Etan Orgel, MD, MS

Director, Medical Supportive Care Service, Survivorship & Supportive Care Program
Attending Physician
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Etan Orgel is an attending physician within the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. Dr. Orgel’s clinical specialty centers on treating children with acute leukemias and specifically those with higher risk and/or rare malignant hematology. This includes a focus on improving clinical outcomes for a rare type of acute leukemia named mixed phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL); while MPAL represents <2% of all acute leukemias, children with this form typically have a poor outcome.

Dr. Orgel’s research interest in medical supportive care (cancer control) overlaps his clinical interests with the overarching goal to improve the comprehensive care of children being treated for cancer. He leads medical supportive care efforts within the Center aimed at reducing toxicities to enable better-use of currently available chemotherapy agents and help guide families and practitioners with toxicity concerns during therapy. As part of these initiatives, Dr. Orgel conducts research focused on identifying specific needs among patient populations related to acute or long-term toxicities. Once identified, in a true “bedside-to bench-and-back” approach, translational research collaborations with laboratory partners form the basis to develop early phase clinical trials to test new preventive strategies and/or novel investigational agents to mitigate the specific toxicity, allow for delivery of planned doses of chemotherapy, and limit the long-term impact of therapy on survivors of childhood cancer.

Clinical Interests

Caring for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL)


Medical School

Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Children's National Medical Center, Pediatrics


Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology



Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, American Board of Pediatrics


American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
American Society of Hematology
George Donnell Society of Pediatric Scientists, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles & The Saban Research Institute

Medical Awards

2002 Summa Cum Laude, University of Pennsylvania
2006 Global Health Fellowship, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
2007 American Academy of Pediatrics International Travel Award
2011 American Society of Hematology Abstract Achievement Award, American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA
2011 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Graduate Election, University Southern California



Orgel E, Sposto R, Malvar J, Seibel NL, Ladas EJ, Gaynon PS, and DR Freyer, "Impact on survival and toxicity by duration of weight extremes during treatment for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A report from the Children's Oncology Group." Journal of Clinical Oncology, 32 (13); p1331 – 1337, 2014. [Highlighted for Editorial]

Orgel E, Tucci J, Alhushki W, Malvar J, Sposto R, Fu CH, Freyer DR, Abdel-Azim H, and SD Mittelman, “Obesity is associated with residual leukemia following induction therapy for childhood B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia.” Blood, 124(26); p3932-3938, 2014

Orgel E, Jain S, Ji L, Pollick L, Si S, Finlay J, and DR Freyer, “Hearing loss among survivors of childhood brain tumors treated with an irradiation-sparing approach.” Pediatric Blood Cancer 58(6); p953 - 958, 2012

Orgel E, Ji L, Pastor W, and RJ Schore, “Infectious morbidity by catheter type in neutropenic children with cancer.” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 33(3); p263 – 266, 2014.

Orgel E, Zung L, Ji L, Finklestein J, Feusner J, and DR Freyer, "Early cardiac outcomes following contemporary treatment for childhood acute myeloid leukemia: a North American perspective." Pediatric Blood Cancer, 60(9); p1528-1533, 2013. [Highlighted for Commentary]


Research Summary
  • Targeting obesity to improve therapy outcomes for childhood leukemia
  • Preventing chemotherapy-induced permanent hearing loss
  • Reducing treatment-related infectious morbidity and mortality
  • Optimizing the use of the chemotherapy drug asparaginase during therapy

Research Overview

Dr. Orgel’s primary research direction lies in hypothesis-driven medical supportive care clinical trials founded on strong translational research collaborations.  After completing a Master of Science in Clinical and Biomedical Investigations from the renowned Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California, he has led multiple epidemiological, retrospective, and prospective studies in cancer control and medical supportive care.  His publications and interests primarily focus on treatment-related toxicities that dramatically impact the quality of life of survivors, including permanent hearing loss, cardiac toxicity, and poor bone health from chemotherapy regimens, or severely affect outcomes during therapy, such as obesity’s impact on survival from leukemia and infectious morbidity and mortality during leukemia therapy.