Evan M. Hersh, MD

Professor of Medicine

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

E-Mail Address: 
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-2250
(520) 626-5350
Short Bio: 

Dr. Evan Hersh is a Professor of Medicine (Department of Medicine), and a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, (Department of Microbiology and Immunology), at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the Arizona Cancer Center. Dr. Hersh has more than 47 years of experience in medical oncology, chemotherapy, immunology, and immunotherapy.

From 1966 to 1986 Dr. Hersh was a member of the faculty of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. While there he rose to the rank of professor and became Chairman of the Department of Clinical Immunology, Chief of the Section of Immunology of the Department of Developmental Therapeutics, and Chief of the Section of Immunology of the Department of Laboratory Medicine. He also served as professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston and Baylor Medical College.

Dr. Hersh served as Chief of Hematology and Oncology at the Arizona Cancer Center from 1986 to 1996. Dr. Hersh has served on numerous national boards, international oncology committees, and editorial boards. In 1994 he won the Jeffrey A Gottlieb Award of M.D. Anderson, and was designated among Best Doctors in America in 1997 and 2002.

Dr. Hersh also founded and served as president of a Tucson pharmaceutical start-up, AmpliMed Inc.

Clinical Information
Medical Oncologist
Clinical Focus: 
Dr. Hersh currently focuses on the management of patients with all stages of malignant melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. In melanoma, Dr. Hersh is part of the multidisciplinary melanoma team which consists of three medical oncologists, one dermatologist, one melanoma surgeon, and one radiotherapist. The group has a series of treatment protocols for all stages of melanoma. In kidney cancer, Dr. Hersh is part of the urological cancer team and sees all of the patients with metastatic kidney cancer. The main focus of the clinical work is applying optimal therapy for patients with metastatic disease and to investigate new treatments with clinical protocols.
Clinical Practice Sites: 
The University of Arizona Cancer Center - North Campus
Research Information
Research Program: 
4. Cancer Prevention and Control
Member Status: 
Associate Member
Summary of Research Activity: 
The focus of research is development of new therapies for melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. This includes Phase I-III protocols. Currently in melanoma the focus is on Abraxane (nano particle albumin bound paclitaxel) and the melanoma group's Phase I-III clinical trials.  In renal cancer the focus is on SWOG adjuvant therapy studies and SWOG combination studies.
Selected Publications: 

Salmon SE and HERSH EM. Brief Communications: Sensitivity of multiple myeloma to imexon in the human tumor cloning assay. JNCI 86:228-230, 1994. PMID: 8283495

HERSH EM, Akporiaye E, Harris D, Stopeck AT, Unger EC, and Warneke JE. Clinical Protocol: Phase I study of Immunotherapy of malignant melanoma by direct gene therapy. A Vical, Inc. Study. Human Gene Therapy,5:1371-1384, 1994. PMID: 7893808

Dorr RT, Liddil JD, Klein MK, and HERSH EM.  Preclinical pharmacokinetics and antitumor activity of imexon. Investigational New Drugs,13: 113-116, 1995. PMID: 8617572

Tsang, TM, Harris, DT, Bowde, GT, and HERSH EM. A simple method for adapting DNA fragments to all of the commonly used restriction sites. Biotechniques. 20:51-52, 1996. PMID: 8770406

Park JA, Kurt RA, Wang E, Schluter SF, HERSH EM, and Akporiaye ET. Expression of an antisense TGF-b Transgene Reduces Tumorigenicity of EMT 6 Maminary Tumor Cells. Cancer Gene Therapy, 4:42-50, 1997. PMID: 9012450

Stopeck A, HERSH E, Akporiaye E, Harris D, Grogran T, Unger E, Warneke J, and Stahl S. Phase I study of direct gene transfer of an allogeneic histocompatibility antigen, HLA-B7, in patients with metastatic melanoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 15: 341-349, 1997. PMID: 8996161

Tsang T, Harris D, Akporiaye E, Chu R, Brailey J, Liu F, Vasanwala F, Schluter S, HERSH EM. A mammalian expression vector with two multiple cloning sites for expression of two foreign genes. Biotechniques, 22:68, 1997. PMID: 8994649

