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Elizabeth Marion Jaffee, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Elizabeth Marion Jaffee, M.D.

Deputy Director, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

Professor of Oncology


Expertise: Medical Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer

Research Interests: Vaccine therapies for solid tumors; Mechanisms of induction of mouse and human antitumor immune responses


Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Appointment Phone: 410-955-8964

401 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231 map
Phone: 410-955-2957

Contact for Research Inquiries

Cancer Research Building
1650 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21231 map
Phone: 410-955-2957
Fax: 410-614-8216


Dr. Elizabeth M. Jaffee is an international leader in the development of immune based therapies for pancreatic and breast cancers.  In 1981, she graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University before receiving her medical degree from New York Medical College. From 1985-1988 she completed her medical residency at Presbyterian-University Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, and subsequently received a National Institutes of Health Research Training Grant as a research fellow and principal investigator at the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Jaffee came to the Johns Hopkins University in 1989 as Senior Clinical Oncology Fellow.  In 1992, she joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Oncology.
Since her arrival at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Jaffee has become a renowned oncology researcher and co-director of both the Cancer Immunology Program and the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program. She also established and directs the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center Cell Processing and Gene Therapy cGMP Facility.  She is the first recipient of the Dana and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli Professorship in Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, and also holds a professorship in Pathology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 2015, Dr. Jaffee was appointed deputy director of the Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Jaffee is also the co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care. In 2007, she was appointed deputy director of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and has also served as chair of the Clinical Research Committee at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Jaffee’s research is focused on the development of novel vaccine approaches that overcome immune tolerance to cancers, and she currently holds six vaccine patents. Dr. Jaffee has completed multiple studies testing an allogeneic tumor vaccine in patients with pancreatic cancer who were eligible for complete surgical resection of their tumors, but whose cancers are still expected to recur at rates as high as 80% one year following surgery. Dr. Jaffee's first study demonstrated the safety of the vaccine and identified a dose that appears to demonstrate immune activation associated with improved disease-free survival in this patient population. These trials have also allowed Dr. Jaffee to develop both genomic and proteomic methods for identifying new pathways and biomarkers associated with the development and progression of pancreatic cancers.  As an example, Dr. Jaffee recently identified the protein Annexin A2 that appears to be overexpressed in pancreatic cancers.  Her group has shown that this protein changes location in the pancreatic cancer cell when compared with normal pancreatic tissue cells.  This change in location gives the cancer cell the ability to spread from the pancreas to the liver and other organs.  In animal models, Dr. Jaffee has shown that the inhibition of this new protein’s expression results in the prevention of pancreatic cancer spread.  She is currently developing a therapy that targets this protein and plans on testing this in patients in the future.
In addition to many JHU administrative committee appointments, her professional society memberships include the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Immunologists, and the Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer. Dr. Jaffee also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Philadelphia, and on the External Advisory Boards of both the Seattle Cancer Consortium Breast SPORE and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Head and Neck Cancer SPORE.
Dr. Jaffee currently serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board and on the NCI NExT SEP Committee, is Chair of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group (CIMM) Steering Committee, is a member of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC), and has served as a Co-Organizer for the AACR Special Conference on Cancer Immunology in 2010 and 2012. Dr. Jaffee has also served as a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors and the RAID NCI Program Oversight Committee. more


  • Deputy Director, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • The Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor of Oncology
  • Co-Director, Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer
  • Deputy Director, Institute of Clinical and Translational Research
  • Co-Director, Immunology Cancer Program
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Professor of Pathology



  • MD, New York Medical College (1985)


  • Presbyterian University Hospital/UPMC / Medicine (1988)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Oncology (1992)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Internal Medicine (1988)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Jaffee's laboratory has two main areas of on-going research. The first area focuses on developing vaccines strategies that augment antitumor immune responses. Our group has extensive experience studying murine antitumor immune responses that are generated following vaccination with tumor cells genetically altered to secrete cytokines in a paracrine fashion. This strategy is already being translated into clinical trials. More recently, my laboratory is employing a transgeneic mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancers to study the interactions of the tumor micro-environment, the tumor, and the immune reactions that shape the overall tumor miero-environment.

