Lee D Cranmer, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Director, Melanoma/Sarcoma Program
Professional Bio: 

Originally from Southern California, Dr. Lee Cranmer completed his medical degree (MD) and a doctorate (PhD) in biology at the University of California, San Diego. He then completed an internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Cranmer came to The University of Arizona Cancer Center in 2001 to undertake advanced fellowship training in medical oncology. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Cranmer joined the faculty of The University of Arizona Cancer Center, where he remains today. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.

Clinical Information

Clinical Focus: 

Dr. Cranmer is a medical oncologist. He evaluates and treats patients with complicated and advanced forms of skin cancer, including metastatic melanoma. He also treats adult patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas. His melanoma interests have led him to be interested in the multi-disciplinary management for patients with brain metastases (spread of cancerous tumors to the brain). Dr. Cranmer also practices general internal medicine, general hematology and inpatient adult bone marrow/stem cell transplant.

Disease or Clinical Specialty: 

Research Information

Research Program: 
Therapeutic Development
Member Status: 
Research Member
Year of Membership Acceptance: 
Summary of Research Activity: 

Dr. Cranmer conducts both therapeutic and non-therapeutic clinical research in melanoma and sarcomas. In both areas, he maintains an extensive panel of active therapeutic clinical trials for patients afflicted with these disorders. He is working to develop clinical trials native to the Arizona Cancer Center in the areas of melanoma and brain metastasis management. In the laboratory, Dr. Cranmer’s research examines novel drugs to treat melanoma and sarcomas and biomarkers of response and prognosis.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Engelhardt C, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Warneke J, Cranmer LD. (2010) Metastatic Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma responding to Erlotinib Therapy. (In press, J Am Acad Dermatol).
  2. Cranmer LD, Jeter JM, Morgan SS, Hersh EM, Stea B. (2010) Whole-brain radiation therapy in melanoma: an open question. The Lancet Oncology. 11(1):13-4. PMID: 2012927 
  3. Hersh EM, O’Day SJ, Powderly J, Khan KD, Pavlick AC, Cranmer LD, Samlowski WE, Nichol GM, Yellin MJ, Weber JS. A phase II multicenter study of ipilimumab with or without dacarbazine in chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced melanoma. Epub ahead of print, Invest New Drugs. January 16, 2010. PMID: 20082117
  4. Engelhardt C, Cranmer LD. (2009) Treatment of Unresectable and Metastatic Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma. (Under revision by Oncologist.)
  5. Cranmer LD, Jeter JM, Hersh EM. (2009) Metastasis in Melanoma: Therapy of Limited Central Nervous System Disease. (Submitted to Melanoma Research.)
  6. Trevor KT, Combs D, Al-Obeidi A, Mahadevan D, Welsh JW, Bearss DJ, Cranmer LD. (2009) MP470, A Novel Agent for the Treatment of Synovial Sarcoma. (Submitted to Clin Cancer Res.)
  7. Chalasani P, Shtivelband MI, Cranmer LD. (2009) Advanced Desmoplastic Small Round Cell tumor: Near Complete Response with Trastuzumab-based Chemotherapy. Clin Advan Hem Onc. 7(7): 473-475. PMID: 19701155 
  8. Loescher LJ, Crist JD, Cranmer L, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Warneke JA. (2009) Melanoma high-risk families’ perceived healthcare provider risk communications. J Cancer Educ. 24(4):301-7. PMID: 19838889
  9. Shekhel T, Glick R, Cranmer, L. (2009) In-transit Metastases from Melanoma Presenting as Lymphangiectasis. Cutis. 84(3): 151-8. PMID: 19842575
  10. McDermott D, 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, Hersh EM. (2008) A Double-Blind Randomzied 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): 2178-2185. PMID: 18445842
  11. Akhunji S, Musil I, Baisre de Leon A, Bhattacharyya A, and Cranmer LD. (2007) Synovial sarcoma of the gastric wall: case report and review of the literature. Cancer Ther. 5: 457-462.
  12. Cranmer LD and Hersh E. (2007) The Role of the CTLA4 Blockade in the Treatment of Malignant Melanoma. Cancer Invest.  25(7): 613-31. PMID: 18027152
  13. Ebbinghaus S, Rubin E, Hersh E, Cranmer LD, Bonate PL, Fram RJ, Jekunen A, Weitman S, and Hammond LA. (2005) A phase I study of the dolastatin-15 analog (ILX651) administered intravenously daily for five consecutive days every three weeks in patients with advanced solid tumors. Clin Cancer Res 11(21): 7807-7816. PMID: 16278403
  14. Cranmer LD, Trevor K, Bandlamuri S, and Hersh E. (2005). Rodent models of brain metastasis in melanoma. Melanoma Res. 15(5): 325-356. PMID: 16179861
  15. Cranmer, LD, Trevor, K, and Hersh, E. (2004) Clinical applications of dendritic cell vaccination in the treatment of cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 53(4): 275-306. PMID: 14648069
  16. Cranmer LD, Warrington K, Ytterberg S. (2002). 61-year-old man with dyspnea and bilateral foot drop. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 77(4):363-366. PMID: 11936933
  17. Morello CS, Cranmer LD, Spector DH. (2000) Suppression of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection with a DNA vaccine encoding MCMV M84 (a homolog of human cytomaglovirus pp65). J. Virol. 74(8): 3696-3708. PMID: 10729145
  18. Morello CS, Cranmer LD, Spector DH. (1999) In vivo replication, latency and immunogenicity of murine cytomegalovirus mutants with deletions in the M83 and M84 genes, the putative homologs of the human cytomegalovirus pp65 (UL83). J. Virol. 73(9): 7678-7693. PMID: 10438858
  19. Cranmer LD, Clark CL, Morello CS, Farrell HE, Rawlinson WD, Spector DH. (1996) Identification, analysis, and evolutionary relationships of the putative murine cytomegalovirus homologs of the human cytomegalovirus UL82 (pp71) and UL83 (pp65) matrix phosphoproteins. J. Virol. 70(11):7929-7939. PMID: 8892916
  20. Gonzalez-Armas JC, Morello CS, Cranmer LD, Spector DH. (1996) DNA immunization confers protection against murine cytomegalovirus infection. J. Virol. 70(11):7921-7928. PMID: 8892915
  21. Cranmer LD, Clark C, Spector DH. (1994) Cloning, characterization, and expression of the murine cytomegalovirus homologue of the human cytomegalovirus 28-kDa matrix phosphoprotein (UL99). Virology. 205:417-429. PMID: 7975245
  22. Roenneberg T, Nakamura H, Cranmer LD, Ryan K, Kishi Y, Hastings JW. (1991) Gonyauline: a novel endogenous substance shortening the period of the circadian clock in a unicellular alga. Experientia. 47(1): 103-106. PMID: 1999237
Collaborative Research: 

