Daniel Alexander Laheru, M.D.

Headshot of Daniel Alexander Laheru
  • Co-Director, Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care
  • Professor of Oncology


Anal Cancer, Bile Duct Cancer, Carcinoid Syndrome, Carcinoid Tumors, Cholangiocarcinoma, Colon Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancers, Gastrointestinal Tumors, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Liver Cancer, Liver Tumors, Medical Oncology, Neuroendocrine Tumors, Pancreatic Cancer, Pancreatic Tumors, Rectal Cancer, Small Bowel Cancer, Stomach Cancer ...read more

Research Interests

Pancreatic Cancer; Chemotherapy Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer ...read more

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Insurance Information

Main Phone

Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

Appointment Phone: 410-955-8964
401 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231
Phone: 410-955-8974
Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center - Google Maps


Dr. Daniel Laheru is a cancer specialist in Baltimore, caring for patients with pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and neuroendocrine cancers. Dr. Laheru serves as co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Dr. Laheru received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from The University of Utah. He earned his M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his residency at The University of Utah Hospital and Clinics and performed a fellowship in medical oncology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. Dr. Laheru joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2001.

Dr. Laheru's research interests include pancreatic cancer and chemotherapy resistance in pancreatic cancer. With Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., he developed a vaccine that supercharges the immune system and causes immune cells, which tend to be tolerant of cancer, to seek out and kill pancreatic cancer cells throughout the body.

He has given numerous invited talks on pancreatic cancer and other cancers both nationally and internationally. He has authored over 200 papers focused on pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Laheru serves as associate editor of Annals of Pancreatic Cancer. He has been recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology with the Young Investigator Award, by the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins as an Isaac and Catharine Hecht Scholar and has been elected to the Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research.

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  • Co-Director, Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care
  • Ian T. MacMillan Professorship in Clinical Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Baylor College of Medicine (1995)


  • Internal Medicine; The University of Utah (1998)


  • Medical Oncology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2001)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Medical Oncology) (2021)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

In collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee, Dr. Laheru has developed clinical studies to optimize an immune therapy approach using GM-CSF transfected pancreatic cell lines as a vaccine in two distinct patient populations. First, the vaccine has been integrated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in patients with resected pancreatic cancer who are at risk for disease recurrence. Second, the vaccine has been integrated with novel molecular targeted drugs such as EGFR inhibitors and anti-CTLA-4 antibody and with immune-modulating doses of Cytoxan in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. He has also incorporated correlative studies that should provide important information to better understand optimal vaccine boosting schedules as well as to identify antigens that can be predictive markers for anti-pancreatic cancer immune responses.

Clinical Trial Keywords

Immunotherapy; Vaccine; Pancreas Cancer; Pancreatic Cancer

Selected Publications

Yarchoan M, Huang CY, Zhu Q, Ferguson AK, Durham JN, Anders RA, Thompson ED, Rozich NS, Thomas DL 2nd, Nauroth JM, Rodriguez C, Osipov A, De Jesus-Acosta A, Le DT, Murphy AG, Laheru D, Donehower RC, Jaffee EM, Zheng L, Azad NS; A phase 2 study of GVAX colon vaccine with cyclophosphamide and pembrolizumab in patients with mismatch repair proficient advanced colorectal cancer. Cancer Med. 2019 Dec 26

De Jesus-Acosta A, Sugar EA, O'Dwyer PJ, Ramanathan RK, Von Hoff DD, Rasheed Z, Zheng L, Begum A, Anders R, Maitra A, McAllister F, Rajeshkumar NV, Yabuuchi S, de Wilde RF, Batukbhai B, Sahin I, Laheru DA; Phase 2 study of vismodegib, a hedgehog inhibitor, combined with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel in patients with untreated metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Br J Cancer. 2019 Dec 20

Balaji A, Zhang J, Wills B, Marrone KA, Elmariah H, Yarchoan M, Zimmerman JW, Hajjir K, Venkatraman D, Armstrong DK, Laheru DA, Mehra R, Ho WJ, Reuss JE, Heng J, Vellanki P, Donehower RC, Holdhoff M, Naidoo J; Immune-Related Adverse Events Requiring Hospitalization: Spectrum of Toxicity, Treatment, and Outcomes. J Oncol Pract. 2019 Sep 15(9):25-34

Osipov A, Zaidi N, Laheru DA; Dual Checkpoint Inhibition in Pancreatic Cancer: Revealing the Limitations of Synergy and the Potential of Novel Combinations. JAMA Oncol. 2019 Jul 18

Groot VP, Mosier S, Javed AA, Teinor JA, Gemenetzis G, Ding D, Haley LM, Yu J, Burkhart RA, Hasanain A, Debeljak M, Kamiyama H, Narang A, Laheru DA, Zheng L, Lin MT, Gocke CD, Fishman EK, Hruban RH, Goggins MG, Molenaar IQ, Cameron JL, Weiss MJ, Velculescu VE, He J, Wolfgang CL, Eshleman JR; Circulating Tumor DNA as a Clinical Test in Resected Pancreatic Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Sep 15;25(18):5493-5502

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Adult Cancer Small Group Discussion Section on Neoplastic Diseases for Second Year Medical Student Pathophysiology Course

Activities & Honors


  • Election to Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence, 2015
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Leadership Development Program, 2010
  • Ian T. MacMillan Professorship in Clinical Pancreatic Cancer Research, 2010
  • Isaac and Catharine Hecht Scholar, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, 2002
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology, Young Investigator Award, 2000
  • American Association for Cancer Research Bristol Myers Squibb Oncology Fellowship in Clinical Research, 2000
  • Co-Outstanding Senior Resident, University of Utah Department of Medicine, 1998
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowship for Medical Students, 1993
  • Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellow, 1992
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Utah, 1990
  • Magna cum laude, University of Utah, 1990
  • Honors Baccalaureate Scholarship, University of Utah, 1990


  • American College of Physicians, 1995
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1999
  • American Association for Cancer Research, 1999

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, Annals of Pancreatic Cancer, 2017
  • Co-Chair, ASCO metastatic cancer guidelines clinical care committee, 2015
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