The second area of research focuses on the evaluation of human immune responses following vaccination in patients. We have now developed a large bank of immunized specimens from multiple clinical trials. We have developed functional genomic and proteomic approaches to identify the immune targets of the vaccine induced immune response. We have identified a number of new proteins that are serving as antigens against which to understand how to induce an effective immune response against cancer in patients. These new proteins are also associated with cancer development and progression, and the development of immune tolerance.

Core Facility: SKCCC Cell Processing & Gene Therapy

Clinical Trial Keywords

breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, vaccine

Clinical Trials

Learn more about clinical trials at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

  1. Murata, S.; Ladle, B.H.; Kim, P.S.; Lutz, E.R.; Wolpoe, M.E.; Ivie, S.E.; Smith, H.M.; Armstrong, T.D.; Emens, L.A.; Jaffee, E.M.; Reilly, R.T. OX40 costimulation synergizes with GM-CSF whole-cell vaccination to overcome established CD8+ T cell tolerance to an endogenous tumor antigen. J Immunol. 2006 Jan 15;176(2):974-983.
  2. Couch, M.E.; Ferris, R.L.; Brennan, J.A.; Koch, W.M.; Jaffee, E.M.; Leibowitz, M.S.; Nepom, G.T.; Erlich, H.A.; Sidransky, D. Alteration of cellular and humoral immunity by mutant p53 protein and processed mutant peptide in head and neck cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Dec 1;13(23):7199-7206.
  3. Lin, K.Y.; Lu, D.; Hung, C.F.; Peng, S.; Huang, L.; Jie, C.; Murillo, F.; Rowley, J.; Tsai, Y.C.; He, L.; Kim, D.J.; Jaffee, E.; Pardoll, D.; Wu, T.C. Ectopic expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 as a new mechanism for tumor immune evasion. Cancer Res. 2007 Feb 15;67(4):1832-1841.
  4. Manning, E.A.; Ullman, J.G.; Leatherman, J.M.; Asquith, J.M.; Hansen, T.R.; Armstrong, T.D.; Hicklin, D.J.; Jaffee, E.M.; Emens, L.A. A vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 inhibitor enhances antitumor immunity through an immune-based mechanism. Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Jul 1;13(13):3951-3959.
  5. Pardoll, D. Dendritic Cells and Coregulatory Signals: Immune Checkpoint Blockade to Stimulate Immunotherapy. In: Prendergast G, J.E., editor, Cancer Immunotherapy: Immune Suppression and Tumor Growth: Academic Press; 2007. p. 257-276.
  6. Herman, J.M.; Swartz, M.J.; Hsu, C.C.; Winter, J.; Pawlik, T.M.; Sugar, E.; Robinson, R.; Laheru, D.A.; Jaffee, E.; Hruban, R.H.; Campbell, K.A.; Wolfgang, C.L.; Asrari, F.; Donehower, R.; Hidalgo, M.; Diaz, L.A., Jr.; Yeo, C.; Cameron, J.L.; Schulick, R.D.; Abrams, R. Analysis of fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation after pancreaticoduodenectomy for ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas: results of a large, prospectively collected database at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Jul 20;26(21):3503-3510.
