Frank M. Balis, MD

Frank M. Balis, MD, is director of Clinical Cancer Research at CHOP. He has particular expertise in pharmacology and the care of children with renal tumors.

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

  • Background

    As director of Clinical Cancer Research for the Division of Oncology, I facilitate the clinical research of many outstanding and innovative investigators here at CHOP, and I oversee the Division’s substantial contributions to the national clinical research efforts of The Children’s Oncology Group and other smaller cooperative groups. We are striving to be the premier pediatric oncology clinical research program in the country.

    My clinical research focuses on the development of new drugs and treatment strategies for childhood cancers and on studying the pharmacology of anticancer drugs in children in order to optimize their effectiveness and minimize their side effects. The dose and administration schedule of a drug, its effectiveness against childhood cancers, and the types and severity of side effects that can occur in children may not be predictable from the experience with the drug in adults. As a result, we test new drugs in children separately by evaluating side effects at varying dose levels, by measuring the response of the cancer, and by measuring the amount of drug in the body and its rate of elimination.

    Anticancer drug development has been revolutionized by our increasing knowledge of the genetic and molecular defects in the various types of cancer that cause a cell to become cancerous. New classes of anticancer drugs specifically target these defects; and, as a result, they can more selectively block the growth of cancer cells and they hold the promise of being more effective and less toxic. The applicability of these new classes of drugs to childhood cancers and the need to develop new approaches to study these drugs in children with cancer are new challenges that our drug development program has the experience and expertise to address.

    New drugs are initially used to treat cancers that have relapsed or not responded to conventional treatments, and they are usually only available through participation on a clinical trial. This allows us to learn whether the new drug is tolerable in children, define the best dose for children and assess whether it is effective for childhood cancers. Our clinical trials of new drugs are also designed to minimize the risk to patients receiving the new drug because the side effects and safe dose for children are usually not known and cannot always be accurately predicted from the experience with the use of the drug in adults. The commitment of our clinical research team and our patients and their families to learn as much as we can about the cancer and about new drugs and new treatment approaches while we provide optimal care aimed at controlling or curing the cancer advances our knowledge and leads to more safer and more effective treatments.
     

  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    MD - Vanderbilt Medical School, Nashville, TN

    Residency

    Pediatrics - Vanderbilt Medical School, Nashville, TN

    Fellowship

    Pediatric Oncology Research - The Children's Orthopedic Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, WA

    Board Certification

    Pediatrics

  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Director of Clinical Research, Center for Childhood Cancer Research

    Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Centers and Programs
  • Publications

    Books

    Chapters

    2010

    Adamson PC, Balis FM, Bagatell R, Blaney SM. General principles of chemotherapy. In Pizzo PA, Adamson PC, Poplack DG, editors. Principles and practice of pediatric oncology 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010.

    2007

    Fox E, Balis FM. Drug therapy in newborns and children. In Atkinson AJ, Daniels CE, Dedrick RL, Markey SP, editors. Principles of clinical pharmacology 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press; 2007. p. 359-73.

    Lowe ES, Balis FM. Dose-effect and concentration-effect analysis. In Atkinson AJ, Daniels CE, Dedrick RL, Markey SP, editors. Principles of clinical pharmacology. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Pres; 2007. p. 289-300.

    2006

    Lowe ES, Balis FM. Dose-effect and concentration-effect analysis. In: Atkinson AJ, Daniels CE, Dedrick RL, Markey SP, editors. Principles of clinical pharmacology. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press; 2006. p. 290-365.

    2001

    Balis FM, Holcenberg JS, Blaney SM. General principles of chemotherapy. In: Pizzo PA, Poplack DG, editors. Principle and practice of pediatric oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001. p. 237-308.

    Fox E, Balis FM. Drug therapy in newborns and children. In: Atkinson AJ, Daniels CE, Dedrick RL, Grudzinskas CV, Markey SP, editors. Principles of clinical pharmacology. San Diego: Academic Press; 2001. p. 293-305.

    Lowe ES, Balis FM. Dose-effect and concentrations-effect analysis. In: Atkinson AJ, Daniels CE, Dedrick RL, Grudzinskas CV, Market SP, editors. Principles of clinical pharmacology. San Diego: Academic Press; 2001. p. 235-44.

    1998

    Patel M, Blaney SM, Balis FM. Pharmacokinetics of drug delivery to the central nervous system. In: Growchow LB, Ames MM, editors. A clinician's guide to chemotherapy pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Philadelphia: Williams & Wilkins; 1998. p. 67-90.

    Berg SL, Balis FM, Poplack DG. Cancer chemotherapy. In: Nathan DG, Orkin SH, editors. Hematology of infancy and childhood. 5th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 1998. p. 1201-32.

    1997

    Balis FM, Holcenberg JS, Poplack DG. General principles of chemotherapy. In: Pizzo PA, Poplack DG, editors. Principles and practice of pediatric oncology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott; 1997. p. 215-72.

