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Brian Czerniecki, MD, PhD

Chair, Department of Breast Oncology

Specialty: Surgery
Program: Breast Oncology

Call 1-888-MOFFITT

or call 1-888-MOFFITT


Dr. Brian Czerniecki is Chair and Senior Member in the Moffitt Cancer Center Department of Breast Oncology. Dr. Czerniecki received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maine and his MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and his PhD from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson and Rutgers University. Dr. Czerniecki completed his general surgical residency at The Ohio State University and was Surgical Oncology Fellow at the NCI with Dr. Steven Rosenberg prior to his position at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Czerniecki served as Professor of Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine; Attending Surgeon, Department of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; and Co-Director of the Rena Rowan Breast Center–Recruitment and Center Expansion. His research interests focus on dendritic cell biology and interactions with T cells. He has developed dendritic cell vaccines for the treatment of cancer. He is involved with several clinical trials for treating patients with early breast cancer with dendritic cell vaccines. Dr. Czerniecki’s research goal is the development of vaccines for the prevention of breast and other solid-tumor cancers. Toward that end, he is working on identifying molecular targets in early breast cancer that can be used to prevent invasion and metastasis. Dr. Czerniecki has more than 100 publications and is recognized nationally for his contribution to the development of sentinel lymph node mapping, a procedure for determining the spread of cancer into lymph nodes that is less invasive than diagnostic surgery.

Education & Training

Board Certification:

  • General Surgery


  • National Cancer Institute - Surgical Oncology


  • Ohio State University Hospital - General Surgery

Medical School:

  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - MD
Participating Trials

A Randomized Phase III Trial Comparing Axillary Lymph Node Dissection to Axillary Radiation in Breast Cancer Patients who have Positive Sentinel Lymph Node Disease After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
Condition: Breast

A Randomized Phase III Clinical Trial Evaluating Post-Mastectomy Chestwall and Regional Nodal XRT and Post-Lumpectomy Regional Nodal XRT in Patients with Positive Axillary Nodes Before Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Who Convert to Pathologically Negative Axillary Nodes After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
Condition: Breast
Intervention: Not Applicable

A Phase 1, Open-Label, Dose-Escalation Study to Evaluate the Safety and Tolerability of SGN-LIV1A in Patients with LIV-1-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer
Condition: Breast
Intervention: Herceptin (Trastuzumab); SGN-LIV1A; Trastuzumab; rhuMAb HER2 (Trastuzumab)

Phase 2 Study of the Safety, Efficacy, and Pharmacokinetics of G1T28 in Patients with Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer Receiving Gemcitabine and Carboplatin Chemotherapy
Condition: Breast
Intervention: G1T28 (Trilaciclib); Gemzar (gemcitabine); Paraplatin (carboplatin); Trilaciclib; carboplatin; gemcitabine

A Phase 1/2 Study of Talimogene laherparepvec in Combination with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Condition: Breast
Intervention: Adriamycin (doxorubicin); Talimogene laherparepvec 10^6 PFU (Talimogene Laherparepvec); Talimogene laherparepvec 10^8 PFU (Talimogene Laherparepvec); Taxol (paclitaxel); cyclophosphamide; cytoxan (cyclophosphamide); doxorubicin; paclitaxel

A Phase I-II Study of Interferon-gamma Plus Weekly Paclitaxel, Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab in Patients with HER-2 Positive Breast Cancer
Condition: Breast
Intervention: Herceptin (Trastuzumab); Pertuzumab; Taxol (paclitaxel); Trastuzumab; interferon gamma (Actimmune); paclitaxel; rhuMAb HER2 (Trastuzumab)

If you believe you are eligible for one of these trials or studies, please call
1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488).


  • Somasundaram R, Zhang G, Fukunaga-Kalabis M, Perego M, Krepler C, Xu X, Wagner C, Hristova D, Zhang J, Tian T, Wei Z, Liu Q, Garg K, Griss J, Hards R, Maurer M, Hafner C, Mayerhöfer M, Karanikas G, Jalili A, Bauer-Pohl V, Weihsengruber F, Rappersberger K, Koller J, Lang R, Hudgens C, Chen G, Tetzlaff M, Wu L, Frederick DT, Scolyer RA, Long GV, Damle M, Ellingsworth C, Grinman L, Choi H, Gavin BJ, Dunagin M, Raj A, Scholler N, Gross L, Beqiri M, Bennett K, Watson I, Schaider H, Davies MA, Wargo J, Czerniecki BJ, Schuchter L, Herlyn D, Flaherty K, Herlyn M, Wagner SN. Tumor-associated B-cells induce tumor heterogeneity and therapy resistance. Nat Commun. 2017 Sep;8(1):607. Pubmedid: 28928360. Pmcid: PMC5605714.
  • Mustafa RE, DeStefano LM, Bahng J, Yoon-Flannery K, Fisher CS, Zhang PJ, Tchou J, Czerniecki BJ, De La Cruz LM. Evaluating the Risk of Upstaging HER2-Positive DCIS to Invasive Breast Cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 2017 Oct;24(10):2999-3003. Pubmedid: 28766212.
  • Costa RLB, Costa-Filho RB, Rosa M, Czerniecki BJ. Occult Breast Carcinoma Presenting as Scalp Metastasis. Case Rep Oncol. 2017 Nov;10(3):992-997. Pubmedid: 29279704. Pmcid: PMC5731106.
  • So A, De La Cruz LM, Williams AD, Bahng J, Liao G, McDonald ES, Fisher CS, Czerniecki BJ, Sataloff D, Tchou J. The impact of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and lumpectomy cavity shavings on re-excision rate in pure ductal carcinoma in situ-A single institution's experience. J Surg Oncol. 2017 Nov. Pubmedid: 29127721.
  • Herbert G, Karakousis GC, Bartlett EK, Zaheer S, Graham D, Czerniecki BJ, Fraker DL, Ariyan C, Coit DG, Brady MS. Transected thin melanoma: Implications for sentinel lymph node staging. J Surg Oncol. 2017 Nov. Pubmedid: 29194673.
  • Poleszczuk J, Luddy K, Chen L, Lee JK, Harrison LB, Czerniecki BJ, Soliman H, Enderling H. Neoadjuvant radiotherapy of early-stage breast cancer and long-term disease-free survival. Breast Cancer Res. 2017 Jun;19(1):75. Pubmedid: 28666457. Pmcid: PMC5493088.
  • Nocera NF, Lee MC, Czerniecki BJ. Boosting anti-HER2 CD4 T-helper responses in HER2 expressing ductal carcinoma in situ. Future Oncol. 2017 Jul;13(17):1459-1462. Pubmedid: 28766964.
  • Fracol M, Datta J, Lowenfeld L, Xu S, Zhang PJ, Fisher CS, Czerniecki BJ. Loss of Anti-HER-3 CD4+ T-Helper Type 1 Immunity Occurs in Breast Tumorigenesis and is Negatively Associated with Outcomes. Ann Surg Oncol. 2017 Feb;24(2):407-417. Pubmedid: 27663569.
  • Sinnamon AJ, Neuwirth MG, Bartlett EK, Zaheer S, Etherington MS, Xu X, Elder DE, Czerniecki BJ, Fraker DL, Karakousis GC. Predictors of false negative sentinel lymph node biopsy in trunk and extremity melanoma. J Surg Oncol. 2017 Dec;116(7):848-855. Pubmedid: 28650537.
  • Costa RLB, Soliman H, Czerniecki BJ. The clinical development of vaccines for HER2+ breast cancer: Current landscape and future perspectives. Cancer Treat Rev. 2017 Dec;61:107-115. Pubmedid: 29125981.
  • Karakousis G, Gimotty PA, Bartlett EK, Sim MS, Neuwirth MG, Fraker D, Czerniecki BJ, Faries MB. Thin Melanoma with Nodal Involvement: Analysis of Demographic, Pathologic, and Treatment Factors with Regard to Prognosis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2017 Apr;24(4):952-959. Pubmedid: 27807729. Pmcid: PMC5555768.
  • De La Cruz L, Blankenship SA, Chatterjee A, Geha R, Nocera N, Czerniecki BJ, Tchou J, Fisher CS. Outcomes After Oncoplastic Breast-Conserving Surgery in Breast Cancer Patients: A Systematic Literature Review. Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 Oct;23(10):3247-3258. Pubmedid: 27357177.
  • Nocera NF, Lee MC, De La Cruz LM, Rosemblit C, Czerniecki BJ. Restoring Lost Anti-HER-2 Th1 Immunity in Breast Cancer: A Crucial Role for Th1 Cytokines in Therapy and Prevention. Front Pharmacol. 2016 Oct;7:356. Pubmedid: 27766079. Pmcid: PMC5052279.
  • Namjoshi P, Showalter L, Czerniecki BJ, Koski GK. T-helper 1-type cytokines induce apoptosis and loss of HER-family oncodriver expression in murine and human breast cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2016 Jun. Pubmedid: 27374107.
  • Lowenfeld L, Zaheer S, Oechsle C, Fracol M, Datta J, Xu S, Fitzpatrick E, Roses RE, Fisher CS, McDonald ES, Zhang PJ, DeMichele A, Mick R, Koski GK, Czerniecki BJ. Addition of anti-estrogen therapy to anti-HER2 dendritic cell vaccination improves regional nodal immune response and pathologic complete response rate in patients with ERpos/HER2pos early breast cancer. Oncoimmunology. 2016 Jul;6(9):e1207032. Pubmedid: 28932627. Pmcid: PMC5599079.
  • Pyfer B, Chatterjee A, Chen L, Nigriny J, Czerniecki B, Tchou J, Fisher C. Early Postoperative Outcomes in Breast Conservation Surgery Versus Simple Mastectomy with Implant Reconstruction: A NSQIP Analysis of 11,645 Patients. Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 Jan;23(1):92-98. Pubmedid: 26219243.
  • Datta J, Fracol M, McMillan MT, Berk E, Xu S, Goodman N, Lewis DA, DeMichele A, Czerniecki BJ. Association of Depressed Anti-HER2 T-Helper Type 1 Response With Recurrence in Patients With Completely Treated HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: Role for Immune Monitoring. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Feb;2(2):242-246. Pubmedid: 26719971.
  • Cintolo JA, Datta J, Xu S, Gupta M, Somasundaram R, Czerniecki BJ. Type I-polarized BRAF-pulsed dendritic cells induce antigen-specific CD8+ T cells that impact BRAF-mutant murine melanoma. Melanoma Res. 2016 Feb;26(1):1-11. Pubmedid: 26451873.
  • Ecker BL, Taylor L, Zhang PJ, Furth EE, Ginsberg GG, McMillan MT, Datta J, Czerniecki BJ, Roses RE. HER3 Expression Is a Marker of Tumor Progression in Premalignant Lesions of the Gastroesophageal Junction. PLoS One. 2016 Aug;11(8):e0161781. Pubmedid: 27559738. Pmcid: PMC4999185.
  • De La Cruz LM, Nocera NF, Czerniecki BJ. Restoring anti-oncodriver Th1 responses with dendritic cell vaccines in HER2/neu-positive breast cancer: progress and potential. Immunotherapy. 2016 10;8(10):1219-1232. Pubmedid: 27605070.
  • Datta J, Rosemblit C, Berk E, Showalter L, Namjoshi P, Mick R, Lee KP, Brod AM, Yang RL, Kelz RR, Fitzpatrick E, Hoyt C, Feldman MD, Zhang PJ, Xu S, Koski GK, Czerniecki BJ. Progressive loss of anti-HER2 CD4(+) T-helper type 1 response in breast tumorigenesis and the potential for immune restoration. Oncoimmunology. 2015 Oct;4(10):e1022301. Pubmedid: 26451293. Pmcid: PMC4589053.
  • Datta J, Berk E, Xu S, Fitzpatrick E, Rosemblit C, Lowenfeld L, Goodman N, Lewis DA, Zhang PJ, Fisher C, Roses RE, DeMichele A, Czerniecki BJ. Anti-HER2 CD4(+) T-helper type 1 response is a novel immune correlate to pathologic response following neoadjuvant therapy in HER2-positive breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2015 May;17:71. Pubmedid: 25997452. Pmcid: PMC4488128.
  • Datta J, Xu S, Rosemblit C, Smith JB, Cintolo JA, Powell DJ, Czerniecki BJ. CD4(+) T-Helper Type 1 Cytokines and Trastuzumab Facilitate CD8(+) T-cell Targeting of HER2/neu-Expressing Cancers. Cancer Immunol Res. 2015 May;3(5):455-463. Pubmedid: 25791067. Pmcid: PMC4556111.
  • Datta J, Berk E, Cintolo JA, Xu S, Roses RE, Czerniecki BJ. Rationale for a Multimodality Strategy to Enhance the Efficacy of Dendritic Cell-Based Cancer Immunotherapy. Front Immunol. 2015 Jun;6:271. Pubmedid: 26082780. Pmcid: PMC4451636.
  • Chatterjee A, Serniak N, Czerniecki BJ. Sentinel lymph node biopsy in breast cancer: a work in progress. Cancer J. 2015 Jan;21(1):7-10. Pubmedid: 25611773. Pmcid: PMC4304410.
  • Datta J, Terhune JH, Lowenfeld L, Cintolo JA, Xu S, Roses RE, Czerniecki BJ. Optimizing dendritic cell-based approaches for cancer immunotherapy. Yale J Biol Med. 2014 Dec;87(4):491-518. Pubmedid: 25506283. Pmcid: PMC4257036.
  • Roses RE, Datta J, Czerniecki BJ. Radiation as immunomodulator: implications for dendritic cell-based immunotherapy. Radiat Res. 2014 Aug;182(2):211-218. Pubmedid: 24992163. Pmcid: PMC4143901.
  • Terhune J, Berk E, Czerniecki BJ. Dendritic Cell-Induced Th1 and Th17 Cell Differentiation for Cancer Therapy. Vaccines (Basel). 2013 Nov;1(4):527-549. Pubmedid: 26344346. Pmcid: PMC4494209.
  • Lee MK, Xu S, Fitzpatrick EH, Sharma A, Graves HL, Czerniecki BJ. Inhibition of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell function and conversion into Th1-like effectors by a Toll-like receptor-activated dendritic cell vaccine. PLoS One. 2013 Nov;8(11):e74698. Pubmedid: 24244265. Pmcid: PMC3823870.
  • Busch DR, Choe R, Rosen MA, Guo W, Durduran T, Feldman MD, Mies C, Czerniecki BJ, Tchou J, Demichele A, Schnall MD, Yodh AG. Optical malignancy parameters for monitoring progression of breast cancer neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Biomed Opt Express. 2013 Jan;4(1):105-121. Pubmedid: 23304651. Pmcid: PMC3539198.
  • Sharma A, Koldovsky U, Xu S, Mick R, Roses R, Fitzpatrick E, Weinstein S, Nisenbaum H, Levine BL, Fox K, Zhang P, Koski G, Czerniecki BJ. HER-2 pulsed dendritic cell vaccine can eliminate HER-2 expression and impact ductal carcinoma in situ. Cancer. 2012 Sep;118(17):4354-4362. Pubmedid: 22252842. Pmcid: PMC3330145.
  • Cintolo JA, Datta J, Mathew SJ, Czerniecki BJ. Dendritic cell-based vaccines: barriers and opportunities. Future Oncol. 2012 Oct;8(10):1273-1299. Pubmedid: 23130928. Pmcid: PMC4260651.
  • Koski GK, Koldovsky U, Xu S, Mick R, Sharma A, Fitzpatrick E, Weinstein S, Nisenbaum H, Levine BL, Fox K, Zhang P, Czerniecki BJ. A novel dendritic cell-based immunization approach for the induction of durable Th1-polarized anti-HER-2/neu responses in women with early breast cancer. J Immunother. 2012 Jan;35(1):54-65. Pubmedid: 22130160. Pmcid: PMC3241864.
  • Chiang CL, Hagemann AR, Leskowitz R, Mick R, Garrabrant T, Czerniecki BJ, Kandalaft LE, Powell DJ, Coukos G. Day-4 myeloid dendritic cells pulsed with whole tumor lysate are highly immunogenic and elicit potent anti-tumor responses. PLoS One. 2012 Aug;6(12):e28732. Pubmedid: 22194898. Pmcid: PMC3237492.
  • Harada S, Mick R, Roses RE, Graves H, Niu H, Sharma A, Schueller JE, Nisenbaum H, Czerniecki BJ, Zhang PJ. The significance of HER-2/neu receptor positivity and immunophenotype in ductal carcinoma in situ with early invasive disease. J Surg Oncol. 2011 Oct;104(5):458-465. Pubmedid: 21557226. Pmcid: PMC3168675.
  • Chiang CL, Maier DA, Kandalaft LE, Brennan AL, Lanitis E, Ye Q, Levine BL, Czerniecki BJ, Powell DJ, Coukos G. Optimizing parameters for clinical-scale production of high IL-12 secreting dendritic cells pulsed with oxidized whole tumor cell lysate. J Transl Med. 2011 Nov;9:198. Pubmedid: 22082029. Pmcid: PMC3283529.
  • Graves H, Czerniecki BJ. Circulating tumor cells in breast cancer patients: an evolving role in patient prognosis and disease progression. Patholog Res Int. 2011 Jan;2011:621090. Pubmedid: 21253472. Pmcid: PMC3022182.
  • Paustian C, Caspell R, Johnson T, Cohen PA, Shu S, Xu S, Czerniecki BJ, Koski GK. Effect of multiple activation stimuli on the generation of Th1-polarizing dendritic cells. Hum Immunol. 2011 Jan;72(1):24-31. Pubmedid: 20951755.
  • Karakousis GC, Czerniecki BJ. Diagnosis of Melanoma. PET Clin. 2011 Jan;6(1):1-8. Pubmedid: 27156351.
  • Busch DR, Guo W, Choe R, Durduran T, Feldman MD, Mies C, Rosen MA, Schnall MD, Czerniecki BJ, Tchou J, DeMichele A, Putt ME, Yodh AG. Computer aided automatic detection of malignant lesions in diffuse optical mammography. Med Phys. 2010 Apr;37(4):1840-1849. Pubmedid: 20443506. Pmcid: PMC2864673.
  • Bahl S, Roses RE, Sharma A, Koldovsky U, Xu S, Weinstein S, Nisenbaum H, Fox K, Pasha T, Zhang P, Araujo L, Carver J, Czerniecki BJ. Asymptomatic changes in cardiac function can occur in ductal carcinoma-in-situ patients following treatment with HER-2/neu-pulsed dendritic cell vaccines. Am J Surg. 2009 Oct;198(4):488-494. Pubmedid: 19800453. Pmcid: PMC2758542.
  • Roses RE, Paulson EC, Sharma A, Schueller JE, Nisenbaum H, Weinstein S, Fox KR, Zhang PJ, Czerniecki BJ. HER-2/neu overexpression as a predictor for the transition from in situ to invasive breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 May;18(5):1386-1389. Pubmedid: 19383888. Pmcid: PMC2713817.
  • Roses RE, Kumar R, Alavi A, Czerniecki BJ. The Role of Lymphatic Mapping and Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in the Staging of Breast Cancer. PET Clin. 2009 Jul;4(3):265-276. Pubmedid: 27157099.
  • Bahl S, Alavi A, Basu S, Kumar R, Czerniecki BJ. The Role of PET and PET/CT in the Surgical Management of Breast Cancer: A Review. PET Clin. 2009 Jul;4(3):277-287. Pubmedid: 27157100.
  • Cohen PA, Koski GK, Czerniecki BJ, Bunting KD, Fu XY, Wang Z, Zhang WJ, Carter CS, Awad M, Distel CA, Nagem H, Paustian CC, Johnson TD, Tisdale JF, Shu S. STAT3- and STAT5-dependent pathways competitively regulate the pan-differentiation of CD34pos cells into tumor-competent dendritic cells. Blood. 2008 Sep;112(5):1832-1843. Pubmedid: 18577706. Pmcid: PMC2518890.
