Photo of David P. Steensma,  MD

David P. Steensma, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phone: (617) 632-3712
Fax: (617) 582-7840

David P. Steensma, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Attending Physician, Hematologic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Attending Physician, Medicine, Brigham And Women's Hospital

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

My primary area of clinical activity and research focus is the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and related conditions. This research activity includes development of new therapies, as well as discovery of new somatic genetic mutations important in the pathobiology of this difficult and poorly-understood group of smoldering myeloid neoplasms.

Although there are (as of 2011) currently three FDA-approved therapies for MDS - azacitidine, decitabine, and lenalidomide - only a minority of patients receive substantial benefit from these drugs, and new approaches are needed. I am interested in exploring novel drugs and drug combinations to try to improve patient outcomes.

In addition, because rationally designed therapies are difficult to come by when our collective understanding of disease mechanisms is limited, I am also involved in collaborations with several laboratory-based scientists, particularly Drs. Benjamin Ebert and Mark Fleming, to try to discover new pathways disturbed in MDS and related disorders, with the goal of finding pathways that can be exploited therapeutically. Such collaborations in the past led to the discovery of IER3 translocations or amplification in patients with MDS and chromosome 6p rearrangements, aberrant pre-mRNA splicing as a common MDS-associated phenomenon, and mutations in the ATRX chromatin remodeling factor underlying acquired globin synthesis disorders arising in the context of MDS.

Publications

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  • Sankaran VG, Ulirsch JC, Tchaikovskii V, Ludwig LS, Wakabayashi A, Kadirvel S, Lindsley RC, Bejar R, Shi J, Lovitch SB, Bishop DF, Steensma DP. X-linked macrocytic dyserythropoietic anemia in females with an ALAS2 mutation. J Clin Invest 2015; 125:1665-9. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Speaking a common language in MDS/MPNs. Blood 2015; 125:1849-51. PubMed
  • Jabbour EJ, Garcia-Manero G, Strati P, Mishra A, Al Ali NH, Padron E, Lancet J, Kadia T, Daver N, O'Brien S, Steensma DP, Sekeres MA, Gore SD, Dezern A, Roboz GJ, List AF, Kantarjian HM, Komrokji RS. Outcome of patients with low-risk and intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndrome after hypomethylating agent failure: A report on behalf of the MDS Clinical Research Consortium. Cancer 2015; 121:876-82. PubMed
  • Padron E, Steensma DP. Cutting the cord from myelodysplastic syndromes: chronic myelomonocytic leukemia-specific biology and management strategies. Curr Opin Hematol 2015; 22:163-70. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Mimicking MacGyver in the Oncology Clinic: Improvisation and Creative Solutions, Only Rarely Involving Duct Tape. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2015; 13:371-3. PubMed
  • Lindsley RC, Mar BG, Mazzola E, Grauman PV, Shareef S, Allen SL, Pigneux A, Wetzler M, Stuart RK, Erba HP, Damon LE, Powell BL, Lindeman N, Steensma DP, Wadleigh M, DeAngelo DJ, Neuberg D, Stone RM, Ebert BL. Acute myeloid leukemia ontogeny is defined by distinct somatic mutations. Blood 2015; 125:1367-76. PubMed
  • Brierley CK, Steensma DP. Thrombopoiesis-stimulating agents and myelodysplastic syndromes. British Journal of Haematology 2015. PubMed
  • Roberts DA, Wadleigh M, McDonnell AM, DeAngelo DJ, Stone RM, Steensma DP. Low efficacy and high mortality associated with clofarabine treatment of relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. Leuk Res 2015; 39:204-10. PubMed
  • Garcia-Manero G, Gartenberg G, Steensma DP, Schipperus MR, Breems DA, de Paz R, Valcárcel D, Kranenburg B, Reddy M, Komrokji RS. A Phase 2, Randomized, Double-blind, Multicenter Study Comparing Siltuximab Plus Best Supportive Care With Placebo Plus Best Supportive Care in Anemic Patients With International Prognostic Scoring System Low- or Intermediate-1-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndro Am J Hematol 2014. PubMed
