Dr. Vikram Mathews

Dr. Vikram Mathews MBBS, MD, DM

Professor & Head

As a physician-scientist I have been involved in research and management of patients with leukemia over the last 20 years. Following completion of my specialty training in Clinical Hematology under the guidance of Dr. MammenChandy, I spent 3 years in Washington University, St Loius, MO, USA as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Graubert and Dr. John DiPersio. During this period I trained in stem cell and leukemia biology and was involved in establishing mouse models of some of these conditions and in evaluating stem cell plasticity. I have since worked and published on various aspects of diagnosis, prognostication and treatment of acute leukemia in India. An innovative therapeutic strategy and a novel protocol of using arsenic trioxide as frontline therapy in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) was reported by us. I have conducted both single and multi-center clinical trials with this agent in India. This cost effective therapy has been widely cited and was instrumental in moving this drug to frontline therapy worldwide in the treatment of APL. I am currently involved in evaluation of mechanisms of resistance in leukemia with a focus on the role of microenvironment on drug resistance in leukemia. We have recently published our work on mechanism the mechanism of resistance to arsenic mediated by the microenvironment and strategies that can overcome it (Leukemia 30 (11), 2169-2178). We have translated of this work into an ongoing clinical trial and we recently reported on promising data from that study (Blood 128 (22), 446-446).

Areas of clinical and laboratory research are:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Acute Promyelocytic leukemia
  • Evaluation of mechanisms of resistance to arsenic trioxide and impact of novel agents in the management of acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • Allogeneic stem cell transplant. Improving clinical outcomes by studying risk stratification, modifying conditioning regimens and graft manipulation.


  • Early career investigator award from Bayer Hemophilia Awards program 2006
  • Best abstract and oral presentation award. Asia Pacific BMT meeting. Phuket, Thailand 2010
  • DBT-Wellcome India Alliance Senior Fellow 2012

Reviewer for the following journals

  • Indian Journal of Haematology and Transfusion (also editorial board)
  • Indian Journal of Medical Research
  • Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
  • Pediatric Blood and Cancer
  • Blood
  • Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Leukemia
  • Plos One (associate editor)
S.No Study title Principal Investigator
1. Randomized, open label, multicenter phase IIIb study evaluating the efficacy and safety of ruxolitinib versus best available therapy in patients with polycythemia vera who are hydroxyurea resistant or intolerant (Response 2) – Novartis Dr. Vikram Mathews
2. Myeloproliferative neoplasms Epidemiological Registry in Growing and Emerging markets The MERGE Study (Novartis India) Dr. Vikram Mathews
3. A Prospective, Open-label, Multi-centric Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Inj. Romiplostim of Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in Adult Indian Patients with Chronic Refractory Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Protocol: 063-15) – INTAS Pharma Dr. Vikram Mathews
1. Phase II Study to Evaluate the Role of Bortezomib in the Management of Relapsed Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Dr. Vikram Mathews

Research grants / Fellowships from other funding agencies

Pl Nature of Funding (Grant  / Fellowship) Awarding Agency Title of the Project Amount  awarded (in Lakhs) Start Date(mm/yy) End Date(mm/yy)
1 COE  Grant DBT “Centre of Excellance  on Evaluation of Biology and Mechanism of  Resistance in Leukemia” 484.81 01/16 01/21
2 The Wellcome –DBT Senior  Fellowship Wellcome Trust / DBT India Alliance “Study  the role of Cell Adhesion mediated drug resistance in Acute Promyelocytic  Leukemia treated with Arsenic Trioxide and evaluate the potential  role of drugs that can  inhibit it 439.13 04/12 04/17
3 DST  Grant SERB,DST,New Delhi “Evaluation of the role of Research Oxygen Species in the bleeding diathesis of patients with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia” 51.81 01/15 01/18
4 ICMR Grant ICMR “Evaluation of Cellular & Immune Response in Mice & Patients with APML with Arsenic Trioxide” 39.36 06/11 05/13
5 CEFIPRA Grant CEFIPRA “Evaluation of Cellular & Immune Response in Mice & Patients with APML with Arsenic Trioxide” 85.00 07/11  06/14

