In This Section

Theodore Laetsch, MD
Theodore W. Laetsch
Pediatric Oncologist

Dr. Laetsch is a pediatric oncologist who provides clinical care and conducts research with the overarching goal of improving treatment options for children with difficult to treat cancers.



Subscribe to be notified of changes or updates to this page.

11 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Dr. Theodore Laetsch is a pediatric oncologist who leads the Developmental Therapeutics Program (DVL) and the Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program (VRMTP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and holds national leadership roles in each of these areas within the Children’s Oncology Group.

In the DVL program, Dr. Laetsch conducts early phase clinical trials of new treatments for children with difficult to treat cancers, with a focus on molecularly targeted therapies that are designed to block specific genetic mutations identified in patients' tumors. Dr. Laetsch leads the pediatric development of TRK inhibitors for children with NTRK gene fusions, and now leads a COG nationwide clinical trial studying the ability to use TRK inhibitors instead of chemotherapy for children with one of these gene fusions.

While individually very uncommon, very rare malignant tumors comprise more than 10% of childhood cancers. Given the rarity of each diagnosis, these cancers have been poorly studied and for many patients there are not standard, defined treatments. As the chair of the Rare Tumors Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group, Dr. Laetsch is working to advance the study of these tumors and define new ways to treat patients.

Dr. Laetsch hopes to advance the care of patients with these tumors by using cancer genomics to identify targetable mutations as well as studying immunotherapy, which has revolutionized care for some cancers in adult patients. Dr. Laetsch is a member of the cellular therapy/chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell team at CHOP. Prior to joining CHOP in 2020, Dr. Laetsch led the pediatric CAR T-cell program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Education and Training

BS, University Of Arizona (Agriculture And Biosystems Engineering), 2001

MD, University Of California, San Francisco, 2005

Internship, University of Colorado School of Medicine (Pediatrics), Denver Children's Hospital

Residency, University of Colorado School of Medicine (Pediatrics), Denver Children's Hospital

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Pediatric Hematology-Oncology)

Titles and Academic Titles

Pediatric Oncologist

Director, Developmental Therapeutics Program

Director, Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

Children's Oncology Group, Member, 2009-

Children's Oncology Group/National Cancer Institute, Pediatric MATCH Target Agent and Prioritization Committee, Member, 2015-

Children's Oncology Group/National Cancer Institute, Pediatric MATCH Leadership Committee, Member, 2016-

International Society of Pediatric Oncology, Member, 2016-

Connective Tissue Oncology Society, Member, 2017-

National Institutes of Health, ClinGen Somatic Variant Curation Taskforce, Member, 2017-

American Society of Hematology, Member, 2018-

American Society of Clinical Oncology, Annual Meeting Education Committee (Track Leader-Pediatric Oncology), 2019 -

Children's Oncology Group, Rare Tumors Committee, Chair, 2019-

National Institutes of Health, ClinGen NTRK fusion Variant Curation Expert Panel, Member, 2019-

Publication Highlights

Gedminas JM, Laetsch TW. Targeting the DNA damage response in pediatric malignancies. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2022 Oct; 22(10): 1099-1113. PMID: 36099180
Saulnier-Sholler G, Duda DG, Bergendahl G, Ebb D, Snuderl M, Laetsch TW, Michlitsch J, Hanson D, Isakoff MS, Bielamowicz K, Kraveka JM, Ferguson W, Carmeliet P, De Deene A, Gijsen L, Jain RK. A Phase I Trial of TB-403 in Relapsed Medulloblastoma, Neuroblastoma, Ewing Sarcoma, and Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Cancer Res. 2022 Sep; 28(18): 3950-57. PMID: 35833850
Schultz LM, Eaton A, Baggott C, Rossoff J, Prabhu S, Keating AK, Krupski C, Pacenta H, Philips CL, Talano JA, Moskop A, Baumeister SHC, Myers GD, Karras NA, Brown PA, Qayed M, Hermiston M, Satwani P, Wilcox R, Rabik CA, Fabrizio VA, Chinnabhandar V, Kunicki M, Mavroukakis S, Egeler E, Li Y, Mackall CL, Curran KJ, Verneris MR, TLaetsch TW, Stefanski H. Outcomes After Nonresponse and Relapse Post-Tisagenlecleucel in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults With B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. J Clin Oncol. 2022 Sep; JCO2201076. PMID: 36108252
Hsieh EM, Myers RM, Yates B, Annesley C, John S, Taraseviciute A, Steinberg SM, Sheppard J, Chung P, Chen L, Lee DW, DiNofia A, Grupp SA, Verneris MR, Laetsch TW, Bhojwani D, Brown PA, Pulsipher MA, Rheingold SR, Gardner RA, Gore L, Shah NN, Lamble AJ. Low rate of subsequent malignant neoplasms after CD19 CAR T-cell therapy. Blood Adv. 2022 Sep; 6(17): 5222-26. PMID: 35834728
Rodón J, Funchain P, Laetsch TW, Arkenau HT, Hervieu A, Singer CF, Murciano-Goroff YR, Chawla SP, Anthony K, Yamamiya I, Liu M, Halim AB, Benhadji KA, Takahashi O, Delaloge S. A phase II study of TAS-117 in patients with advanced solid tumors harboring germline PTEN-inactivating mutations. Future Oncol. 2022 Sep; 18(30):3377-87. PMID: 36039910