David R. Minor, M.D. , Scientist; Associate Director of the Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment at CPMC

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Developing new approaches to the prognostic assessment and treatment of cutaneous malignancies
  • T-cell activation and mechanism of action of ipilimumab

    T-cell activation and mechanism of action of ipilimumab (adapted with permission from Weber*). APC, antigen presenting cell; CTLA-4, cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4; TCR, T-cell receptor; MHC, major histocompatibility complex.

    *Weber J. Ipilimumab: Controversies in its development, utility and autoimmune adverse events. Cancer Immunol Immunother 2009;58:823.

    Source: Ahmad Tarhini, Ernest Lo, and David R. Minor. Releasing the Brake on the Immune System: Ipilimumab in Melanoma and Other Tumors. Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals  2010;25(6):601-613. (Figure1)


  • liver metastases and response with sunitinib therapy

    Patient 73 had a vulvar melanoma with KIT L576P mutation and normal positron emission tomography/computed tomographic (PET/CT) scan in 2009. In April 2010, 3 liver metastases more than 1 cm in size appeared on PET/CT scan. Subsequent scans showing complete Q3 response of liver metastases with sunitinib therapy until relapse in August 2011.

    Source: Minor DR, et al. Sunitinib Therapy for Melanoma Patients with KIT Mutations. Clin Cancer Res 2011;18(00);1–7. (Figure 1)


Research Overview

  • Dr. Minor is Associate Director of the California Pacific Medical Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment, an integrated basic and clinical research program dedicated to developing novel therapies for both cutaneous and ocular melanoma. Dr. Minor collaborates closely with Drs. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet and Stanley Leong on multiple research projects.
  • Dr. Minor leads many clinical trials of immunotherapy and targeted therapies for advanced and metastatic disease, studies prognostic factors in metastatic melanoma patients treated with biochemotherapy and immunotherapy, and investigates other aspects of the biology and genetics of melanoma.
  • He has authored nearly 50 publications, many on the immunotherapy of metastatic melanoma.



Dr. Minor obtained his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. He completed residency training at California Pacific Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellowship in medical oncology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He has been involved in melanoma research for over 30 years.



Publication Search


Vosoughi E, Lee JM, Miller JR, Nosrati M, Minor DR, Abendroth R, Lee JW, Andrews BT, Leng LZ, Wu M, Leong SP, Kashani-Sabet M, Kim KB, Survival and clinical outcomes of patients with melanoma brain metastasis in the era of checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies. BMC Cancer

DeFalco J, Harbell M, Manning-Bog A, Baia G, Scholz A, Millare B, Sumi M, Zhang D, Chu F, Dowd C, Zuno-Mitchell P, Kim D, Leung Y, Jiang S, Tang X, Williamson KS, Chen X, Carroll SM, Espiritu Santo G, Haaser N, Nguyen N, Giladi E, Minor D, Tan YC, Sokolove JB, Steinman L, Serafini TA, Cavet G, Greenberg NM, Glanville J, Volkmuth W, Emerling DE, Robinson WH, Non-progressing cancer patients have persistent B cell responses expressing shared antibody paratopes that target public tumor antigens. Clin Immunol

Larkin J, Minor D, D'Angelo S, Neyns B, Smylie M, Miller WH Jr, Gutzmer R, Linette G, Chmielowski B, Lao CD, Lorigan P, Grossmann K, Hassel JC, Sznol M, Daud A, Sosman J, Khushalani N, Schadendorf D, Hoeller C, Walker D, Kong G, Horak C, Weber J, Overall Survival in Patients With Advanced Melanoma Who Received Nivolumab Versus Investigator's Choice Chemotherapy in CheckMate 037: A Randomized, Controlled, Open-Label Phase III Trial. J Clin Oncol

Hodi FS, Chesney J, Pavlick AC, Robert C, Grossmann KF, McDermott DF, Linette GP, Meyer N, Giguere JK, Agarwala SS, Shaheen M, Ernstoff MS, Minor DR, Salama AK, Taylor MH, Ott PA, Horak C, Gagnier P, Jiang J, Wolchok JD, Postow MA, Combined nivolumab and ipilimumab versus ipilimumab alone in patients with advanced melanoma: 2-year overall survival outcomes in a multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol

Puzanov I, Milhem MM, Minor D, Hamid O, Li A, Chen L, Chastain M, Gorski KS, Anderson A, Chou J, Kaufman HL, Andtbacka RH, Talimogene Laherparepvec in Combination With Ipilimumab in Previously Untreated, Unresectable Stage IIIB-IV Melanoma. J Clin Oncol

David R. Minor, M.D. , Scientist; Associate Director of the Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment at CPMC
Primary Research Interests
  • Prognostic assessment and treatment of cutaneous malignancies
  • Novel therapies for advanced and metastatic cancer
  • Immunotherapy of metastatic melanoma

Research News & Highlights

Research co-authored by Dr. Minor was higlighted as featured news by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (June 2016).

Dr. Minor and colleagues presented new results at AACR 2016 of nivolumab-ipilimumab combination therapy in advanced melanoma (CheckMate 069 study).
In the phase 2 trial, the addition of nivolumab to ipilimumab extended survival in BRAF wild-type melanoma.