Dr. Cranmer collaborates closely in both clinical work and research with other members of the multi-disciplinary Cutaneous Oncology Program, the clinical division of the Skin Cancer Institute and Sarcoma Oncology Clinic staff members. He also collaborates with laboratory-based researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center.

Externally, Dr. Cranmer has on-going collaborations with a number of Arizona and non-Arizona-based researchers. He is additionally a member of the Southwest Oncology Group, a National Cancer Institute-funded cancer clinical research group.

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
  • 2009       Reviewer, Melanoma Research
  • 2009       Reviewer, International Journal of Cancer
  • 2009       Reviewer, Cancer
  • 2009       Certificate of Appreciation to the “Bench to Bedside” Open House
  • 2007       Clinical Faculty for Cancer Biology Graduate Program
  • 2006       Reviewer, Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
  • 2005       Reviewer, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
  • 1992-97  Life & Health Insurance Medical Research MD/PhD Scholar
  • 1989-98  National Research Service Award
  • 1989       Student Award, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Other Experience and Professional Memberships/Affiliations: 
  • Arizona Cancer Center, Therapeutic Development Section—Associate Member
  • American College of Physicians (ACP)—Member
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)—Member
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)—Member
  • American Association of Immunologists (AAI)—Member
  • Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), Melanoma Committee—Member
  • Children’s Clinics for Rehabilitative Services (CCRS)—Affiliate
  • Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS)—Member
  • Arizona Cancer Center Scientific Review Committee—Member
  • Arizona Cancer Center Space Committee—Alternate Member
Board Certifications: 
  • 2001–Present  Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, #29291  
  • 1999–Present  Drug Enforcement Administration Certificate
  • 2001–11         Board Certified in Internal Medicine
  • 2005–14         Board Certified in Medical Oncology

Academic Information

2001-2003 Fellowship in Medical Oncology, Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
1998-2001 Residency in Internal Medicine, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Medical School: 
1989-1998 School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California. Doctor of Medicine conferred June 1998
Master's Degree: 
1988-1989 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, England. Master of Science in Parasitology conferred October 1989
Undergraduate School: 
1986-1988 Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Biochemical Sciences conferred June 1988; 1984-1986 University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California