    1993

    Balis FM, Poplack DG. Drug development and clinical pharmacology of antiretroviral agents. In: Pizzo PA, Wilfert CM, editors. Pediatric AIDS: the challenge of HIV infection in infants, children and adolescents. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1993. p. 625-49.

    Berg SL, Balis FM, McClure L, Poplack DG, Horowitz ME. The use of cardioprotectant agents in combination with anthracycline chemotherapy. In: Bricker JT, Green DM, D'Angio GJ, editors. Cardiac toxicity after treatment for childhood cancer. New York: Wiley-Liss; 1993. p. 115-20.

    Balis FM, Holcenberg JS, Poplack DG. General principles of chemotherapy. In: Pizzo PA, Poplack DG, editors. Principles and practice of pediatric oncology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott; 1993. p. 197-245.

    1992

    Balis FM, Poplick DG. Cancer chemotherapy. In: Nathan DG, Oski FA, editors. Hematology of infancy and childhood. 4th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 1992. p. 1207-38.

    1991

    Bleyer WA, Poplack DG, Balis FM. Pharmacokinetics of commonly used anti-leukemic agents in children. In: Kobayashi N, Akera T, Mizutani S, editors. Childhood leukemia: present problems and future prospects. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1991. p. 149-55.

    1990

    Balis FM, Pizzo PA. Zidovudine (3'-azido-2',3'-deoxythymidine) for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infection in children. In: Kozlowski PB, Snider DA, Vietze PM, Wisniewski HM, editors. Brain in pediatric AIDS. Basel, Switzerland: Karger; 1990. p. 91-108.

    Balis FM, Poplack DG. Drug development and clinical pharmacology. In: Pizzo PA, Wilfert CM, editors. Pediatric AIDS: the challenge of HIV infection in infants, children and adolescents. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1990. p. 457-77.

    1988

    Balis FM, Holcenberg JS, Poplack DG. General principles of chemotherapy. In: Pizzo PA, Poplack DG, editors. Principles and practice of pediatric oncology. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott; 1988. p. 165-205.

    Pizzo PA, Poplack DG, Magrath IT, Ungerleider RS, Cazenave L, Israel MA, et al. Cancers in children. In: Wittes R, editor. manual of oncologic therapeutics. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott; 1998. p. 394-416.

    1987

    Balis FM. The pharmacology of antineoplastic agents in children. In: Poplack DG, Massimo L, Cornaglia-Ferraris P, editors. The role of pharmacology in pediatric oncology. The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers; 1987. p. 15-27. 

    Papers

    2011

    Marcus L, Murphy R, Fox E, McCully C, Cruz R, Warren KE, et al. The plasma and cerebrospinal fluid pharmacokinetics of the platinum analog satraplatin after intravenous administration in non-human primates. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. E pub 2011 Jun 26. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21706317. Read the abstract

    Aplenc R, Blaney SM, Strauss LC, Balis FM, Shusterman S, Ingle AM, et al. Pediatric phase I trial and pharmacokinetic study of dasatinib: a report from the children's oncology group phase I consortium. J Clin Oncol. 2011 Mar 1;29(7):839-44. Epub 2011 Jan 24. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21263099. Read the abstract

    Bagatell R, Herzog CE, Trippett TM, Grippo JF, Cirrincione-Dall G, Fox E, et al. Pharmacokinetically guide phase I trial of the IGF-1 receptor antagonist RG1507 in children with recurrent or refractory solid tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Reb 1;17(3):611-9. Epub 2010 Dec 2. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21127194. Read the abstract

    Kelly RJ, Draper D, Chen CC, Robey RW, Figg WD, Piekarz RL, et al. A pharmacodynamic study of docetaxel in combination with the P-glycoprotein antagonist tariquidar (XR9576) in patients with lung, ovarian, and cervical cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Feb1;17(3):569-80. Epub 2010 Nov 16. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21081657. Read the abstract

    Widemann BC, Arceci RJ, Jayaprakash N, Fox E, Zannikos P, Goodspeed W, et al. Phase 1 trial and pharmacokinetic study of the farnesyl transferase inhibitor tipifarnib in children and adolescents with refractory leukemias: a report from the Children's Oncology Group. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Feb;56(2):226-33. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22775. Epub 2010 Sep 21. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20860038. Read the abstract

    Chuk MK, Cole DE, McCully C, Loktionova NA, Pegg AE, Parker RJ, et al. Plasma and CNS pharmacokinetics of O4-benzylfolic acid (O4BF) and metabolite in a non-human primate model. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2011 Jun;67(6):1291-7. Epub 2010 Aug 20. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20725726. Read the abstract

    2010

    Fox E, Aplenc R, Bagatell R, Chuk MK, Dombi E, Goodspeed W, et al. A phase I trial and pharmacokinetic study of cediranib, an orally bioavailable pan-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor, in children and adolescents with refractory solid tumors. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Dec 10;28(35):5174-81. E pub 2010 Nov 8. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21060028. Read the abstract

