Paul V. O'Donnell

Appointments and Affiliations

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Inpatient Transplant
Attending Physician
University of Washington
School of Medicine
Attending Physician
University of Washington
School of Medicine
School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Clinical Transplant Research
Clinical Research
Professional Headshot of Paul V. O'Donnell

Mailing Address

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Avenue North
PO Box 19024
Seattle, Washington 98109
United States


Phone: (206) 667-5160
Fax: (206) 667-1034


M.D., Johns Hopkins University.
Ph.D., Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Research Interests

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may be curative therapy for a number of hematologic malignancies but this option is often unavailable because of the lack of a suitably matched related or unrelated donor. For several years my research interest has been focused on use of related donors for HSCT who are HLA matched for at least one haplotype. Like many other investigators, my focus in such an approach shifted from myeloablative to nonmyeloablative conditioning for HSCT because of the unacceptable non relapse-related mortality with conventional, myeloablative HSCT. In order to achieve engraftment with acceptable GVHD using haploidentical donors, a novel approach was developed in collaboration with colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. In this approach, higher doses of nonmyeloablative radiochemotherapy were administered pre-transplant to prevent rejection and high-dose cyclophosphamide followed by tacrolimus and MMF were administered after transplant to induce tolerance in the donor lymphocytes by deleting highly alloreactive clones which could cause severe GVHD. An early report on 13 patients transplanted using this approach was published recently [O’Donnell, P.V. et al., Biol Blood and Marrow Transpl 8: 377 (2002)]. A Phase II trial using this approach to treat patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies is currently underway at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Thus far, results are promising with most patients achieving good engraftment within a month of transplant and developing only moderate GVHD which has been responsive to corticosteroids. If possible, we plan to open this protocol at other centers within the existing Nonmyeloablative Transplant Consortium in order to increase accrual.

Clinical expertise and interests include:
1. Hematologic malignancies
2. Allogeneic and autologous HSCT
3. HLA-typing of potential donors
4. Immunotherapy
5. Acute GVHD
6. Chronic GVHD
7. Palliative Care
8. Stem cell processing

Future Research

Standard myeloablative conditioning for patients with high-risk CML or MDS consists of targeted busulfan and cyclophosphamide but non relapse-related mortality at 4-5 months post-transplant is 20-25%. A recent Phase II study of targeted busulfan and fludarabine as myeloablative conditioning for such patients by C. Anasetti and colleagues at this Center and Dresden, Germany showed that full engraftment could be achieved with a non relapse-related mortality of only 7%. No increase in relapse rate was observed compared to historical controls transplanted with the standard conditioning regimen. Encouraged by these results we plan a new Phase II trial of reduced intensity conditioning with targeted busulfan and fludarabine for patients with standard risk hematologic malignancies in an effort to decrease transplant-related morbidity and mortality.


American College of Physicians
American Medical Association
American Society for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation
American Society for Clinical Oncology
American Society of Hematology
International Society for Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering

Previous Positions

Assistant Member, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Associate Member, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Head; Laboratory of Viral Leukemogenesis, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Research Associate, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Cornell University, Graduate School of Medical Sciences
Associate Professor, Cornell University, Graduate School of Medical Sciences

Recent Publications

Anthias C, Shaw BE, Kiefer DM, Liesveld JL, Yared J, Kamble RT, D'Souza A, Hematti P, Seftel MD, Norkin M et al..  2015.  Significant improvements in the practice patterns of adult related donor care in US transplant centers.. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Abstract

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