HERSH EM, Stopeck AT. Advances in the Biological Therapy and Gene Therapy of Malignant Disease. Clin Cancer Research, Vol. 3:2623-2629, 1997. PMID: 10068264

HERSH EM, Foundations of Clinical Cancer Research:Perspective for the 21st Century. Clin Cancer Research. Vol. 3:2551-2553, 1997. PMID: 9815655

Stopeck AT, HERSH EM, Brailey JL, Norman J, Parker SE. Transfection of Primary Tumor Cells and Tumor Cell Lines with Plasmid DNA/Lipid Complexes. Cancer Gene Therapy. 5: 119-126. 1998. PMID: 9570303

Clark PR, Stopeck AT, Brailey J, Wang Q, et al. Polycations and Cationic Lipids Enhance Adenovirus Transduction and Transgene Expression in Tumor Cells. Cancer Gene Therapy, 6, 437-446, 1999. PMID: 10505854

Galanis E, HERSH EM, Rubin J, Stopeck A, et al. Immunotherapy of Advanced Malignancy by Direct Gene Transfer of the IL-2 DNA/DMRIE/DOPE Lipid Complex: Phase I/II Experience. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 17, 3313-3323, 1999. PMID: 10506635

Akporiaye ET, HERSH EM. Clinical Aspects of Intratumoral Gene Therapy. Current Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics 1, 443-453, 1999. PMID: 11713758

Gerner EW, HERSH EM, Pennington M, Tsang TC, Harris D, Vasanwala F, Brailey J. Heat-Inducible Vectors for Use in Gene Therapy. Int. J. Hyperthermia, 16:171-181, 2000. PMID: 10763745

Lake DF, Huynh WC, HERSH EM. Natural and induced Human Antibody Response to Cancer, Cancer Investigation, 18:480-489, 2000. PMID: 10834032

Clark PR, Stopeck AT, Parker SE, HERSH EM. Cationic Lipid Gene Transfer of an IL-2 Transgene Leads to Activation of Natural Killer Cells in a SCID Mouse Human Tumor Xenograft. Cellular Immunology, 204: 96-104, 2000. PMID: 11069717

Stopeck A, HERSH EM, Thompson J, Silver G, Finucane D, Gutheil J, Gonzalez R. Phase II Study of Direct Intralesional Gene Transfer of Allovectin-7Ò, an HLA-B7/2-Microglobulin DNA-Liposome Complex, in Patients with Metastatic Malignant Melanoma, Clin Cancer Res, 7:2285-2291, 2001. PMID: 11489803

Trevor KT, HERSH EM, Brailey J, Balloul JM, Acres B. Transduction of Human Dendritic Cells with a Recombinant Modified Vacinia Ankara Virus Encoding MUC1 and IL-2. Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, Cancer Immunol Immunother, 50:397-407, 2001. PMID: 11726134

Agarwala SS, Glaspy J, O’Day SJ, Mitchell M, Gutheil J, Whitman E, Gonzalez R, HERSH EM, Feun L, Belt R, Meyskens F, Hellstrand K, Wood D, Kirkwood JM, Ghelsen KR, Naredi P. Results from a Randomized Phase III Study Comparing Combined Treatment with Histamine Dihydrochloride Plus Interleukin-2 Versus Interleukin-2 Alone in Patients with Metastatic Melanoma. J Clin Oncology, 20:125-133, 2002. PMID: 11773161

Coronella JA, Spier C, Welch M, Trevor KT, Stopeck AT, Villar H, and HERSH EM. Antigen-Driven Oligoclonal Expansion of Tumor Infiltrating B Cells in Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma of the Breast. The Jour of Immuno. 169:1829 1836, 2002. PMID: 12165506

Cranmer LD, Trevor KT, Hersh EM. Clinical Applications of Dendritic Cell Vaccination in the Treatment of Cancer. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, 53:275-306, 2004. PMID: 14648069

Cranmer LD, Trevor K, Bandlamuri S, and Hersh E. Rodent models of brain metastasis in melanoma. Melanoma Research, 5:325-356, 2005. PMID: 16179861

Ebbinghaus S, Rubin E, HERSH EM, Cranmer LD, Bonate PL, Fram RJ, Jekunen A, Weitman S, and Hammond LA. A Phase I Study of Dolastatin-15 Analogue Tasidotin (ILX651) Administered Intravenously Daily for 5 Consecutive Days Every 3 Weeks in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors. Clin Cancer Res 11(21):7807-7816, 2005. PMID: 16278403