  • Adamia S, Bar-Natan M, Haibe-Kains B, Pilarski PM, Bach C, Pevzner S, Calimeri T, Avet-Loiseau H, Lode L, Verselis S, Fox EA, Galinsky I, Mathews S, Dagogo-Jack I, Wadleigh M, Steensma DP, Motyckova G, Deangelo DJ, Quackenbush J, Tenen DG, Stone RM, Griffin JD. NOTCH2 and FLT3 gene mis-splicings are common events in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML): new potential targets in AML. Blood 2014. PubMed
  • Gafter-Gvili A, Steensma DP, Auerbach M. Should the ASCO/ASH Guidelines for the use of intravenous iron in cancer- and chemotherapy-induced anemia be updated? J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2014; 12:657-64. PubMed
  • Kantarjian HM, Steensma DP, Light DW. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Is it good or bad for oncology? Cancer 2014. PubMed
  • Adamia S, Haibe-Kains B, Pilarski PM, Bar-Natan M, Pevzner S, Avet-Loiseau H, Lode L, Verselis S, Fox EA, Burke J, Galinsky I, Dagogo-Jack I, Wadleigh M, Steensma DP, Motyckova G, Deangelo DJ, Quackenbush J, Stone R, Griffin JD. A genome-wide aberrant RNA splicing in patients with acute myeloid leukemia identifies novel potential disease markers and therapeutic targets. Clin Cancer Res 2014; 20:1135-45. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Komrokji RS, Stone RM, List AF, Garcia-Manero G, Huber JM, Dennison B, Sekeres MA. Disparity in perceptions of disease characteristics, treatment effectiveness, and factors influencing treatment adherence between physicians and patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Cancer 2014. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Kantarjian HM. Impact of cancer research bureaucracy on innovation, costs, and patient care. J Clin Oncol 2014; 32:376-8. PubMed
  • Ramsey H, Zhang Q, Brown DE, Steensma DP, Lin CP, Wu MX. Stress-induced hematopoietic failure in the absence of immediate early response gene X-1 (IEX-1, IER3). Haematologica 2014; 99:282-91. PubMed
  • Bowen DT, Hellström-Lindberg E, Steensma DP. Cardiac iron overload assessed by T2* magnetic resonance imaging and cardiac function in regularly transfused myelodysplastic syndrome patients. British Journal of Haematology 2014; 164:610-1. PubMed
  • Abel GA, Klaassen R, Lee SJ, Young NL, Cannella L, Steensma DP, Efficace F. Patient-reported outcomes for the myelodysplastic syndromes: a new MDS-specific measure of quality of life. Blood 2014; 123:451-2. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Gattermann N. When is iron overload deleterious, and when and how should iron chelation therapy be administered in myelodysplastic syndromes? Best Pract Res Clin Haematol 2014; 26:431-44. PubMed
  • Hartwell KA, Miller PG, Mukherjee S, Kahn AR, Stewart AL, Logan DJ, Negri JM, Duvet M, Järås M, Puram R, Dancik V, Al-Shahrour F, Kindler T, Tothova Z, Chattopadhyay S, Hasaka T, Narayan R, Dai M, Huang C, Shterental S, Chu LP, Haydu JE, Shieh JH, Steensma DP, Munoz B, Bittker JA, Shamji AF, Clemons PA, Tolliday NJ, Carpenter AE, Gilliland DG, Stern AM, Moore MA, Scadden DT, Schreiber SL, Ebert BL, Golub TR. Niche-based screening identifies small-molecule inhibitors of leukemia stem cells. Nat Chem Biol 2013; 9:840-8. PubMed
  • Crawford J, Armitage J, Balducci L, Becker PS, Blayney DW, Cataland SR, Heaney ML, Hudock S, Kloth DD, Kuter DJ, Lyman GH, McMahon B, Rugo HS, Saad AA, Schwartzberg LS, Shayani S, Steensma DP, Talbott M, Vadhan-Raj S, Westervelt P, Westmoreland M, Dwyer M, Ho M. Myeloid growth factors. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2013; 11:1266-90. PubMed
  • Attar EC, Amrein PC, Fraser JW, Fathi AT, McAfee S, Wadleigh M, Deangelo DJ, Steensma DP, Stone RM, Foster J, Neuberg D, Ballen KK. Phase I dose escalation study of bortezomib in combination with lenalidomide in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Leuk Res 2013; 37:1016-20. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. The Beginning of the End of the Beginning in Cancer Genomics. N Engl J Med 2013. PubMed
  • Tothova Z, Steensma DP, Ebert BL. New strategies in myelodysplastic syndromes: application of molecular diagnostics to clinical practice. Clin Cancer Res 2013; 19:1637-43. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Can hypomethylating agents provide a platform for curative therapy in myelodysplastic syndromes? Best Pract Res Clin Haematol 2012; 25:443-51. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Historical perspectives on myelodysplastic syndromes. Leuk Res 2012; 36:1441-52. PubMed
