• Rassekh, Rod


    Investigator, Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Oncology/ Hematology/ BMT, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations
    B.Sc., MD, MHSc (Epidemiology)
    Primary Area of Research
    Evidence to Innovation
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Carla Willems
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address

    BC Children's Hospital
    Room B315
    4480 Oak St.
    Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Childhood cancer
    • Pharmacogenetics of adverse drug events
    • Late effects of childhood survivors of cancer
    • Clinical trials in pediatric oncology
    • Brain tumors

    My focus is in the treatment and long term outcomes of children treated for cancer. My specific focus is in quantifying what complications are seen in survivors of childhood cancer. Specifically, I am interested in trying to identify genetic markers that may identify those who are at risk of a specific complication. We are currently in the process of identifying genes that may explain why 20-50% of children receiving cisplatin have irreversible hearing loss. We have established a database of all adverse events in children treated through the oncology department at BC Children's Hospital. I am also interested in using linked databases to look at hospital utilization in long term survivors. Finally, I am interested in developing clinical trials in pediatric oncology both locally, as well as through the Children's Oncology Group (COG).

    Current Projects
    Genotype-Specific Approaches to Therapy in Children with Cancer (GATC Cancer Study)
    Adverse events due to medications are a common complication of the treatment of childhood cancer. This study is attempting to identify genetic risk factors that may be associated with adverse drug events. We have designed a case-control study to investigate all adverse events, with an initial focus on anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy and cisplatin induced hearing loss.

    Through a partnership with Drs Michael Hayden and Bruce Carleton, and a 2 year grant from the C17 Research Network, we have made this study available to 17 hospitals.

    Selected Publications

    Dionne F, Mitton C, Rassekh R, Brooks B, Ross C, Hayden M, Carleton B.: Economic impact of a genetic test for cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. Pharmacogenomics J. 2011 Apr 19. PMID: 21502965

    Ross CJ, Visscher H, Rassekh SR, Castro-Pastrana LI, Shereck E, Carleton B, Hayden MR.: Pharmacogenomics of serious adverse drug reactions in pediatric oncology. J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2011;18:e134-51. Epub 2011 Mar 21. PMID: 21467604

    Rassekh SR, Lorenzi M, Lee L, Devji S, McBride M, Goddard K.: Reclassification of ICD-9 Codes into Meaningful Categories for Oncology Survivorship Research.J Cancer Epidemiol. 2010;2010:569517. Epub 2010 Dec 29. PMID: 21234317

    Segal I, Rassekh SR, Bond MC, Senger C, Schreiber RA.: Abnormal liver transaminases and conjugated hyperbilirubinemia at presentation of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 Sep;55(3):434-9. PMID: 20658613

    McBride ML, Rogers PC, Sheps SB, Glickman V, Broemeling AM, Goddard K, Hu J, Lorenzi M, Peacock S, Pritchard S, Rassekh SR, Siegel L, Spinelli JJ, Teckle P, Xie L.: Childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivors research program of British Columbia: objectives, study design, and cohort characteristics. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 Aug;55(2):324-30. PMID: 20582971

    Ross CJ, Katzov-Eckert H, Dubé MP, Brooks B, Rassekh SR, Barhdadi A, Feroz-Zada Y, Visscher H, Brown AM, Rieder MJ, Rogers PC, Phillips MS, Carleton BC, Hayden MR; CPNDS Consortium.: Genetic variants in TPMT and COMT are associated with hearing loss in children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy. Nat Genet. 2009 Dec;41(12):1345-9. Epub 2009 Nov 8. PMID: 19898482

    Rassekh SR, Chan S, Harvard C, Dix D, Qiao Y, Rajcan-Separovic E.: Screening for submicroscopic chromosomal rearrangements in Wilms tumor using whole-genome microarrays.Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2008 Apr 15;182(2):84-94. PMID: 18406869

    Ross CJ, Carleton B, Warn DG, Stenton SB, Rassekh SR, Hayden MR.: Genotypic approaches to therapy in children: a national active surveillance network (GATC) to study the pharmacogenomics of severe adverse drug reactions in children. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Sep;1110:177-92. PMID: 17911433

    Cochrane DD, Rassekh SR, Thiessen PN.: Functional deterioration following placode untethering in myelomeningocele. Pediatr Neurosurg. 1998 Feb;28(2):57-62. PMID: 9693332

    Prestidge C, Rassekh SR, Matsell DG.: Nephrotic syndrome developing during induction chemotherapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Clin Exp Nephrol. 2011 Jun;15(3):410-3. Epub 2011 Jan 22. PMID: 21258838


    Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program Brain Tumour Grant, start up funding - Project: “Outcomes in brain tumors treated with a chemotherapy only approach”

    Honours & Awards

    Outstanding Resident Researcher Award (June 2002)
    Outstanding Junior Resident (July 2001)
    Dr. Peter H. Spohn Memorial Prize
    John J. Mason Memorial Scholarship

    Research Group Members
    • Nita Takeuchi, Senior Clinical Research Associate
    • Colleen Fitzgerald, Clinical Research Manager
    • Rebecca Deyell, Pediatric Oncology Fellow 
    • Alexandra Zorzi, Pediatric Resident