F. Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Chair, Pediatrics; Director, Mailman Center for Child Development
Description of ResearchDr. Armstrong’s major interests in cancer research lie in the areas of neurocognitive late effects in children treated for brain tumors and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), quality of life assessment in childhood cancer, interventions for cognitive late effects in childhood cancer survivors, and health behavior outcomes in long-term survivors of childhood cancer. He is currently the Co-Principal Investigator of a Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act supplemental grant to the NCI’s Children’s Oncology Group that is investigating mechanisms (structure with diffusion tensor imaging, host polymorphisms, acute neurotoxic events) associated with neurocognitive outcomes in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Dr. Armstrong’s clinical work involves neuropsychological evaluations and treatment recommendations for children treated for cancer. In addition, he is completing the fifth-year school-based intervention study for neurocognitive late effects of childhood cancer treatment, which is funded by the American Cancer Society. He is also completing a web-based educational program for teachers about the neurocognitive late effects of childhood cancer (funded with a grant from the National Children’s Cancer Society) as well as conducting a single-subject, pilot study of early intervention (at time of diagnosis) to prevent or lessen neurocognitive late effects in children treated for cancer. This is funded by the Micah Batchelor Award for Excellence in Child Health Research.
- Described a neurodevelopmental model for predicting late effects outcomes in children with cancer
- Examining mechanisms associated with late neurocognitive effects of treatment with high dose methotrexate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, including acute neurologic events, structural changes using diffusion tensor imaging, changes in the folate pathway, and contribution of genetic polymorphisms
- Examining whether early intervention (starting at diagnosis) without symptoms can prevent or lessen long-term neurocognitive effects of childhood cancer treatment
- Created agreements to establish a network of 11 pediatric cancer programs in Florida to conduct behavioral/late effects research on childhood cancer
Selected Cancer-Related Publications
- Vichinsky EP, Neumayr LD, Gold JI, Weiner MW, Rule RR, Truran D, Kasten J, Eggleston B, Kesler K, McMahon L, Orringer EP, Harrington T, Kalinyak K, De Castro LM, Kutlar A, Rutherford CJ, Johnson C, Bessman JD, Jordan LB, Armstrong FD. Neuropsychological dysfunction and neuroimaging abnormalities in neurologically intact adults with sickle cell anemia. JAMA 303:1823-31, 2010 Read more »
- Steinberg MH, McCarthy WF, Castro O, Ballas SK, Armstrong FD, Smith W, Ataga K, Swerdlow P, Kutlar A, DeCastro L, Waclawiw MA. The risks and benefits of long-term use of hydroxyurea in sickle cell anemia: A 17.5 year follow-up. Am J Hematol 85:403-8, 2010 Read more »
- Bailey DB Jr, Armstrong FD, Kemper AR, Skinner D, Warren SF. Supporting family adaptation to presymptomatic and "untreatable" conditions in an era of expanded newborn screening. J Pediatr Psychol 34:648-61, 2009 Read more »
Leader of the Multidisciplinary Research Program: Biobehavioral Oncology Program