  • Sekeres MA, Steensma DP. Boulevard of broken dreams: drug approval for older adults with acute myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol 2012; 30:4061-3. PubMed
  • Brierley CK, Morgan EA, Sprague JR, Odejide OO, Deangelo DJ, Steensma DP. An extreme example of focal bone marrow involvement in acute myeloid leukemia. Am J Hematol 2012. PubMed
  • Bejar R, Stevenson KE, Caughey BA, Abdel-Wahab O, Steensma DP, Galili N, Raza A, Kantarjian H, Levine RL, Neuberg D, Garcia-Manero G, Ebert BL. Validation of a prognostic model and the impact of mutations in patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes. J Clin Oncol 2012; 30:3376-82. PubMed
  • Ruiz-Argüelles GJ, Gomez-Almaguer D, Steensma DP. Outdated dogma? Busulfan, seizure prophylaxis, and stem cell allografting. Am J Hematol 2012; 87:941. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Tuning the rigging before sailing off into the stormy sea of stem cell transplants for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2012; 18:1145-7. PubMed
  • List AF, Baer MR, Steensma DP, Raza A, Esposito J, Martinez-Lopez N, Paley C, Feigert J, Besa E. Deferasirox reduces serum ferritin and labile plasma iron in RBC transfusion-dependent patients with myelodysplastic syndrome. J Clin Oncol 2012; 30:2134-9. PubMed
  • Raza A, Galili N, Mulford D, Smith SE, Brown GL, Steensma DP, Lyons RM, Boccia R, Sekeres MA, Garcia-Manero G, Mesa RA. Phase 1 dose-ranging study of ezatiostat hydrochloride in combination with lenalidomide in patients with non-deletion (5q) low to intermediate-1 risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). J Hematol Oncol 2012; 5:18. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. ASH 2010 meeting report-Top 10 clinically-oriented abstracts in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Am J Hematol 2011; 86:385-91. PubMed
  • Baumann Kreuziger LM, Wolanskyj AP, Hanson CA, Steensma DP. Lack of efficacy of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) treatment in acquired idiopathic sideroblastic anaemia, including refractory anaemia with ring sideroblasts. Eur J Haematol 2011. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. The Relevance of Iron Overload and the Appropriateness of Iron Chelation Therapy for Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes: A Dialogue and Debate. Curr Hematol Malig Rep 2011. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Sloan JA, Dakhil SR, Dalton R, Kahanic SP, Prager DJ, Stella PJ, Rowland KM, Novotny PJ, Loprinzi CL. Phase III, randomized study of the effects of parenteral iron, oral iron, or no iron supplementation on the erythropoietic response to darbepoetin alfa for patients with chemotherapy-associated anemia. J Clin Oncol 2010; 29:97-105. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. The role of iron chelation therapy for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2011; 9:65-75. PubMed
  • Thapaliya P, Tefferi A, Pardanani A, Steensma DP, Camoriano J, Wu W, Geyer S, Mesa RA. International working group for myelofibrosis research and treatment response assessment and long-term follow-up of 50 myelofibrosis patients treated with thalidomide-prednisone based regimens. Am J Hematol 2010; 86:96-8. PubMed
  • Loprinzi CL, Schapira L, Moynihan T, Kalemkerian GP, von Gunten C, Steensma D. Compassionate honesty. J Palliat Med 2010; 13:1187-91. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. A cello for michayla. J Clin Oncol 2010; 28:4400-1. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Kyle RA, Shampo MA. Walter Clement Noel—first patient described with sickle cell disease. Mayo Clin Proc 2010; 85:e74-5. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. The scent of cancer. Ann Intern Med 2010; 153:206-7. PubMed
  • Davids MS, Steensma DP. The molecular pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes. Cancer Biol Ther 2010; 10:309-19. PubMed
  • Shampo MA, Kyle RA, Steensma DP. Stamp vignette on medical science. Robert F. Curl Jr-Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Mayo Clin Proc 2010; 85:e58. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. P39/Tsugane cells are a false cell line contaminated with HL-60 cells and are not suitable for mechanistic studies in myelodysplastic syndromes. Haematologica 2010; 95:1229-30. PubMed