  7. Jones, S.; Zhang, X.; Parsons, D.W.; Lin, J.C.; Leary, R.J.; Angenendt, P.; Mankoo, P.; Carter, H.; Kamiyama, H.; Jimeno, A.; Hong, S.M.; Fu, B.; Lin, M.T.; Calhoun, E.S.; Kamiyama, M.; Walter, K.; Nikolskaya, T.; Nikolsky, Y.; Hartigan, J.; Smith, D.R.; Hidalgo, M.; Leach, S.D.; Klein, A.P.; Jaffee, E.M.; Goggins, M.; Maitra, A.; Iacobuzio-Donahue, C.; Eshleman, J.R.; Kern, S.E.; Hruban, R.H.; Karchin, R.; Papadopoulos, N.; Parmigiani, G.; Vogelstein, B.; Velculescu, V.E.; Kinzler, K.W. Core signaling pathways in human pancreatic cancers revealed by global genomic analyses. Science. 2008 Sep 26;321(5897):1801-1806.
  8. Kim, P.S.; Armstrong, T.D.; Song, H.; Wolpoe, M.E.; Weiss, V.; Manning, E.A.; Huang, L.Q.; Murata, S.; Sgouros, G.; Emens, L.A.; Reilly, R.T.; Jaffee, E.M. Antibody association with HER-2/neu-targeted vaccine enhances CD8 T cell responses in mice through Fc-mediated activation of DCs. J Clin Invest. 2008 May;118(5):1700-1711.
  9. Laheru, D.; Lutz, E.; Burke, J.; Biedrzycki, B.; Solt, S.; Onners, B.; Tartakovsky, I.; Nemunaitis, J.; Le, D.; Sugar, E.; Hege, K.; Jaffee, E. Allogeneic granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor-secreting tumor immunotherapy alone or in sequence with cyclophosphamide for metastatic pancreatic cancer: a pilot study of safety, feasibility, and immune activation. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Mar 1;14(5):1455-1463.
  10. Le, D.; Jaffee, E.M.; Laheru, D.A. Development of Vaccine Therapy for Pancreas Cancer. In: Andrew Lowy, S.L., Philip Philip, editor. 1 ed, Pancreatic Cancer. New York: Springer; 2008.
  11. Le, D.; Kim, P.; Jaffee, E.M. Current Cancer Therapeutics. In: David Ettinger, R.D., editor, Cancer Vaccines. Philadelphia: Current Medicine, LLC; 2008.
  12. Le, D.T.; Kim, P.S.; Jaffee, E.M. Role of Tolerance in Cancer Immunotherapy. In: Vincent T. Devita, T.S.L., Steven Rosenber, editor, Principles and Practice of Oncology Focus Series. New York: Wolters Kluwer Health; 2008.
  13. Miyashita, T.; Shah, F.A.; Marti, G.; Wang, J.; Armstrong, T.; Bonde, P.; Gibson, M.K.; Yoshimura, K.; Montgomery, E.A.; Duncan, M.D.; Jaffee, E.M.; Harmon, J.W. Vaccine impedes the development of reflux-induced esophageal cancer in a surgical rat model: efficacy of the vaccine in a Pre-Barrett's esophagus setting. J Gastrointest Surg. 2008 Jan;12(1):2-7; discussion 7-9.
  14. Blackford, A.; Parmigiani, G.; Kensler, T.W.; Wolfgang, C.; Jones, S.; Zhang, X.; Parsons, D.W.; Lin, J.C.; Leary, R.J.; Eshleman, J.R.; Goggins, M.; Jaffee, E.M.; Iacobuzio-Donahue, C.A.; Maitra, A.; Klein, A.; Cameron, J.L.; Olino, K.; Schulick, R.; Winter, J.; Vogelstein, B.; Velculescu, V.E.; Kinzler, K.W.; Hruban, R.H. Genetic mutations associated with cigarette smoking in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Res. 2009 Apr 15;69(8):3681-3688.
  15. Blackford, A.; Serrano, O.K.; Wolfgang, C.L.; Parmigiani, G.; Jones, S.; Zhang, X.; Parsons, D.W.; Lin, J.C.; Leary, R.J.; Eshleman, J.R.; Goggins, M.; Jaffee, E.M.; Iacobuzio-Donahue, C.A.; Maitra, A.; Cameron, J.L.; Olino, K.; Schulick, R.; Winter, J.; Herman, J.M.; Laheru, D.; Klein, A.P.; Vogelstein, B.; Kinzler, K.W.; Velculescu, V.E.; Hruban, R.H. SMAD4 gene mutations are associated with poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Jul 15;15(14):4674-4679.
