University of Southern California
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Robert C. Seeger, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics Program Co-Leader

Photograph of Robert Seeger 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 TGFβ1. 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 www.nant.org), 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.