  • Shampo MA, Kyle RA, Steensma DP. Edward L. Trudeau--founder of a sanatorium for treatment of tuberculosis. Mayo Clin Proc 2010; 85:e48. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Stone RM. Practical recommendations for hypomethylating agent therapy of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 2010; 24:389-406. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Novel therapies for myelodysplastic syndromes. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 2010; 24:423-41. PubMed
  • Calvin AD, Somers VK, Steensma DP, Rio Perez JA, van der Walt C, Fitz-Gibbon JM, Scott CG, Olson LJ. Advanced heart failure and nocturnal hypoxaemia due to central sleep apnoea are associated with increased serum erythropoietin. Eur J Heart Fail 2010; 12:354-9. PubMed
  • Jacobs NL, Holtan SG, Porrata LF, Markovic SN, Tefferi A, Steensma DP. Host immunity affects survival in myelodysplastic syndromes: Independent prognostic value of the absolute lymphocyte count. Am J Hematol 2010; 85:160-3. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. P39/Tsugane cells are a false cell line contaminated with HL-60 cells and are not suitable for mechanistic studies in myelodysplastic syndromes. Haematologica 2010. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. ACP Journal Club. Anemia was independently associated with mortality in very old persons. Ann Intern Med 2009; 151:JC6-13. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Decitabine treatment of patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes. Leuk Res 2009; 33 Suppl 2:S12-7. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Neiger JD, Porcher JC, Keats JJ, Bergsagel PL, Dennis TR, Knudson RA, Jenkins RB, Santana-Davila R, Kumar R, Ketterling RP. Rearrangements and amplification of IER3 (IEX-1) represent a novel and recurrent molecular abnormality in myelodysplastic syndromes. Cancer Res 2009; 69:7518-23. PubMed
  • Sekeres MA, Steensma DP. Defining prior therapy in myelodysplastic syndromes and criteria for relapsed and refractory disease: implications for clinical trial design and enrollment. Blood 2009; 114:2575-80. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Out of this nettle, danger, we must pluck this flower, safety. Blood 2009; 114:2364-5. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Myelodysplasia paranoia: iron as the new radon. Leuk Res 2009; 33:1158-63. PubMed
  • Mesa RA, Schwager S, Radia D, Cheville A, Hussein K, Niblack J, Pardanani AD, Steensma DP, Litzow MR, Rivera CE, Camoriano J, Verstovsek S, Sloan J, Harrison C, Kantarjian H, Tefferi A. The Myelofibrosis Symptom Assessment Form (MFSAF): an evidence-based brief inventory to measure quality of life and symptomatic response to treatment in myelofibrosis. Leuk Res 2009; 33:1199-203. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Baer MR, Slack JL, Buckstein R, Godley LA, Garcia-Manero G, Albitar M, Larsen JS, Arora S, Cullen MT, Kantarjian H. Multicenter study of decitabine administered daily for 5 days every 4 weeks to adults with myelodysplastic syndromes: the alternative dosing for outpatient treatment (ADOPT) trial. J Clin Oncol 2009; 27:3842-8. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Porcher JC, Litzow MR, Hogan WJ, Arora S, Van Laar ES. Assessment of ATRX expression in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes treated with decitabine. Leuk Res 2009; 33:e81-2. PubMed
  • Bohlius J, Schmidlin K, Brillant C, Schwarzer G, Trelle S, Seidenfeld J, Zwahlen M, Clarke M, Weingart O, Kluge S, Piper M, Rades D, Steensma DP, Djulbegovic B, Fey MF, Ray-Coquard I, Machtay M, Moebus V, Thomas G, Untch M, Schumacher M, Egger M, Engert A. Recombinant human erythropoiesis-stimulating agents and mortality in patients with cancer: a meta-analysis of randomised trials. Lancet 2009; 373:1532-42. PubMed
  • Wardrop D, Steensma DP. Is refractory anaemia with ring sideroblasts and thrombocytosis (RARS-T) a necessary or useful diagnostic category? British Journal of Haematology 2009; 144:809-17. PubMed
  • Baumann Kreuziger LM, Steensma DP. RAD51 and XRCC3 polymorphism frequency and risk of myelodysplastic syndromes. Am J Hematol 2008; 83:822-3. PubMed
