. . View in PubMed

Association of multiple copies of the N-myc oncogene with rapid progression of neuroblastomas N Engl J Med. 1985 Oct 31; 313(18):1111-6. . View in PubMed

Differential amplification, assembly, and relocation of multiple DNA sequences in human neuroblastomas and neuroblastoma cell lines Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Jun; 82(11):3761-5. . View in PubMed

Analysis of neuroblastoma cell proteins using two-dimensional electrophoresis Prog Clin Biol Res. 1985; 175:261-8. . View in PubMed

Depletion of neuroblastoma cells from bone marrow with monoclonal antibodies and magnetic immunobeads Prog Clin Biol Res. 1985; 175:443-58. . View in PubMed

Amplification of N-myc sequences in primary human neuroblastomas: correlation with advanced disease stage Prog Clin Biol Res. 1985; 175:105-13. . View in PubMed

Altered expression of cell surface membrane antigens in a common acute lymphoblastic leukemia-associated antigen-expressing neuroblastoma cell line (SJ-N-CG) with morphological differentiation Cancer Res. 1985 Jan; 45(1):358-64. . View in PubMed

A panel of monoclonal antibodies which discriminate neuroblastoma from Ewing's sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroepithelioma, and hematopoietic malignancies Prog Clin Biol Res. 1985; 175:347-66. . View in PubMed

Amplification of N-myc in untreated human neuroblastomas correlates with advanced disease stage Science. 1984 Jun 08; 224(4653):1121-4. . View in PubMed

Effects of retinoic acid (RA) on the growth and phenotypic expression of several human neuroblastoma cell lines Exp Cell Res. 1983 Oct; 148(1):21-30. . View in PubMed

Definition of a Thy-1 determinant on human neuroblastoma, glioma, sarcoma, and teratoma cells with a monoclonal antibody J Immunol. 1982 Feb; 128(2):983-9. . View in PubMed

Common antigenic determinants on human melanoma, glioma, neuroblastoma, and sarcoma cells defined with monoclonal antibodies Cancer Res. 1981 Jul; 41(7):2714-7. . View in PubMed

Analysis of human tumor cells for Ia-like antigens with monoclonal antibodies J Natl Cancer Inst. 1981 May; 66(5):827-9. . View in PubMed

Abnormalities of the immune system in children with neuroblastoma related to the neoplasm and chemotherapy J Pediatr. 1977 Apr; 90(4):548-54. . View in PubMed

Disease and non-disease-related cell-mediated cytotoxicity in humans Cancer Res. 1976 Apr; 36(4):1361-6. . View in PubMed

Anti-tumour cytotoxic effects mediated by minor and major cell populations of lymph nodes Nature. 1974 Nov 29; 252(5482):420-1. . View in PubMed

An analysis of variables affecting the measurement of tumor immunity in vitro with 125I-iododeoxyuridine-labelled target cellsStudies of immunity to primary Moloney sarcomas. Int J Cancer. 1974 May 15; 13(5):697-713. . View in PubMed

[Antitumor activity of phallolysin from Amanita phalloides (author's transl)] Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1973; 279(3):235-42. . View in PubMed

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