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Daniel F. Hayes, MD

Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Current Research

Goal: To identify and validate clinical biomarkers to inform patient care and the design of future clinical trials.

Impact: Dr. Hayes is collecting specimens such as breast cancer tissue and blood samples from consenting patients who participate in prospective clinical trials. His analysis of these materials can be used to predict how patients will respond to a particular therapy and allow for more personalized treatments.

What’s next: He and his team will continue to collect and analyze patient samples to discover new biomarkers and gain insight into the mechanisms of response and resistance to treatment—information that would improve both patient care and the design of future clinical investigations.

Clinical trials are crucial to advancing breast cancer care, and they also provide researchers with a large resource of de-identified patient samples from participants who consent to sharing their blood, tissues, DNA, etc. Dr. Hayes and his team are collecting these samples in order to discover biomarkers that can be used to match targeted treatments with each patient’s tumor. He is leading efforts by one of the major national cooperative groups to conduct these kinds of studies. 

Full Research Summary

Research area: Collecting and analyzing clinical samples to identify biomarkers to inform patient care and the design of future clinical trials.

Impact: Dr. Hayes’ study of breast cancer tissues, blood, serum, and DNA from patients who participated in clinical trials is allowing him to validate biomarkers that may change prognosis or predict whether a patient will or will not benefit from a particular therapy and may even predict side effects. 

What he’s accomplished so far: The clinical specimens he has collected have been used in a variety of projects, the results of which provided insight into mechanisms of response and resistance. He works with clinical trialists from U.S. clinical trial cooperative groups, as well as European counterparts conducting correlative studies within ongoing clinical trials. Examples of his collaborations include SWOG studies in triple-negative breast cancer and multiple studies looking at immune signature and other biomarkers both in Europe and the U.S.

What’s next: Dr. Hayes will continue to collect clinical specimens that can be used to conduct correlative science studies of new or promising tumor biomarkers. This year, the project will focus on effort to use machine learning to analyze breast cancer tissue sample slides from clinical trial participants, which if successful will provide information that is not visible to the human eye and better inform treatment decisions.


Dr. Daniel F. Hayes is the Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. 

Dr. Hayes received undergraduate, master’s and medical degrees from Indiana University, followed by a residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center/Parkland Memorial Hospital and a fellowship in medical oncology at Harvard’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He has led the breast cancer programs at DFCI (1991-1996), Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center (1996-2001), and the University of Michigan from 2001-2016.

Dr. Hayes’ research interests are in the field of experimental therapeutics and cancer biomarkers, especially in breast cancer. His work has been particularly focused on development and validation of cancer biomarker tests, such as HER-2, CA15-3, circulating tumor cells and pharmacogenomic markers. He has been instrumental in establishing international guidelines for the use of tumor biomarker tests, including criteria for their clinical utility. 

He has served as chair of the SWOG Breast Cancer Translational Medicine Committee, and he was an inaugural member and chaired the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Tumor Marker Guidelines Committee. Dr. Hayes served on the ASCO Board of Directors, and served a 3 year term as President of ASCO from 2016-2018. He is a Fellow of ASCO, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Komen Scholar, and a member of the Association of American Physicians and the American Clinical and Climatologic Association. He was the inaugural recipient of the ASCO Gianni Bonadonna Award in breast cancer.

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The Macy's Award

Area(s) of Focus