  16. Disis, M.L.; Bernhard, H.; Jaffee, E.M. Use of tumour-responsive T cells as cancer treatment. Lancet. 2009 Feb 21;373(9664):673-683.
  17. Emens, L.A.; Asquith, J.M.; Leatherman, J.M.; Kobrin, B.J.; Petrik, S.; Laiko, M.; Levi, J.; Daphtary, M.M.; Biedrzycki, B.; Wolff, A.C.; Stearns, V.; Disis, M.L.; Ye, X.; Piantadosi, S.; Fetting, J.H.; Davidson, N.E.; Jaffee, E.M. Timed sequential treatment with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and an allogeneic granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-secreting breast tumor vaccine: a chemotherapy dose-ranging factorial study of safety and immune activation. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Dec 10;27(35):5911-5918.
  18. Jones, S.; Hruban, R.H.; Kamiyama, M.; Borges, M.; Zhang, X.; Parsons, D.W.; Lin, J.C.; Palmisano, E.; Brune, K.; Jaffee, E.M.; Iacobuzio-Donahue, C.A.; Maitra, A.; Parmigiani, G.; Kern, S.E.; Velculescu, V.E.; Kinzler, K.W.; Vogelstein, B.; Eshleman, J.R.; Goggins, M.; Klein, A.P. Exomic sequencing identifies PALB2 as a pancreatic cancer susceptibility gene. Science. 2009 Apr 10;324(5924):217.
  19. Kitamura, N.; Murata, S.; Ueki, T.; Mekata, E.; Reilly, R.T.; Jaffee, E.M.; Tani, T. OX40 costimulation can abrogate Foxp3+ regulatory T cell-mediated suppression of antitumor immunity. Int J Cancer. 2009 Aug 1;125(3):630-638.
  20. Ferris, R.L.; Jaffee, E.M.; Ferrone, S. Tumor antigen-targeted, monoclonal antibody-based immunotherapy: clinical response, cellular immunity, and immunoescape. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Oct 1;28(28):4390-4399.
  21. Le, D.T.; Ladle, B.H.; Lee, T.; Weiss, V.; Yao, X.; Leubner, A.; Armstrong, T.D.; Jaffee, E.M. CD8(+)Foxp3(+) tumor infiltrating lymphocytes accumulate in the context of an effective anti-tumor response. Int J Cancer. 2010 Sep 20.
  22. Le, D.T.; Pardoll, D.M.; Jaffee, E.M. Cellular vaccine approaches. Cancer J. 2010 Jul-Aug;16(4):304-310.
  23. Pfannenstiel, L.W.; Lam, S.S.; Emens, L.A.; Jaffee, E.M.; Armstrong, T.D. Paclitaxel enhances early dendritic cell maturation and function through TLR4 signaling in mice. Cell Immunol. 2010;263(1):79-87.
  24. Wu, H.; Caffo, B.; Jaffee, H.A.; Irizarry, R.A.; Feinberg, A.P. Redefining CpG islands using hidden Markov models. Biostatistics. 2010 Jul;11(3):499-514.
  25. Lutz, E.; Yeo, C.J.; Lillemoe, K.D.; Biedrzycki, B.; Kobrin, B.; Herman, J.; Sugar, E.; Piantadosi, S.; Cameron, J.L.; Solt, S.; Onners, B.; Tartakovsky, I.; Choi, M.; Sharma, R.; Illei, P.B.; Hruban, R.H.; Abrams, R.A.; Le, D.; Jaffee, E.; Laheru, D. A Lethally Irradiated Allogeneic Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor-Secreting Tumor Vaccine for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: A Phase II Trial of Safety, Efficacy, and Immune Activation. Ann Surg. 2011 Jan 6;Epub 1/11/11.


