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Kira O'Neil Bona, M.D.

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American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Research Scholar
ASCO Young Investigator Award
St. Baldrick's Foundation Fellow
Child Health Award
Radcliffe Exploratory Seminar Leader

The Bona Lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute studies outcome disparities in childhood cancer with a focus on improving childhood cancer outcomes by systematically considering social determinants of health as risk factors in the clinical trial setting and potential targets for intervention.

One in five children diagnosed with cancer in the United States lives in poverty, and we have demonstrated that poverty is associated with higher rates of relapse, decreased overall survival, and higher symptom burden even when children are treated on clinical trials at large academic medical centers. Poverty-associated outcome disparities in this context highlight the stubborn reality that increased understanding of tumor and host biology and the development of rational therapeutics may be necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve the cures we desire. Our research is based on the premise that transformative improvements in outcome are most likely to be achieved if we expand our conceptual model of discovery and intervention beyond biology to include social determinants of health outcomes at every stage in pediatric cancer research.

?The mission of the Bona Lab is to ensure that every child diagnosed with cancer has an equal chance of survival and optimal quality-of-life during and after treatment. We aim to achieve this by uniting traditional outcomes and health services research with the robust clinical trial model of discovery and care which has steadily improved outcomes for children with cancer over the last half century. Our team is highly collaborative and leverages the expertise of colleagues conducting multicenter clinical trials and basic science translational research to consider risk factors for disease outcome from a novel lens.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R03CA259894 (ZHOU, ERIC S) Apr 1, 2021 - Mar 31, 2023
    A Preventive Care Approach to Mitigate the Impact of Pediatric ALL Treatment on Sleep
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  2. K07CA211847 (BONA, KIRA O) Sep 20, 2016 - Aug 31, 2021
    Material Hardship as a Targetable Measure of Poverty in Pediatric Cancer
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Shulman DS, Kiwinda LV, Edwards S, Clinton CM, Hunt S, Greenspan L, Lawler KD, Reaman G, Al-Sayegh H, Bona K, O'Neill AF, Shusterman S, Janeway KA, Place AE, Chi SN, Ma C, DuBois SG. Retrospective evaluation of single patient investigational new drug (IND) requests in pediatric oncology. Cancer Med. 2021 Mar 09. PMID: 33751835.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  2. Bona K, Li Y, Winestone LE, Getz KD, Huang YS, Fisher BT, Desai AV, Richardson T, Hall M, Naranjo A, Henderson TO, Aplenc R, Bagatell R. Poverty and Targeted Immunotherapy: Survival in Children's Oncology Group Clinical Trials for High-Risk Neuroblastoma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Mar 01; 113(3):282-291. PMID: 33227816.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    
  3. Bona K, Brazauskas R, He N, Lehmann L, Abdel-Azim H, Ahmed IA, Al-Homsi AS, Aljurf M, Arnold SD, Badawy SM, Battiwalla M, Beattie S, Bhatt NS, Dalal J, Dandoy CE, Diaz MA, Frangoul HA, Freytes CO, Ganguly S, George B, Gomez-Almaguer D, Hahn T, Kamble RT, Knight JM, LeMaistre CF, Law J, Lazarus HM, Majhail NS, Olsson RF, Preussler J, Savani BN, Schears R, Seo S, Sharma A, Srivastava A, Steinberg A, Szwajcer D, Wirk B, Yoshimi A, Khera N, Wood WA, Hashmi S, Duncan CN, Saber W. Neighborhood poverty and pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation outcomes: a CIBMTR analysis. Blood. 2021 01 28; 137(4):556-568. PMID: 33104215.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  4. Bitterman DS, Bona K, Laurie F, Kao PC, Terezakis SA, London WB, Haas-Kogan DA. Race Disparities in Proton Radiotherapy Use for Cancer Treatment in Patients Enrolled in Children's Oncology Group Trials. JAMA Oncol. 2020 09 01; 6(9):1465-1468. PMID: 32910158.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  5. Bitterman DS, Bona K, Laurie F, Kao PC, Terezakis SA, London WB, Haas-Kogan DA. Race Disparities in Proton Radiotherapy Use for Cancer Treatment in Patients Enrolled in Children's Oncology Group Trials. JAMA Oncol. 2020 Aug 06. PMID: 32761120.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  6. Ilowite MF, Al-Sayegh H, Ma C, Dussel V, Rosenberg AR, Feudtner C, Kang TI, Wolfe J, Bona K. The relationship between household income and patient-reported symptom distress and quality of life in children with advanced cancer: A report from the PediQUEST study. Cancer. 2018 10 01; 124(19):3934-3941. PMID: 30216416.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  7. Lau N, Bona K, Steineck A, Rosenberg AR. What we did not learn from an exploratory analysis of economic hardship in newly diagnosed adolescents and young adults with cancer. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018 Dec; 65(12):e27411. PMID: 30155981.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  8. Zheng DJ, Shyr D, Ma C, Muriel AC, Wolfe J, Bona K. Feasibility of systematic poverty screening in a pediatric oncology referral center. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018 12; 65(12):e27380. PMID: 30069999.