John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, MBA, MHSc



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Professor of Neurosurgery
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Immunology
Professor of Pathology
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
Dr. Robert H. Wilkins and Gloria Wilkins Professor of Neurosurgery
Department / Division:
Neurosurgery / Neurosurgery
DUMC 3050
220 Sands Building, 303 Research Drive
Durham, NC 27710
Appointment Telephone:
Office Telephone:
  • MD, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine (Canada), 1990
  • PhD, Neuro-Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, 1994-1996
  • MHSc, Duke University, 2007
  • Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, 1991-1998
  • Neurological Intensive Care, Duke University Medical Center, 1998
Other Training:
  • MBA, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, 2011
Clinical Interests:
Newly diagnosed or recurrent primary or metastic brain tumors, including enrollment in clinical trials of new therapeutic agents (especially oncolytic poliovirus therapy, immunotherapy, vaccines and convection-enhanced delivery); posterior fossa tumors, such as acoustic neuromas or meningiomas; microsurgery for tic douloureux or trigeminal neuralgia, including microvascular decompression; microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm, pituitary tumors, complex skull-base tumors; radiosurgery; evaluation and surgery for patients with the full spectrum of other neurosurgery pathologies
Research Interests:
Current research activities involve the immunotherapeutic targeting of a tumor-specific mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor. Approaches used to target this tumor-specific epitope include unarmed and radiolabeled antibody therapy and cell mediated approaches using peptide vaccines and dendritic cells. Another area of interest involves drug delivery to brain tumors. Translational and clinical work is carried out in this area to formulate the relationship between various direct intratumoral infusion parameters and drug distribution within brain tumors and normal brain.

The Duke Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program (BTIP) has an emphasis on translational research in Neuro-Oncology. There are two main areas of study. The first is novel mechanisms of delivery of large molecular weight molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, throughout brain intersitial space using novel intracerebral infusion techniques developed by this laboratory. Studies exploring this technology are undertaken in both small and large laboratory animals and patients with brain tumors.