    Sepe DM, Ginsberg JP, Balis FM. Dexrazoxane as a cardioprotectant in children receiving anthracyclines. Oncologist. 2010;15(11):1220-6. Epub 2010 Nov 4. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21051660. Read the abstract

    Kim A, McCully C, Cruz R, Cole DE, Fox E, Balis FM, et al. The plasma and cerebrospinal fluid pharmacokinetics of sorafenib after intravenous administration in non-human primates. Invest New Drugs. E pub 2010 Nov 12. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21072558. Read the abstract

    Widemann BC, Balis FM, Kim A, Boron M, Jayaprakash N, Shalabi A, et al. Glucarpidase, leucovorin, and thymidine for high-dose methotrexate-induced renal dysfunction: clinical and pharmacologic factors affecting outcome. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Sep 1;28(25):3979-86. Epub 2010 Aug 2. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20679598. Read the abstract.

    Fox E, Maris JM, Cohn SL, Goodspeed W, Goodwin A, Kromplewski M, et al. Pharmacokinetics of orally administered ABT-751 in children with neuroblastoma and other solid tumors. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2010 Sep;66(4):737-43. Epub 2010 Jan 1. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20044751. Read the abstract

    Meany H, Balis FM, Aikin A, Whitcomb P, Murphy RF, Steinberg SM, et al. Pediatric phase I trial design using maximum target inhibition as the primary endpoint. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010 Jun 16;102(12):909-12. Epub 2010 May 11. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20460632.  Read the article

    Jacobs S, Fox E, Krailo M, Hartley G, Navid F, Wexler L, et al. Phase 2 trial of ixabepilone administered daily for five days in children and young adults with refractory solid tumors: a report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Clin Cancer Res 16:750-4, 2010. Cited in PubMed: PMID 20068084.  Read the article

    Jacobs S, McCully CL, Bacher J, Balis FM, Fox E. Extracellular fluid concentrations of cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin in brain, muscle and blood measured using microdialysis in non-human primates. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 65:817-24, 2010. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19662415. Read the abstract

    2009

    Fox E, Widemann BC, Hawkins D, Jayaprakash N, Dagher R, Aikin AA, et al. Randomized trial of pegfilgrastim vs. filgrastim after chemotherapy in children and young adults with newly diagnosed sarcoma. Clin Cancer Res 15:7361-7, 2009. Epub 2009 Nov 17. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19920107. Read the article

    Meany HJ, Sackett DL, Maris JM, Ward Y, Krivoshik A, Cohn SL, et al. Clinical outcome in children with recurrent neuroblastoma treated with ABT 751 and effect of ABT-751 on proliferation of neuroblastoma cell lines and on tubulin polymerization in. Pediatr Blood Cancer 54:47-54, 2009. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19731320. Read the article

    Wojtuszewski Poulin K , Smirnov AV, Hawkins ME, Balis FM, Knutson JR. Conformational heterogeneity and quasi-static self quenching in DNA containing fluorescent guanine analogs 3MI or 6MI. Biochemistry 48:8861-8, 2009. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19610668. Read the abstract

    Meany HJ, Warren KE, Fox E, Cole DE, Aikin AA, Balis FM. Pharmacokinetics of temozolomide administered in combination with O6-benzylguanine in children and adolescents with refractory solid tumors. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 65:137-42, 2009. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19430790. Read the abstract

    Abraham J, Edgerly M, Wilson R, Chen C, Rutt A, Bakke S, et al.  A Phase I study of the P-glycoprotein (Pgp) antagonist tariquidar (XR9576) in combination with vinorelbine. Clin Cancer Res 15:3574-82, 2009. Epub 2009 May 5. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19417029.  Read the article

    Widemann BC, Goodspeed W, Goodwin A, Fojo T, Balis FM, Fox E. Phase I trial and pharmacokinetic study of ixabepilone administered daily for five days in children and adolescents with refractory solid tumors. J Clin Oncol 27:550-6, 2009. Epub 2008 Dec 15. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19075272.  Read the article

  • Editorial and Academic Positions

    Editorial positions

    2002-present, Editorial Board, Clinical Cancer Research
    2000-present, Editorial Board, Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
    1995-present, Founding, Senior, and CME Editor, The Oncologist

    Academic positions

    2010-present, eIRB Smartform version 2 Advisory Committee
    2009-present, CHOP IND Review Committee (Chair, 2010-present)
    2009-present, CCCR Clinical Research Quality Assurance Committee
    2009-present, CCCR Pediatric Protocol Review Committee
    2009-present, Pediatric Subcommittee of the Oncological Drugs Advisory Committee, FDA
    2009-present, CCCR Cancer Leadership Group
    2009-present University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Strategy Group