Douglas J. Schwartzentruber, MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery
Medical Director for Cancer Services at Indiana University Health
Associate Director for Clinical Affairs at Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center

Specialty: General Surgery
Residency: Indiana University


Dr. Schwartzentruber serves as medical director for cancer services at Indiana University Health and as associate director for clinical affairs at Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. He is also a professor of surgery in the IU School of Medicine.  A pioneer in cancer care, research and service, he previously served as medical director of the Goshen Center for Cancer Care at IU Health Goshen, a fully integrated cancer care program.


He spent 16 years at the National Cancer Institute, completing a Surgical Oncology/Immunotherapy fellowship and then serving as a senior investigator in the Surgery Branch. During this time, he also served as a clinical associate professor at the University of Maryland.


Dr. Schwartzentruber has published 80 scholarly articles and 12 book chapters. His work on therapeutic vaccines for metastatic melanoma earned him recognition as one of TIME Magazine’s 2010 100 most influential people in the world. A vaccine trial, one of the first of its kind, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Due to his innovation in medicine and research, he has topped prestigious lists such as Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, Presidential Who’s Who and America’s Top Oncologists.


Dr. Schwartzentruber graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed an internship and residency at Indiana University Medical Center.


IU Health Physicians


IU Health Methodist/IU Health University

Location Information

IU Health Simon Cancer Center

535 Barnhill Dr., RT 252

Indianapolis, IN 46202

Clinical Interests


Accepting New Patients

Schedule an Appointment  Clinical Trials


  1. Goorin, A.M., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Devidas, M., Gebhardt, M.C., Ayala, A.G., Harris, M.B., Helman, L.J., Grier, H.E., Link, M.P.  Presurgical chemotherapy compared with immediate surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy for nonmetastatic osteosarcoma:  Pediatric Oncology Group study POG-8651.  J Clin Oncol 21:1574-1580, 2003.
  2. Yang J.C., Haworth L., Sherry R.M., Hwu P., Schwartzentruber D.J., Topalian S.L., Steinberg S.M., Chen H.X., Rosenberg S.A.  A randomized trial of bevacizumab an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibody, for metastatic renal cancer.  N Engl J Med 349:427-34, 2003.
  3. Phan, G.Q., Touloukian, C.E., Yang, J.C. Restifo, N.P., Sherry, R.M., Hwu, P, Topalian, S.L., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Seipp, C.A., Freezer, L.J., Morton, K.E., Mavroukakis, S.A., White, D.E., Rosenberg, S.A.  Immunization of patients with metastatic melanoma using both class I and class II restricted peptides from melanoma-associated antigens.  J Immunother 26:349-56, 2003.
  4. Phan, G.Q., Yang, J.C., Sherry, R.M., Hwu, P., Topalian, S.L., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Restifo, N.P., Haworth, L.R., Seipp, C.A., Freezer, L.J., Morton, K.E., Mavroukakis, S.A., Duray, P.H., Steinberg, S.M., Allison J.P., Davis, T.A., Rosenberg, S.A.  Cancer regression and autoimmunity induced by cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 blockade in patients with metastatic melanoma.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100:8372-8377, 2003.
  5. Rosenberg, S.A., Yang, J.C., Sherry, R.M., Hwu, P., Topalian, S.L., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Restifo, N.P., Haworth L.R., Seipp, C.A., Freezer, L.J., Morton, K.E., Mavroukakis, S.A., White, D.E.  Inability to immunize patients with metastatic melanoma using plasmid DNA encoding the gp100 melanoma-melanocyte antigen.  Hum Gene Ther 14:709-714, 2003.
  6. Rosenberg, S.A., Yang, J.C., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Hwu, P., Topalian, S.L., Sherry, R.M., Restifo, N.P., Wunderlich, J.R., Seipp, C.A., Rodgers-Freezer, L., Morton, K.E., Mavroukakis, S.A., Gritz L., Panicali D.L., White, D.E.  Recombinant fowlpox viruses encoding the anchor-modified gp100 melanoma antigen can generate anti-tumor immune responses in patients with metastatic melanoma.  Clin Cancer Res 9:2973-2980, 2003.
  7. Rosenberg S.A., Yang J.C., Robbins P.F., Wunderlich J.R., Hwu P., Sherry R. M., Schwartzentruber D.J., Topalian S.L., Restifo N.P., Filie A., Chang R., Dudley M.E.  Cell transfer therapy for cancer:  Lessons from sequential treatments of a patient with metastatic melanoma.  J Immunother 26:385-393, 2003.
