Edward F. Attiyeh, MD

Dr. Edward Attiyeh is a pediatric oncologist in the Cancer Center at CHOP, with expertise in liver tumors and neuroblastoma.

Areas of Expertise: Liver tumors, Neuroblastoma
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

  • Background

    I see general oncology patients and patients with rare liver cancer. My clinical focus is tied to my research in neuroblastoma.

    Neuroblastoma is the pediatric cancer whose genetics we know most about. Many neuroblastoma patients do well, but others have a very aggressive form of the disease. But until now, the tools for determining who's at greatest risk of relapse haven't been precise. We need to find genetic markers that could help identify the patients who could potentially benefit from more intensive therapy. Finding the genes involved in aggressive neuroblastoma also will help us develop targeted therapeutic agents.

    My colleagues and I are looking at the biology of the neuroblastoma cell – the critical cell pathways that will help us identify how to better treat the disease and prevent relapse. Our goal is to understand what can interrupt and treat the disease: what genes and changes in the neuroblastoma cell explain why they became a cancer.

    The genetics of cancer has long been an interest of mine. As I progressed through my medical education, the concept of cancer being a disease of the genome (DNA) became more and more apparent to me. I realized there were genes that control how fast cells grow and when they stop growing. I saw how this connected with medicine -- and found I wanted to unite my clinical and scientific interests in the study of genomics.

    Our clinical research at Children's Hospital focuses on critical changes in the genome and the specific chromosomes associated with the worst patient neuroblastoma outcomes. Using microarrays DNA technology, we are trying to understand how cells change. Next, we will be able to move beyond learning about a single gene to sequencing the entire genome.

    Our goal is to identify certain cell subtypes within neuroblastoma. Every child's cancer is different, but understanding the subtypes means we can better target the individual cancer cell abnormality and tailor the therapy to each individual patient. More specifically, our genome work involves analysis of tissue samples from children with neuroblastoma to determine the relationship between disease progression and an abnormal deletion in the "q" arm of chromosome 11. We found that patients with chromosome 11q and chromosome 1p deletion are more likely to have aggressive neuroblastoma. Identifying these genetic markers is helping us better design therapies to potentially improve patient survival.

    When it comes to caring for our patients with neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers, my approach with patients and families has always been to make the child the focus of the care. I help the child communicate what he or she is experiencing. And since there is a lot of uncertainly revolving around cancer treatment, I try to anticipate what our patients and their families are thinking -- and let them know the possibilities and status of their situation.

    One of the most attractive things about working in oncology at Children's Hospital, along with our top clinicians and researchers, is the broader staff involved. The nurses, social worker and psychologists are all specifically dedicated to work with our special cancer population.


  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, N.Y.


    Resident in Pediatrics, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, New Haven, Conn.


    Fellow in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Board Certification

    American Board of Pediatrics (2002)
    American Board of Pediatrics/Hematology-Oncology (2006)

    Undergraduate Degree

    AB, Princeton University (Molecular Biology), Princeton, N.J.

  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Attending physician

    Assistant professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Departments and Services
  • Publications




    Attiyeh EF: Rhabdomyosarcoma. In: Schwartz MW, editor. The 5-minute pediatric consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

    Attiyeh EF: Neuroblastoma. In: Schwartz MW, editor. The 5-minute pediatric consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

    Attiyeh EF: Ewing Sarcoma. In: Schwartz MW, editor. The 5-minute Pediatric Consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.



    Lynch JE, Diskin SJ, Li H, Attiyeh EF, Maris JM, Mosse YP. Novel candidate neuroblastoma tumor suppressor genes, APOA1 and XPC, are identified in regions of recurrent copy number aberration following genome-wide methylation profiling [abstract]. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting; 2009 Apr; Denver, CO.

    Diskin SJ, Cole K, Mosse YP, Sennett R, Lynch J, LaQuaglia M, et al. Identification of RAN as a neuroblastoma oncogene [abstract]. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting; 2009 Apr; Denver, CO.