The detail list of my publications and citations can be accessed at:


My recent and significant publications are:

  • Madan V, Shyamsunder P, Han L, Mayakonda A, Nagata Y, Sundaresan J, et al. Comprehensive mutational analysis of primary and relapse acute promyelocytic leukemia. Leukemia. 2016;30(8):1672-81.
  • Ganzel C, Mathews V, Alimoghaddam K, Ghavamzadeh A, Kuk D, Devlin S, et al. Autologous transplant remains the preferred therapy for relapsed APL in CR2. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2016;51(9):1180-3.
  • Ganesan S, Alex AA, Chendamarai E, Balasundaram N, Palani HK, David S, et al. Rationale and efficacy of proteasome inhibitor combined with arsenic trioxide in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia. Leukemia. 2016;30(11):2169-78.
  • Philip C, George B, Ganapule A, Korula A, Jain P, Alex AA, et al. Acute myeloid leukaemia: challenges and real world data from India. Br J Haematol. 2015;170(1):110-7.
  • Patel S, Guerenne L, Gorombei P, Omidvar N, Schlageter MH, Alex AA, et al. pVAX14DNA-mediated add-on immunotherapy combined with arsenic trioxide and all-trans retinoic acid targeted therapy effectively increases the survival of acute promyelocytic leukemia mice. Blood Cancer J. 2015;5:e374.
  • Mathews V. De-escalation of treatment for acute promyelocyticleukaemia? The Lancet Haematology. 2015;2(9):e348-9.
  • Le Pogam C, Patel S, Gorombei P, Guerenne L, Krief P, Omidvar N, et al. DNA-mediated adjuvant immunotherapy extends survival in two different mouse models of myeloid malignancies. Oncotarget. 2015;6(32):32494-508.
  • Chendamarai E, Ganesan S, Alex AA, Kamath V, Nair SC, Nellickal AJ, et al. Comparison of newly diagnosed and relapsed patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia treated with arsenic trioxide: insight into mechanisms of resistance. PLoS One. 2015;10(3):e0121912.
  • Abraham A, Devasia AJ, Varatharajan S, Karathedath S, Balasubramanian P, Mathews V. Effect of cytosine arabinoside metabolizing enzyme expression on drug toxicity in acute myeloid leukemia. Ann Hematol. 2015;94(5):883-5.
  • Warlick ED, Paulson K, Brazauskas R, Zhong X, Miller AM, Camitta BM, et al. Effect of postremission therapy before reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia in first complete remission. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014;20(2):202-8.
  • Mathews V, Srivastava A, Chandy M. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation for thalassemia major. HematolOncolClin North Am. 2014;28(6):1187-200.
  • Mathews V, Savani BN. Conditioning regimens in allo-SCT for thalassemia major. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2014;49(5):607-10.
  • Mathews V. Generic imatinib: the real-deal or just a deal? Leuk Lymphoma. 2014;55(12):2678-80.
  • Mathews V, George B, Viswabandya A, Abraham A, Ahmed R, Ganapule A, et al. Improved clinical outcomes of high risk beta thalassemia major patients undergoing a HLA matched related allogeneic stem cell transplant with a treosulfan based conditioning regimen and peripheral blood stem cell grafts. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e61637.
  • Chendamarai E, Balasubramanian P, George B, Viswabandya A, Abraham A, Ahmed R, et al. Role of minimal residual disease monitoring in acute promyelocytic leukemia treated with arsenic trioxide in frontline therapy. Blood. 2012;119(15):3413-9.
  • Mathews V, Chendamarai E, George B, Viswabandya A, Srivastava A. Treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia with single-agent arsenic trioxide. Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2011;3(1):e2011056.
  • Rajasekar R, Lakshmi KM, George B, Viswabandya A, Thirugnanam R, Abraham A, et al. Dendritic cell count in the graft predicts relapse in patients with hematologic malignancies undergoing an HLA-matched related allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2010;16(6):854-60.