The other focus of the BTIP is translational immunotherapy. In this line of work, dendritic cell vaccination strategies and adoptive T-cell strategies have been developed to target novel and well-characterized tumor-specific antigens in patients with brain tumors. The BTIP integrates well with and works closely with the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. The BTIP is well funded and currently holds seven NIH grants, including a SPORE in Brain Cancer grant. There are a large number of investigators at various levels so that students will get exposure to various levels of research and mentorship.
Representative Publications:
  • Babu, R; Thomas, S; Hazzard, MA; Friedman, AH; Sampson, JH; Adamson, C; Zomorodi, AR; Haglund, MM; Patil, CG; Boakye, M; Lad, SP. Worse outcomes for patients undergoing brain tumor and cerebrovascular procedures following the ACGME resident duty-hour restrictions. Journal of neurosurgery. 2014;121:262-276.  Abstract
  • Batich, KA; Sampson, JH. Standard of care and future pharmacological treatment options for malignant glioma: an urgent need for screening and identification of novel tumor-specific antigens. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2014;15:2047-2061.  Abstract
  • Brown, MC; Dobrikova, EY; Dobrikov, MI; Walton, RW; Gemberling, SL; Nair, SK; Desjardins, A; Sampson, JH; Friedman, HS; Friedman, AH; Tyler, DS; Bigner, DD; Gromeier, M. Oncolytic polio virotherapy of cancer. Cancer. 2014;120:3277-3286.  Abstract
  • Choi, BD; Suryadevara, CM; Gedeon, PC; Herndon, JE; Sanchez-Perez, L; Bigner, DD; Sampson, JH. Intracerebral delivery of a third generation EGFRvIII-specific chimeric antigen receptor is efficacious against human glioma. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2014;21:189-190.  
  • Kanaly, CW; Mehta, AI; Ding, D; Hoang, JK; Kranz, PG; Herndon, JE; Coan, A; Crocker, I; Waller, AF; Friedman, AH; Reardon, DA; Sampson, JH. A novel, reproducible, and objective method for volumetric magnetic resonance imaging assessment of enhancing glioblastoma. Journal of neurosurgery. 2014;121:536-542.  Abstract
  • Miao, H; Choi, BD; Suryadevara, CM; Sanchez-Perez, L; Yang, S; De Leon, G; Sayour, EJ; McLendon, R; Herndon, JE; Healy, P; Archer, GE; Bigner, DD; Johnson, LA; Sampson, JH. EGFRvIII-specific chimeric antigen receptor T cells migrate to and kill tumor deposits infiltrating the brain parenchyma in an invasive xenograft model of glioblastoma. PloS one. 2014;9:e94281.  Abstract
  • Nair, SK; De Leon, G; Boczkowski, D; Schmittling, R; Xie, W; Staats, J; Liu, R; Johnson, LA; Weinhold, K; Archer, GE; Sampson, JH; Mitchell, DA. Recognition and killing of autologous, primary glioblastoma tumor cells by human cytomegalovirus pp65-specific cytotoxic T cells. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 2014;20:2684-2694.  Abstract
  • Sampson, JH; Choi, BD; Sanchez-Perez, L; Suryadevara, CM; Snyder, DJ; Flores, CT; Schmittling, RJ; Nair, SK; Reap, EA; Norberg, PK; Herndon, JE; Kuan, CT; Morgan, RA; Rosenberg, SA; Johnson, LA. EGFRvIII mCAR-modified T-cell therapy cures mice with established intracerebral glioma and generates host immunity against tumor-antigen loss. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 2014;20:972-984.  
  • Swartz, AM; Li, QJ; Sampson, JH. Rindopepimut: a promising immunotherapeutic for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme. Immunotherapy. 2014;6:679-690.  Abstract
  • Asaoka, K; Barrs, DM; Sampson, JH; McElveen, JT; Tucci, DL; Fukushima, T. Intracanalicular meningioma mimicking vestibular schwannoma. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 2002;23:1493-1496.  Abstract
  • Heimberger, AB; Archer, GE; Crotty, LE; McLendon, RE; Friedman, AH; Friedman, HS; Bigner, DD; Sampson, JH. Dendritic cells pulsed with a tumor-specific peptide induce long-lasting immunity and are effective against murine intracerebral melanoma. Neurosurgery. 2002;50:158-164.  Abstract
  • Heimberger, AB; Learn, CA; Archer, GE; McLendon, RE; Chewning, TA; Tuck, FL; Pracyk, JB; Friedman, AH; Friedman, HS; Bigner, DD; Sampson, JH. Brain tumors in mice are susceptible to blockade of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with the oral, specific, EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor ZD1839 (iressa). Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 2002;8:3496-3502.  Abstract
  • Lal, A; Glazer, CA; Martinson, HM; Friedman, HS; Archer, GE; Sampson, JH; Riggins, GJ. Mutant epidermal growth factor receptor up-regulates molecular effectors of tumor invasion. Cancer Research. 2002;62:3335-3339.  Abstract
  • Quinn, JA; Pluda, J; Dolan, ME; Delaney, S; Kaplan, R; Rich, JN; Friedman, AH; Reardon, DA; Sampson, JH; Colvin, OM; Haglund, MM; Pegg, AE; Moschel, RC; McLendon, RE; Provenzale, JM; Gururangan, S; Tourt-Uhlig, S; Herndon, JE; Bigner, DD; Friedman, HS. Phase II trial of carmustine plus O(6)-benzylguanine for patients with nitrosourea-resistant recurrent or progressive malignant glioma. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2002;20:2277-2283.  Abstract
  • Reardon, DA; Akabani, G; Coleman, RE; Friedman, AH; Friedman, HS; Herndon, JE; Cokgor, I; McLendon, RE; Pegram, CN; Provenzale, JM; Quinn, JA; Rich, JN; Regalado, LV; Sampson, JH; Shafman, TD; Wikstrand, CJ; Wong, TZ; Zhao, XG; Zalutsky, MR; Bigner, DD. Phase II trial of murine (131)I-labeled antitenascin monoclonal antibody 81C6 administered into surgically created resection cavities of patients with newly diagnosed malignant gliomas. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2002;20:1389-1397.  Abstract
  • Wikstrand, CJ; Cole, VR; Crotty, LE; Sampson, JH; Bigner, DD. Generation of anti-idiotypic reagents in the EGFRvIII tumor-associated antigen system. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy. 2002;50:639-652.  Abstract
  • Sampson, JH; Archer, GE; Villavicencio, AT; McLendon, RE; Friedman, AH; Bishop, WR; Bigner, DD; Friedman, HS. Treatment of neoplastic meningitis with intrathecal temozolomide. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 1999;5:1183-1188.  Abstract
  • Sampson, JH; Carter, JH; Friedman, AH; Seigler, HF. Demographics, prognosis, and therapy in 702 patients with brain metastases from malignant melanoma. Journal of neurosurgery. 1998;88:11-20.  Abstract
  • Sampson, JH; Archer, GE; Ashley, DM; Fuchs, HE; Hale, LP; Dranoff, G; Bigner, DD. Subcutaneous vaccination with irradiated, cytokine-producing tumor cells stimulates CD8+ cell-mediated immunity against tumors located in the "immunologically privileged" central nervous system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 1996;93:10399-10404.  Abstract