    Cole KA, Laquaglia MJ, Huggins J, Han MR, Attiyeh EF, Diskin SJ, et al. siRNA screen of the protein kinome identifies therapeutic targets in neuroblastoma [abstract]. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting; 2009 Apr; Denver, CO.

    Attiyeh EF, Diskin SJ, Cole KA, Wood AC, Pecor KM, Lynch JE, et al. Integration of genomic data reveals the influence of copy number and methylation on gene expression [abstract]. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting; 2009 Apr; Denver, CO.



    Nguyen le B, Diskin SJ, Capasso M, Wang K, Diamond MA, Glessner J, Kim C, et al. PLoS Genet. 2011 Mar;7(3):31002026. Epub 2011 Mar 17. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21436895. Read the article

    Cole KA, Huggins J, Laquaglia M, Hulderman CE, Russell MR, Bosse K, et al. RNAi screen of the protein kinome identifies checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) as a therapeutic target in neuroblastoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 22;108(8):3336-41. Epub 2011 Feb 2. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21289283. Read the abstract

    Wang K, Diskin SJ, Zhang H, Attiyeh EF, Winter C, Hou C, et al. Integrative genomics identifies LMO1 as a neuroblastoma oncogene. Nature. 2011 Jan 13;469(7329):216-20. Epub 2010 Dec 1. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21124317. Read the abstract


    Park JR, Villablanca JG, London WB, Gerbing RB, Haas-Kogan D, Adkins ES, et al. Outcome of high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma with myeloablative therapy and 13-cis-retinoic acid: A report from the Children's Oncology Group. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2009; 52(1): 44-50. Cited in PubMed: PMID 18937318. Read the article

    Diskin SJ, Hou C, Glessner JT, Attiyeh EF, Laudenslager M, Bosse K, et al. Copy number variation at 1q21.1 associated with neuroblastoma. Nature. 2009 Jun 18;459(7249):987-91. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19536264. Read the article

    Capasso M, Devoto M, Hou C, Asgharzadeh S, Glessner JT, Attiyeh EF, et al. Common variations in BARD1 influence susceptibility to high-risk neuroblastoma. Nature Genetics. 2009 Jun; 41(6): 718-723. Epub 2009 May 3. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19412175.  Read the article

    Volchenboum SL, Li C, Li S, Attiyeh EF, Reynolds CP, Maris JM, et al. Comparison of primary neuroblastoma tumors and derivative early-passage cell lines using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism array analysis. Cancer Res. 2009 May; 69(10): 4143-9. Epub 2009 May 12. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19435921. Read the article

    Teachey DT, Greiner R, Seif A, Attiyeh E, Bleesing J, Choi J, et al. Treatment with sirolimus results in complete responses in patients with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome. Br J Haematol. 2009 Apr; 145(1): 101-6. Epub 2009 Feb 4. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19208097. Read the article

    Attiyeh EF, Diskin SJ, Attiyeh MA, Mossé YP, Hou C, Jackson EM, et al. Genomic copy number determination in cancer cells from single nucleotide polymorphism microarrays based on quantitative genotyping corrected for aneuploidy. Genome research. 2009 Feb; 19(2): 276-83. Epub 2009 Jan 13. Read the article

    Posters and Presentations

    Attiyeh, EF. Genomic aberrations in neuroblastoma [invited lecture]. National Cancer Institute; 2009 Nov; Bethesda, MD.

    Attiyeh, EF. Genetic aberrations in neuroblastoma [invited lecture]. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; 2009 Feb; Dallas, Texas.

  • Editorial and Academic Positions

    Editorial positions

    2009-present, Peer-reviewer, BMC Cancer
    2008-present, Peer-reviewer, Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    2006-present, Peer-reviewer, Pediatric Blood and Cancer

    Academic positions

    2006-present, Bi-monthly Oncology Resident Lecture Series, Solid Tumors, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia