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Richard F. Ambinder, M.D., Ph.D.

Richard F. Ambinder, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Division of Hematologic Malignancies
James B. Murphy Professor of Oncology

Dr. Richard F. Ambinder

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Clinical/Academic Interests
Treatment of lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma and in development of new strategies for prevention of lymphoma. Treatment of Hodgkin’s disease

Research Interests
Virus associated tumors are among the most common malignancies in certain populations and certain regions. Thus Burkitt's lymphoma (EBV) and Kaposi's sarcoma (KSHV) are common in equatorial Africa, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (EBV) is common in southern Chinese populations or those with southern Chinese origins and immunoblastic lymphomas (EBV) are common in immunocompromised patients (organ transplant recipients, AIDS patients). New approaches to prevention, diagnosis or treatment might thus directly impact on the world's cancer problem in an important way.

In addition, these tumors are important as model systems for the development of new approaches. The presence of the viral genome provides a handle for new approaches to analysis or intervention. Thus many immunotherapies target unidentified antigens, making the measurement of relevant immune responses problematic at best. However, in EBV-associated tumors the antigens are well defined and the Ambinder lab and others are defining the epitope specific cellular immune responses. Thus interventions designed to alter immune response whether they be vaccine based interventions, adoptive immunotherapy interventions, or pharmacologic interventions may all be assessed in terms of relevant surrogate markers in the case of EBV tumors. In the same way that the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma with radiotherapy and chemotherapy paved the way for the modern approach to malignancies in general with these modalities, the treatment of EBV-associated tumors including Hodgkin's lymphoma may pave the way to the more general use of these modalities.

General Summary
Dr. Ambinder is interested in exploring opportunities to prevent or treat cancer associated with viral infections.



B.A., Biochemistry, cum laude, Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts

1975-79M.D, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Ph.D., Pharamcology, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore,Maryland  





Postdoctoral Training


Resident, Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland


Fellow, Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland


Fellow, Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore Maryland      





Academic Positions 

Assistant Professor, Oncology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Associate Professor, Oncology, Pharmacology, and Pathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


 Professor, Oncology, Pharmacology, and Pathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Division Director, Hematologic Malignancies, Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


James B. Murphy Professor of Oncology


Leader, Johns Hopkins SPORE in Lymphoma


Professor of Medicine








Selected Publications

  • Song DY, Jones RJ, Welsh JS, Haulk TL, Korman LT, Noga S, Goodman S, Herman M, Mann R, Marcellus D, Vogelsang G, Ambinder RF, Abrams RA. Phase I study of escalating doses of low-dose-rate, locoregional irradiation preceding Cytoxan-TBI for patients with chemotherapy-resistant non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 57:166-171, 2003.

  • Ambinder RF. Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease: pathogenesis, monitoring, and therapy. Curr Oncol Rep, 5:359-363, 2003.

  • Glaser SL, Clarke CA, Gulley ML, Craig FE, DiGiuseppe JA, Dorfman RF, Mann RB, Ambinder RF. Population-based patterns of human immunodeficiency virus-related Hodgkin lymphoma in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Cancer, 98:300-309, 2003.

  • Huff CA, Fuchs EJ, Noga SJ, O’Donnell PV, Ambinder RF, Diehl L, Borrello I, Vogelsang GB, Miller CB, Flinn IA, Brodsky RA, Marcellus D, Jones RJ. Long-term follow-up of T cell-depleted allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in refractory multiple myeloma: importance of allogeneic T cells. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 9:312-319, 2003.

  • Hsieh W, Ambinder RF. Targeting Epstein-Barr Virus in the Treatment of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. Cancer Reviews: Asia-Pacific 1:51-57, 2003.

  • Ambinder RF, Lee S, Curran WJ, Sparano JA, Krigel RL, McArthur J, Schultz C, Freter CE, Kaplan L, VonRoenn JH. Phase II intergroup trial of sequential chemotherapy and radiotherapy for AIDS-related primary central nervous system lymphoma. Cancer Therapy, 1:215-221, 2003.

  • Huang J, Chen H, Hutt-Fletcher L, Ambinder RF, Hayward SD. Lytic Viral Replication as a Contributor to the Detection of Epstein-Barr Virus in Breast Cancer. J Virol 77: 13267-13274, 2003.

  • Murray PG, Qiu G-H, Fu L, Waites ER, Srivastava G, Heys D, Agathanggelou A, Latif F, Grundy RG, Mann JR, Starczynski J, Crocker J, Parkes SE, Ambinder RF, Young LS, Tao Q. Frequent epigenetic inactivation of the RASSF1A tumor suppressor gene in Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Oncogene 23: 1326-1331, 2004.

  • Chan AT, Tao Q, Robertson KD, Flinn IW, Mann RB, Klencke B, Kwan WH, Leung TW, Johnson PJ, Ambinder RF. Azacitidine induces demethylation of the Epstein-Barr virus genome in tumors in patients. J Clin Oncol: 22: 2004.

  • Glaser SL, Gulley ML, Borowitz MJ,  Craig FE, Mann RB, Stewart SL, Shema SJ, Ambinder RF. "Inter- and intra-observer reliability of Epstein-Barr virus detection in Hodgkin lymphoma using histochemical procedures." Leuk Lymphoma 45(3): 489-97, 2004.

  • Glaser SL, Keegan TH, Clarke CA, Darrow LA, Gomez SL, Dorfman RF, Mann RB, DiGiuseppe JA, Ambinder RF."Smoking and Hodgkin lymphoma risk in women United States." Cancer Causes Control 15(4): 387-97, 2004.

  • Orlowski RZ,Mills SR, Hartley EE, Ye X,Piantadosi S, Ambinder RF,Gore S D,Miller CB, Oral Valacyclovir as Prophylaxis against Herpes Simplex Virus Reactivation During High Dose Chemotherapy for Leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma 45(11): 2215-9, 2004.

  • Sparano J,  Lee S, Chen MG,  Nazeer T,  Einzig A, Ambinder RF, Henry DH, Manalo J,  Li T, and  Von Roenn JH.  Phase II trial of infusional cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and etoposide in patients with HIV-associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Trial (E1494). J Clin Oncol 22(8): 1491-500, 2004.

  • Ying J, Srivastava G, Gao Z, Zhang X, Murray P, Ambinder RF, Tao Q. Promoter hypermethylation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI) gene p21WAF1/CIP1/SDI1 is rare in various lymphomas and carcinomas. Blood 103 (2):743-748, 2004.

  • Kasamon YL, Jones RJ, Piantadosi S, Ambinder RF, Abrams RA, Borowitz MJ, Morrison C, Smith, BD, Flinn IW. High-Dose Therapy and Blood or Marrow Transplantation for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma with Central Nervous System Involvement.  Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 11(2): 93-100, 2005.

  • Kasamon YL, Jones RJ, Diehl LF, Nayer H, Borowitz MJ, Garrett-Mayer E, Ambinder RF, Abrams RA, Zhang Zhe, Flinn IW. Outcomes of Autologous and Allogenic Blood or Marrow Transplantation for Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 11(1): 39-46, 2005.

  • Glaser SL, Keegan THM,  Clarke CA,  Trinh M,  Dorfman RF ,  Mann RB, DiGiuseppe JA,  Ambinder RF. Exposure to childhood infections and risk of Epstein-Barr virus-defined Hodgkin’s lymphoma in women.  Int J Cancer 115(4):599-605 2005.

  • Kaplan LD, Lee JY, Ambinder RF,  Sparano JA, Cesarman E, Chadburn A, Levine AM, Scadden DT. Rituximab does not Improve Clinical Outcome in a Randomized Phase III Trial of CHOP with or without Rituximab in Patients with HIV-Associated Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: AIDS-Malignancies Consortium Trial 010. Blood; 106 (5): 1538-43 2005.