  • Caudill JS, Imran H, Porcher JC, Steensma DP. Congenital sideroblastic anemia associated with germline polymorphisms reducing expression of FECH. Haematologica 2008; 93:1582-4. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Investment analysts and the American Society of Hematology. Blood 2008; 112:29-33. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Heptinstall KV, Johnson VM, Novotny PJ, Sloan JA, Camoriano JK, Niblack J, Bennett JM, Mesa RA. Common troublesome symptoms and their impact on quality of life in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS): results of a large internet-based survey. Leuk Res 2008; 32:691-8. PubMed
  • Palmer SR, Tefferi A, Hanson CA, Steensma DP. Platelet count is an IPSS-independent risk factor predicting survival in refractory anaemia with ringed sideroblasts. British Journal of Haematology 2008; 140:722-5. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Porcher JC, Hanson CA, Lathrop CL, Hoyer JD, Lasho TA, Tefferi A, Higgs DR. Prevalence of erythrocyte haemoglobin H inclusions in unselected patients with clonal myeloid disorders. British Journal of Haematology 2007; 139:439-42. PubMed
  • White JG, Nichols WL, Steensma DP. Platelet pathology in sex-linked GATA-1 dyserythropoietic macrothrombocytopenia II. Cytochemistry. Platelets 2007; 18:436-50. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Friday BB. Monocytic skin nodules in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia: clinical response to decitabine therapy. Leuk Lymphoma 2007; 48:1628-9. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Tefferi A. Anemia in the elderly: how should we define it, when does it matter, and what can be done? Mayo Clin Proc 2007; 82:958-66. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Are myelodysplastic syndromes "cancer"? Unexpected adverse consequences of linguistic ambiguity. Leuk Res 2006; 30:1227-33. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Pardanani A, Stevenson WS, Hoyt R, Kiu H, Grigg AP, Szer J, Juneja S, Hilton DJ, Alexander WS, Roberts AW. More on Myb in myelofibrosis: molecular analyses of MYB and EP300 in 55 patients with myeloproliferative disorders. Blood 2006; 107:1733-5; author reply 1735. PubMed
  • Nelson ME, Thurmes PJ, Hoyer JD, Steensma DP. A novel 5' ATRX mutation with splicing consequences in acquired alpha thalassemia-myelodysplastic syndrome. Haematologica 2005; 90:1463-70. PubMed
  • Tefferi A, Lasho TL, Schwager SM, Steensma DP, Mesa RA, Li CY, Wadleigh M, Gary Gilliland D. The JAK2(V617F) tyrosine kinase mutation in myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia: lineage specificity and clinical correlates. British Journal of Haematology 2005; 131:320-8. PubMed
  • Tefferi A, Sirhan S, Lasho TL, Schwager SM, Li CY, Dingli D, Wolanskyj AP, Steensma DP, Mesa R, Gilliland DG. Concomitant neutrophil JAK2 mutation screening and PRV-1 expression analysis in myeloproliferative disorders and secondary polycythaemia. British Journal of Haematology 2005; 131:166-71. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Dewald GW, Lasho TL, Powell HL, McClure RF, Levine RL, Gilliland DG, Tefferi A. The JAK2 V617F activating tyrosine kinase mutation is an infrequent event in both "atypical" myeloproliferative disorders and myelodysplastic syndromes. Blood 2005; 106:1207-9. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, List AF. Genetic testing in the myelodysplastic syndromes: molecular insights into hematologic diversity. Mayo Clin Proc 2005; 80:681-98. PubMed
  • Steensma DP. Down syndrome in Down House: trisomy 21, GATA1 mutations, and Charles Darwin. Blood 2005; 105:2614-6. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Gibbons RJ, Higgs DR. Acquired alpha-thalassemia in association with myelodysplastic syndrome and other hematologic malignancies. Blood 2005; 105:443-52. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Gibbons RJ, Mesa RA, Tefferi A, Higgs DR. Somatic point mutations in RUNX1/CBFA2/AML1 are common in high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, but not in myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia. Eur J Haematol 2004; 74:47-53. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Higgs DR, Fisher CA, Gibbons RJ. Acquired somatic ATRX mutations in myelodysplastic syndrome associated with alpha thalassemia (ATMDS) convey a more severe hematologic phenotype than germline ATRX mutations. Blood 2004; 103:2019-26. PubMed
  • Steensma DP, Viprakasit V, Hendrick A, Goff DK, Leach J, Gibbons RJ, Higgs DR. Deletion of the alpha-globin gene cluster as a cause of acquired alpha-thalassemia in myelodysplastic syndrome. Blood 2004; 103:1518-20. PubMed
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