Harold L. Atkins, M.D., B.Med.Sc. FRCP(C)

Telephone: 613-737-7700 Ext.70341
Fax: 613-737-8768
Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics and Medical Director, Regenerative Medicine, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Physician, The Ottawa Hospital Blood Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Current Research Projects

Stem Cell Transplantation For The Treatment Of Autoimmune Diseases.

Multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases result from the dysregulation of the immune response in individuals with permissive immunogenetics exposed to poorly identified environmental initiating factors. Thus, the removal of a diseased immune organ using systemic therapy (chemotherapy, antibody therapy and radiotherapy) and replacement with a healthy new organ derived from purified hematopoietic stem cells could be a potentially valuable and curative treatment for patients with autoimmune diseases. This paradigm is currently being tested in clinical studies of patients with Multiple sclerosis.

I have initiated a multicenter trial to study the effects of dose-intensive immunosuppression on the immunological activity of MS using autologous T cell depleted hematopoietic stem cell support. Changes in the immune system are being monitored using both clinical and laboratory assays of immune function. Data on the changes in CNS destruction, lymphocyte subpopulations, repertoire complexity and antigen directed immune cell repopulation are being collected and will be correlated with clinical indicators of immune and MS activity. The alterations detected in the immune system will provide vital information about the immunological changes necessary for disease response and disease control. In the event that this therapy fails to curb recurrent MS activity in a patient, these studies will provide knowledge of the earliest immune alterations in the renewed activity of this disease.

Oncolytic viruses for the treatment of human marrow derived malignancies.

In collaboration with Dr. John Bell, I am looking at the effects of oncolytic viruses on acute leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma cells. Different cell types exhibit variable sensitivity to virus induced cytolytic effects. My current work is examining the spectrum of cytolysis and whether resistance to viral effects can be amplified or selected. Ultimately, the goal is to examine the molecular/genetic basis of the resistance. Coincident with this work, preclinical studies are being completed that will guide the use of oncolytic viruses in the clinical setting.

Most Recent Publications (provided by The Ottawa Hospital Library Database)

Berard JA;Bowman M;Atkins HL;Freedman MS;Walker LA;, (2013 Oct 23), Cognitive fatigue in individuals with multiple sclerosis undergoing immunoablative therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, J Neurol Sci, -> view abstract

Conrad DP;Tsang JJ;Maclean M;Diallo JS;Le BF;Lemay CG;Falls TJ;Parato K;Bell JC;Atkins H;, (2013 May 28), Leukemia Cell-Rhabdovirus Vaccine: Personalized Immunotherapy for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Clin Cancer Res, Vol.19, Issue 14, 3832-3843 -> view abstract

Atkins HL;Freedman MS;, (2013 Jan), Hematopoietic stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis: top 10 lessons learned, Neurotherapeutics, Vol.10, Issue 1, 68-76 -> view abstract

Le Boeuf F.;Batenchuk C;Vaha-Koskela M;Breton S;Roy D;Lemay C;Cox J;Abdelbary H;Falls T;Waghray G;Atkins H;Stojdl D;Diallo JS;Kaern M;Bell JC;, (2013), Model-based rational design of an oncolytic virus with improved therapeutic potential, Nat Commun, Vol.4, 1974 -> view abstract

Batenchuk C;Le BF;Stubbert L;Falls T;Atkins HL;Bell JC;Conrad DP;, (2013), Non-replicating rhabdovirus-derived particles (NRRPs) eradicate acute leukemia by direct cytolysis and induction of antitumor immunity, Blood Cancer J, Vol.3, e123 -> view abstract

Seth R;Tai LH;Falls T;de Souza CT;Bell JC;Carrier M;Atkins H;Boushey R;Auer RA;, (2013), Surgical Stress Promotes the Development of Cancer Metastases by a Coagulation-Dependent Mechanism Involving Natural Killer Cells in a Murine Model, Ann Surg, Vol.258, Issue 1, 158-168 -> view abstract

Bubela T;Reshef A;Li MD;Atkins H;Caulfield T;Culme-Seymour E;Gold ER;Illes J;Isasi R;McCabe C;Ogbogu U;Piret J;Mason C;, (2012 Nov), Enabling advanced cell therapies (EnACT): invitation to an online forum on resolving barriers to clinical translation, Regen Med , Vol.7, Issue 6, 735-740

Chou A;Guo M;Tay J;Atkins H;Bence-Bruckler I;Sabloff M;Huebsch L;Allan D;, (2012 Mar 5), Serial assessment of toxicity after hematopoietic SCT can discern kinetics of transplant-related organ injury and patterns of recovery, Bone Marrow Transplant, Vol.47, Issue 10, 1375-1376

Pasquini MC;Voltarelli J;Atkins HL;Hamerschlak N;Zhong X;Ahn KW;Sullivan KM;Carrum G;Andrey J;Bredeson CN;Cairo M;Gale RP;Hahn T;Storek J;Horowitz MM;McSweeney PA;Griffith LM;Muraro PA;Pavletic SZ;Nash RA;, (2012 Jun 12), Transplants for Autoimmune Diseases in North and South America: A Report of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), Biol Blood Marrow Transplant, Vol.18, Issue 10, 1471-1478 -> view abstract

Saccardi R;Freedman MS;Sormani MP;Atkins H;Farge D;Griffith LM;Kraft G;Mancardi GL;Nash R;Pasquini M;Martin R;Muraro PA;European Blood and Marrow Transplantation Group;Center for International Blood and Marrow Research;HSCT in MS International Study Group, (2012 Jun), A prospective, randomized, controlled trial of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for aggressive multiple sclerosis: a position paper, Mult Scler , Vol.18, Issue 6, 825-834 -> view abstract