  8. Yang J.C., Sherry R.M., Steinberg S.M., Topalian S.L., Schwartzentruber D.J., Hwu P., Seipp C.A., Rogers-Freezer L., Morton K.E., White D.E., Liewehr D.J., Merino M.J., Rosenberg S.A.  Randomized study of high-dose and low-dose interleukin-2 in patients with metastatic renal cancer.  J Clin Oncol 21:3127-3132, 2003.
  9. Muehlbauer P.M., Schwartzentruber D.J.  Cancer Vaccines.  Semin Oncol Nurs 19:206-216, 2003.
  10. Heimann D.M., Schwartzentruber D.J.  Gastrointestinal perforations associated with interleukin-2 administration.  J. Immunother 27:254-258, 2004.
  11. Neelapu, S.S., Gause, B.L., Nikcevich, D.A., Schuster, S.J., Winter, J., Gockerman, J.P., Loughran, Jr., T., Takeshita, K., Inghirami, G., McGaughey, D., Watson, T.M., Snow, S., Kubovic, P., Ferraro, M., Jones, E., Jaffe, E.S., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Danforth, D., Sherry, R., Kass, E., Van Waes, C., Reynolds, C.W., and Kwak, L. W.  Phase III Randomized Trial of Patient-Specific Vaccination for Previously Untreated Patients with Follicular Lymphoma in First Complete Remission:  Protocol Summary and Interim Report. Clinical Lymphoma 6: 61-64, 2005.
  12. Rosenberg S.A., Sherry R.M., Morton K.E., Yang J.C., Topalian S.L., Royal R.E., Kammula U., Restifo N.P., Hughes M.S., Schwartzentruber D.J., Berman D.M., Schwarz S.L., Ngo L.T., Mavroukakis S.A., White D.E., Steinberg S.  Tumor Progression can occur despite the induction of very high levels of self/tumor antigen-specific CD8+T cells in patients with melanoma.  J. Immunol.: 175(9):6169-6176 Nov 1, 2005.
  13. Ingkansisorn, W. P., Patterson, D.I., Calvo, K. R., Rosing, D.R., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Fuisz, A. R., Arai, A. E., Cardiac Magnetic Resonance of Myocarditis Caused by High Dose IL-2 vs. Community-Acquired Myocarditis.  JCMR: 8(2):353-360, 2006.
  14. Iqbal, J., He, G., Biesecker, LG., Rosen, P., Duray, PH., Schwartzentruber, D., Beg, M., Kahn, E. Morphological Characterization of the breast in Proteus Syndrome Complicated by Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. Ann Clin Lab Sci: 36 (4): 469-474, 2006.
  15. Gulec SA, Hoenie E, Hostetter R, Schwartzentruber D, PET-Probe Guided Surgery: Indications and Clinical Protocol, World J Surg Oncol: 5:65, June 7, 2007.
  16. Ascierto, P.A., De Maio, E., Bertuzzi, S., Palmieri, G., Halaban, R., Hendirx, M., Kashani-Sabet, M., Ferrone, S., Wang, E., Cochran, A., Rivoltini, L., Lee, P.P., Fox, B., Kirkwood, J.M., Dansky-Ullman, C., Lehmann, F.F., Sznol, M., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Maio, M., Flaherty, K., Galon, J., Ribas, A., Yang, J., Stroncek, D.F., Mozzillo, N., Marincola, F.M.  Future Perspectives in Melanoma Research.   J Transl Med:  9:32, March 26, 2011.
  17. Schwartzentruber, D.J., Lawson, D.H., Richards, J.M., Conry, R., Miller, D., Treisman, J., Gailani, F., Riley, L., Conlon, K., Pockaj, B., Kendra, K.L., White, R.L., Gonzalez, R., Kuzel, T.M., Curti, B., Leming, P.D., Whitman, E.E., Balkissoon, J., Reintgen, D.S., Kaufman, H., Marincola, F.M., Merino, M.J., Rosenberg, S.A., Choyke, P, Vena, D., Hwu, P.  Gp100 Peptide Vaccine and IL-2 in Patients with Advanced Melanoma.  N Engl J Med: 364(22):2119-2127, 2011.   
  18. Lindhurst, M.J., Sapp J.C., Teer, J.K., Johnston, J.J., Finn, E.M., Peters, K., Turner, J., Cannons, J.L., Bick, D., Blakemore, L., Blumhosrt, C., Brockmann, K., Calder, P., Cherman, N., Deardorff, M., Everman, D.B., Golas, G., Greenstein., R.M., Kato, B.M., Keppler-Noreuil, K.M., Kuznetsov, S.A., Miyamoto, R.T., Newman, K., Ng, D., O’Brien, K., Rothenberg, S., Schwartzentruber, D.J., Singhal, V., Tirabosco, R., Upton, J., Wientroug, S., Zackai, E.H., Hoag, K., Whitewood-Neal, T., Robey, P.G., Schwartzberg, P.L., Darling, T.N., Tosi, L., Mullikin, J.C., Biesecker, L.G. A Mosaic Activating Mutation in AKT1 Associated with Proteus Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 365:611-619, 2011.
  19. Gulec SA, Pennington K., Wheeler J., Barot T.C., Suthar R.R., Hall M., Schwartzentruber D. Yttrium-90 Microsphere-selective Internal Radiation Therapy With Chemotherapy (Chemo-SIRT) for Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases:  An In Vivo Double-Arm-Controlled Phase II Trial. Am J Clin Oncol, 36(5): 455-460, 2013.
  20. Dutcher, JP, Schwartzentruber, DJ, Kaufman HL, Agarwala, SS, Tarhini, AA, Lowder, JN, and Atkins, MB.  High Dose Interleukin-2 (Aldesleukin) – Expert Consensus on Best Management Practices-2015.  Journal of Immunotherapy of Cancer, In-Press, 2015.

Department of Surgery | 545 Barnhill Drive, Emerson Hall 203, Indianapolis, In 46202 | Phone: (317) 274-5771