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  9. Scheurer ME, Lupo PJ, Schüz J, Spector LG, Wiemels JL, Aplenc R, Gramatges MM, Schiffman JD, Pombo-de-Oliveira MS, Yang JJ, Heck JE, Metayer C, Orjuela-Grimm MA, Bona K, Aristizabal P, Austin MT, Rabin KR, Russell HV, Poplack DG. An overview of disparities in childhood cancer: Report on the Inaugural Symposium on Childhood Cancer Health Disparities, Houston, Texas, 2016. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2018 Mar; 35(2):95-110. PMID: 29737912.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  10. Rosenberg AR, Bradford MC, Bona K, Shaffer ML, Wolfe J, Baker KS, Lau N, Yi-Frazier J. Hope, distress, and later quality of life among adolescent and young adults with cancer. J Psychosoc Oncol. 2018 Mar-Apr; 36(2):137-144. PMID: 28934026.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  11. Bona K, Wolfe J. Disparities in Pediatric Palliative Care: An Opportunity to Strive for Equity. Pediatrics. 2017 10; 140(4). PMID: 28963113.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  12. Bilodeau M, Ma C, Al-Sayegh H, Wolfe J, Bona K. Household material hardship in families of children post-chemotherapy. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018 Jan; 65(1). PMID: 28941160.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
  13. Straehla JP, Barton KS, Yi-Frazier JP, Wharton C, Baker KS, Bona K, Wolfe J, Rosenberg AR. The Benefits and Burdens of Cancer: A Prospective Longitudinal Cohort Study of Adolescents and Young Adults. J Palliat Med. 2017 05; 20(5):494-501. PMID: 28051888.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  14. Rosenberg AR, Bona K, Ketterl T, Wharton CM, Wolfe J, Baker KS. Intimacy, Substance Use, and Communication Needs During Cancer Therapy: A Report From the "Resilience in Adolescents and Young Adults" Study. J Adolesc Health. 2017 01; 60(1):93-99. PMID: 27769762.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  15. Shutske K, Yi-Frazier JP, Wharton CM, Baker KS, Bona KO, Wolfe J, Rosenberg AR. The benefits and burdens of cancer: A prospective, longitudinal cohort study of adolescents and young adults. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Oct 09; 34(26_suppl):243. PMID: 28156534.
  16. Abel GA, Albelda R, Khera N, Hahn T, Salas Coronado DY, Odejide OO, Bona K, Tucker-Seeley R, Soiffer R. Financial Hardship and Patient-Reported Outcomes after Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016 08; 22(8):1504-1510. PMID: 27184627.
    Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  17. Rosenberg AR, Bona K. The Power of Personal Narrative: A Reply to "The Reality of Relapse: Impact of Cancer Relapse on Survivorship Interventions and Patient-Reported Outcomes Data". Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 08; 63(8):1494. PMID: 27082716.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  18. Bona K, Blonquist TM, Neuberg DS, Silverman LB, Wolfe J. Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Timing of Relapse and Overall Survival for Children Treated on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium Protocols (2000-2010). Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Jun; 63(6):1012-8. PMID: 26913850.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  19. Rosenberg AR, Bona K, Wharton CM, Bradford M, Shaffer ML, Wolfe J, Baker KS. Adolescent and Young Adult Patient Engagement and Participation in Survey-Based Research: A Report From the "Resilience in Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer" Study. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Apr; 63(4):734-6. PMID: 26681427.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  20. Pelletier W, Bona K. Assessment of Financial Burden as a Standard of Care in Pediatric Oncology. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Dec; 62 Suppl 5:S619-31. PMID: 26700920.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  21. Bona K, London WB, Guo D, Frank DA, Wolfe J. Trajectory of Material Hardship and Income Poverty in Families of Children Undergoing Chemotherapy: A Prospective Cohort Study. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Jan; 63(1):105-11. PMID: 26398865.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  22. Bona K, London WB, Guo D, Abel G, Lehmann L, Wolfe J. Prevalence and impact of financial hardship among New England pediatric stem cell transplantation families. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015 Feb; 21(2):312-8. PMID: 25445021.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  23. Bona K, Dussel V, Orellana L, Kang T, Geyer R, Feudtner C, Wolfe J. Economic impact of advanced pediatric cancer on families. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014 Mar; 47(3):594-603. PMID: 23870843.
    Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  24. Bona K, Bates J, Wolfe J. Massachusetts' Pediatric Palliative Care Network: successful implementation of a novel state-funded pediatric palliative care program. J Palliat Med. 2011 Nov; 14(11):1217-23. PMID: 21823906.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  25. Dussel V, Bona K, Heath JA, Hilden JM, Weeks JC, Wolfe J. Unmeasured costs of a child's death: perceived financial burden, work disruptions, and economic coping strategies used by American and Australian families who lost children to cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2011 Mar 10; 29(8):1007-13. PMID: 21205758.
    Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  26. Neuner JM, Hamel MB, Phillips RS, Bona K, Aronson MD. Diagnosis and management of adults with pharyngitis. A cost-effectiveness analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Jul 15; 139(2):113-22. PMID: 12859161.
    Citations: 29     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.