  • Weinstein SP, Orel SG, Pinnamaneni N, Tchou J, Czerniecki B, Boraas M, Rosato E, Solin LJ. Mammographic appearance of recurrent breast cancer after breast conservation therapy. Acad Radiol. 2008 Feb;15(2):240-244. Pubmedid: 18206623.
  • Mavi A, Cermik TF, Urhan M, Puskulcu H, Basu S, Yu JQ, Zhuang H, Czerniecki B, Alavi A. The effects of estrogen, progesterone, and C-erbB-2 receptor states on 18F-FDG uptake of primary breast cancer lesions. J Nucl Med. 2007 Aug;48(8):1266-1272. Pubmedid: 17631558.
  • Swoboda RK, Somasundaram R, Caputo L, Ochoa EM, Gimotty PA, Marincola FM, Van Belle P, Barth S, Elder D, Guerry D, Czerniecki B, Schuchter L, Vonderheide RH, Herlyn D. Shared MHC class II-dependent melanoma ribosomal protein L8 identified by phage display. Cancer Res. 2007 Apr;67(8):3555-3559. Pubmedid: 17440064.
  • Kesmodel SB, Canter RJ, Terhune KP, Bauer TW, Mick R, Rosato EF, Spitz FR, Fraker DL, Alavi A, Czerniecki BJ. Use of radiotracer for sentinel lymph node mapping in breast cancer optimizes staging independent of site of administration. Clin Nucl Med. 2006 Sep;31(9):527-533. Pubmedid: 16921275.
  • Mavi A, Urhan M, Yu JQ, Zhuang H, Houseni M, Cermik TF, Thiruvenkatasamy D, Czerniecki B, Schnall M, Alavi A. Dual time point 18F-FDG PET imaging detects breast cancer with high sensitivity and correlates well with histologic subtypes. J Nucl Med. 2006 Sep;47(9):1440-1446. Pubmedid: 16954551.
  • Faries MB, Czerniecki BJ. Dendritic cells in melanoma immunotherapy. CURR TREAT OPTION ON. 2005 May;6(3):175-184. Pubmedid: 15869729.
  • Choe R, Corlu A, Lee K, Durduran T, Konecky SD, Grosicka-Koptyra M, Arridge SR, Czerniecki BJ, Fraker DL, DeMichele A, Chance B, Rosen MA, Yodh AG. Diffuse optical tomography of breast cancer during neoadjuvant chemotherapy: a case study with comparison to MRI. Med Phys. 2005 Apr;32(4):1128-1139. Pubmedid: 15895597.
  • Xu S, Koski GK, Faries M, Bedrosian I, Mick R, Maeurer M, Cheever MA, Cohen PA, Czerniecki BJ. Rapid high efficiency sensitization of CD8+ T cells to tumor antigens by dendritic cells leads to enhanced functional avidity and direct tumor recognition through an IL-12-dependent mechanism. J Immunol. 2003 Sep;171(5):2251-2261. Pubmedid: 12928369.
  • Bauer TW, Spitz FR, Callans LS, Alavi A, Mick R, Weinstein SP, Bedrosian I, Fraker DL, Bauer TL, Czerniecki BJ. Subareolar and peritumoral injection identify similar sentinel nodes for breast cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 2002 Mar;9(2):169-176. Pubmedid: 11888875.
  • Bedrosian I, Schlencker J, Spitz FR, Orel SG, Fraker DL, Callans LS, Schnall M, Reynolds C, Czerniecki BJ. Magnetic resonance imaging-guided biopsy of mammographically and clinically occult breast lesions. Ann Surg Oncol. 2002 Jun;9(5):457-461. Pubmedid: 12052756.
  • Chatterjee A, Dayicioglu D, Khakpour N, Czerniecki BJ. Oncoplastic Surgery: Keeping It Simple With 5 Essential Volume Displacement Techniques for Breast Conservation in a Patient With Moderate- to Large-Sized Breasts. Cancer Control. 24(4):1073274817729043. Pubmedid: 28975837.