  • Mathews V, George B, Chendamarai E, Lakshmi KM, Desire S, Balasubramanian P, et al. Single-agent arsenic trioxide in the treatment of newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia: long-term follow-up data. J ClinOncol. 2010;28(24):3866-71.
  • Thirugnanam R, George B, Chendamarai E, Lakshmi KM, Balasubramanian P, Viswabandya A, et al. Comparison of clinical outcomes of patients with relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia induced with arsenic trioxide and consolidated with either an autologous stem cell transplant or an arsenic trioxide-based regimen. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2009;15(11):1479-84.
  • Rajasekar R, Mathews V, Lakshmi KM, George B, Viswabandya A, Chandy M, et al. Cellular immune reconstitution and its impact on clinical outcome in children with β thalassemia major undergoing a matched related myeloablative allogeneic bone marrow transplant. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2009;15(5):597-609.
  • Mathews V, George B, Lakshmi KM, Viswabandya A, John JM, Sitaram U, et al. Impact of pretransplant splenectomy on patients with beta-thalassemia major undergoing a matched-related allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Pediatr Transplant. 2009;13(2):171-6.
  • Rajasekar R, Mathews V, Lakshmi KM, Sellathamby S, George B, Viswabandya A, et al. Plasmacytoid dendritic cell count on day 28 in HLA-matched related allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant predicts the incidence of acute and chronic GVHD. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2008;14(3):344-50.
  • Mathews V, Thomas M, Srivastava VM, George B, Srivastava A, Chandy M. Impact of FLT3 mutations and secondary cytogenetic changes on the outcome of patients with newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia treated with a single agent arsenic trioxide regimen. Haematologica. 2007;92(7):994-5.
  • Mathews V, George B, Lakshmi KM, Viswabandya A, Bajel A, Balasubramanian P, et al. Single-agent arsenic trioxide in the treatment of newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia: durable remissions with minimal toxicity. Blood. 2006;107(7):2627-32.
  • Mathews V, Desire S, George B, Lakshmi KM, Rao JG, Viswabandya A, et al. Hepatotoxicity profile of single agent arsenic trioxide in the treatment of newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia, its impact on clinical outcome and the effect of genetic polymorphisms on the incidence of hepatotoxicity. Leukemia. 2006;20(5):881.
  • Mathews V, Hanson PT, Ford E, Fujita J, Polonsky KS, Graubert TA. Recruitment of bone marrow-derived endothelial cells to sites of pancreatic β-cell injury. Diabetes. 2004;53(1):91-8.
  • Fenske TS, Pengue G, Mathews V, Hanson PT, Hamm SE, Riaz N, et al. Stem cell expression of the AML1/ETO fusion protein induces a myeloproliferative disorder in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2004;101(42):15184-9.
  • Hanson P, Mathews V, Marrus SH, Graubert TA. Enhanced green fluorescent protein targeted to the Sca-1 (Ly-6A) locus in transgenic mice results in efficient marking of hematopoietic stem cells in vivo. Experimental hematology. 2003;31(2):159-67.
  • Mathews V, Balasubramanian P, Shaji RV, George B, Chandy M, Srivastava A. Arsenic trioxide in the treatment of newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia: a single center experience. Am J Hematol. 2002;70(4):292-9.
Date from (mm/yy) Date to (mm/yy) Degree Subject University/Institution
06/85 03/91 MBBS Medicine Dr.MGR University
03/93 03/96 MD General Medicine Dr.MGR University
03/99 03/01 DM Clinical Haematology Dr.MGR University
03/01 03/03 Post doctoral fellow Stem cell biology Washington University, St. Louis. USA
04/03 04/04 BoneMarrow Transplant fellowship BMT and Leukemia Washington University, St. Louis. USA