Diagnostic Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets For Pancreatic Cancer
Patent # WO2014088942 A1 | 12/03/2012

We identified >40 proteins that elicited at least a 2-fold increase in antibody response post-pancreatic-cancer vaccination, from each of three patients' sera. The antibody responses detected against these proteins in patients with >3 years disease-free survival indicates the anti-tumor potential of targeting these proteins. We found that tissue expression of proteins PSMC5, TFRC and PPP1R12A increases during tumor development from normal to pre-malignant to pancreatic tumor. In addition, these proteins were shown to be pancreatic cancer-associated antigens that are recognized by post-vaccination antibodies in the sera of patients that received the vaccine and have demonstrated a favorable disease free survival.

Mesothelin Vaccines and Model Systems
Patent # US8137908 B2 | 03/20/2012

Mesothelin can be used as an immunotherapeutic target. It induces a cytolytic T cell response. Portions of mesothelin which induce such responses are identified. Vaccines can be either polynucleotide- or polypeptide-based. Carriers for raising a cytolytic T cell response include bacteria and viruses. A mouse model for testing vaccines and other anti-tumor therapeutics and prophylactics comprises a strongly mesothelin-expressing, transformed peritoneal cell line.

Annexina2 as Immunological Target
Patent # WO2010065613 A3 | 12/03/2008

AnnexinA2 (ANXA2), a member of the Annexin family of calcium-dependent, phospholipid binding proteins, is one of a panel of identified antigens recognized by the post-vaccination sera of patients who demonstrated prolonged disease-free survival following multiple vaccinations. AnnexinA2 is abundantly expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and cell surface/membrane AnnexinA2 increases with the progression from premalignant lesions to invasive pancreatic adenocarcinomas. The cytoplasmic to cell surface translocation of AnnexinA2 expression is critical for pancreatic cancer cell invasion. In addition, phosphorylation of AnnexinA2 at Tyrosine 23 is important for its localization to the cell surface and for the invasion of pancreatic cancer cells. Finally, loss of AnnexinA2 leads to the loss of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition.

Prostate Stem Cell Antigen Vaccines and Uses Thereof
Patent # WO2007086932 A3 | 01/13/2006

This invention relates to the identification of prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) as a target of clinically relevant antitumor immune responses. The invention provides vaccines comprising PSCA, or fragments thereof, which are useful in inducing antitumor immune responses, including PSCA specific CD8+ T cell responses. Methods of using the compositions to treat cancer are also provided. The invention further provides methods of identifying compounds useful in antitumor vaccines and methods of assessing the responses of patients to cancer immunotherapy.

Mesothelin Vaccines And Model Systems
Patent # WO2004006837 A3 | 07/12/2002

Mesothelin can be used as an immunotherapeutic target. It induces a cytolytic T cell response. Portions of mesothelin which induce such responses are identified. Vaccines can be either polynucleotide- or polypeptide-based. Carriers for raising a cytolytic T cell response include bacteria and viruses. A mouse model for testing vaccines and other anti-tumor therapeutics and prophylactics comprises a strongly mesothelin-expressing, transformed peritoneal cell line.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program

Activities & Honors


  • Dean's List, Brandeis University, 1977 - 1981
  • Magna cum laude with highest honors in Biology/Immunology, Brandeis University, 1981
  • Clinical Fellow, American Cancer Society, 1989
  • Stetler Award, 1992
  • Research Fellowship Award, American Cancer Society, 1992
  • Young Investigator Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1992
  • Physician-Scientist Award, NIH, 1992
  • Clinician-Scientist Award, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1992
  • National Kidney Cancer Career Development Award
  • Directors Award for Outstanding Teaching, JHU Department of Oncology, 1998
  • Directors Award for Outstanding Teaching, JHU Department of Oncology, 1999
  • Directors Award for Outstanding Teaching, JHU Department of Oncology, 2001
  • Recipient of the Dana and Albert Broccoli Endowed Chair in Oncology, 2002
  • Recipient of the NCI Spore Program Investigator of the year, 2006


  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Immunologists
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • International Society of Biological Therapy
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