Pourpak A, Meyers RO, Samulitis BK, Chow HS, Kepler CY, Raymond MA, HERSH EM, Dorr RT. Preclinical Antitumor Activity, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Imexon in Mice. Anti-Cancer Drugs 17:1179-1184, 2006. PMID: 17075317

Dragovich T, Gordon M, Mendelson D, Wong L, Modiano M, Chow S, Samulitis B, O’Day S, Grenier K, HERSH EM, Dorr R. Phase I Trial of Imexon in Patients with Advanced Malignancy. J Clin Oncol 25(3): 1779-1784, 2007. PMID: 17470869

Cranmer LD, HERSH EM. The Role of the CTLA4 Blockade in the Treatment of Malignant Melanoma. Cancer Invest. 25(7): 613-31, 2007. PMID: 18027152

McDermott DF, Sosman JA, Gonzalez R, Hodi FS, Linette GP, Richards J, Jakub JW, Beeram M, Tarantolo S, Agarwala S, Frenette G, Puzanov I, Cranmer L, Lewis K, Kirkwood J, White JM, Xia C, Patel K and HERSH E. Double-blind randomized phase II study of the combination of sorafenib and dacarbazine in patients with advanced melanoma: a report from the 11715 Study Group. J Clin Oncol. 26(13): 2178-85, 2008. PMID: 18445842

Weber J, Boswell W, Smith J, HERSH EM, Snively J, Diaz M, Miles S, Liu X, Obrocea M, Qiu Z, Bot A. Phase I trial of intranodal injection of a Melan-A/MART-1 DNA plasmid vaccine in patients with stage IV melanoma. J Immunother. 31(2):215-23, 2008. PMID: 18481391

Weber J, O’Day S, Urba W, Powderly J, Nichol G, Yellin M, Snively J, HERSH E. Phase I/II Study of Ipilimumab for Patients with Metastatic Melanoma. J Clin Oncol. 26(36):5950-5956, 2008. PMID: 19018089

HERSH EM, O’Day SJ, Powderly J, Khan K, Pavlick AC, Cranmer L, Samlowski WE, Nichol GM, Yellin MJ, Weber JS. Disease Control and Long-Term Survival in Chemotherapy-Naïve Patients with Advanced Melanoma Treated with Ipilimumab With or Without Dacarbazine. Epub ahead of print, Invest New Drugs. January 16, 2010. PMID: 20082117

HERSH EM, O’Day SJ, Ribas A, Samlowski WE, Gordon MS, Shechter DE, Clawson AA, Gonzalez R. A phase II clinical trial of nab-paclitaxel in previously-treated and chemotherapy-naïve patients with metastatic malignant melanoma. Cancer. 116(1): 155-163, 2010. PMID: 19877111

Cranmer LD, Jeter, JM, Morgan SS, HERSH EM, Stea B. Whole-brain radiation therapy in melanoma: an open question. Lancet Oncol. 11:13-14, 2010. PMID: 20129127

Professional Information
Board Certifications: 
  • Arizona Medical License 16041
  • Texas Medical License D3029
Professional Affiliations: 
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Medical Association
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • 1999-Present: Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy – Editorial Board
  • 2006-Present: Member, Alare Capital Partners Advisory Committee
  • 2007-Present: Head, Abraxane Melanoma Phase III Trial Steering Committee
  • 2007-Present: Member, Apthera Corp., Scientific Advisory Board
  • 2007-Present: Member, Imedex Melanoma, Immunotherapy Education Group
  • 2010-Present: Member, IMER Melanoma Education Group
  • 1992 The Jefferey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • 1998 The Best Doctors in America-Pacific Region
  • 2002 The Best Doctors in America-Pacific Region
  • 2007 American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2007 ASCO Statesman
Academic Information
7/65-10/66, Fellow in Medicine and Immunology, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA
7/61-6/62, Residency in Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA
Medical School: 
7/60-6/61, Internship in Medicine, St. Luke's Hospital, New York, NY; 7/56-6/60, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY,M.D.
Undergraduate School: 
9/52-6/56, The College of the City of New York, New York, NY, B.S.