Jerald Radich, MD

Education

University of California, San Diego; B.A. (Biology) with Honors; 1976
Harvard University, School of Public Health; Boston, MA; M.S. (Epidemiology); 1979
University of California, Davis, School of Medicine; M.D.; 1983
University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals; Seattle, WA; Internship (Internal Medicine); 1984
University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals; Residency (Internal Medicine); 1986
Veterans Administration Medical Center Affiliated Hospitals; Seattle, WA; Chief Medical Resident; 1987
University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Fellowship (Medical Oncology); 1990

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Radich is a medical oncologist who specializes in the molecular genetics of leukemia. A world-recognized expert in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), he serves on the CML Guidelines Panels for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and European LeukemiaNet, which synthesize the best available evidence, including findings from state-of-the-art molecular monitoring, to support optimal decision-making in the medical management of CML patients.

From 2003 to 2010, Dr. Radich was the Medical Director of the Research Trials Office at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the clinical care collaborative formed by the Fred Hutch, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's. Since its inception in 2009, he has served as the Chair of National Cancer Institute (NCI) Leukemia Steering Committee of the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN), which is tasked with advancing national phase 3 and large phase 2 clinical trials of the most promising new therapies for patients with leukemias and related cancers.

Since 2009, Dr. Radich has been Chair of the SWOG Leukemia Translational Medicine Committee, charged with integrating leukemia laboratory research with clinical trials. He is also a Principal Investigator of a multi-institutional team working within and outside the NCI NCTN system to create an Integrated Translational Science Center for Leukemia. The goal is to coordinate funding, expertise, technologies, tissue samples and data for innovative studies, including ones designed to identify novel prognostic markers and molecular targets for new therapies that can be rapidly moved into clinical trials supported by the NCTN. For many years, Dr. Radich has also been involved with the MAX Foundation and the International CML Foundation (iCMLf), performing diagnostic and monitoring tests for CML patients in developing countries.

Research Focus

Conceptually, Dr. Radich studies “the genetics of luck;” i.e. why patients do or don’t respond after therapy. His research focuses on the molecular underpinnings of therapy response, resistance and relapse in hematological malignancies, performing gene expression and mutation analyses on cases that are refractory to therapy versus those that realize long-term remissions. The Radich team uses cutting-edge molecular methods, including microfluidic platforms for very large-scale analysis of rare genetic events and techniques for measuring gene expression and mutations in single cells. They continue developing diagnostic tests to distinguish biologically distinct cancer subtypes and to help identify particular therapies that are most likely to be effective for individual patients.

The Radich laboratory was one of the first to document that monitoring levels of the abnormal, CML-promoting “BCR-ABL” fusion protein can be used to detect “minimal residual disease” and predict relapse before CML cells can be detected by previously standard tests. Based on this expertise, Dr. Radich and colleagues served as the U.S. and Canadian reference lab for several large clinical trials of anti-CML tyrosine kinase inhibitor drugs (imatinib/Gleevec®, dasatinib/Sprycel®, and nilotinib/Tasigna®), all now FDA-approved for CML patients. The team helped establish the International Scale for BCR-ABL testing and worked with the company, Cepheid, to develop the first automated assay for BCR-ABL.

Current Laboratory Studies

Dr. Radich runs the Molecular Oncology Lab, a certified diagnostics lab performing rapid genetic tests for CML and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients of all ages who are enrolled on national and international clinical trials. He also oversees a research laboratory that is currently focused on multiple scientific areas:

  • Studies of “outlier responses” in leukemia. These studies focus on CML and AML cases with especially poor versus great clinical responses. The goal is to understand the genetic pathways responsible for response versus refractory disease and relapse. The hope is that the findings will allow doctors to accurately predict which patients will respond (or not) to standard treatments, as well as uncover new molecular targets for drug therapies that could turn a refractory case into a responder.
  • Deciphering “clonal evolution” in CML and AML. A “clone” is a group of cells that all share one or more distinctive genetic mutation that first occurred in their ancestor cell. Researchers have learned that cancers are usually made up of multiple clones that evolve with a sequence of mutations and other abnormalities, some of which provide a “selective advantage” to the cancer, including when exposed to a particular therapy. The Radich team is using their highly sensitive genetic tests to characterize these time-dependent changes in many different leukemia cases. Understanding clonal evolution will provide important, additional clues as to how best to treat individual patients.
  • Developing methods to make molecular diagnostic assays inexpensive. These tests are critically needed in poor resource areas. At present the work is with CML patients, in partnership with the Max Foundation and the iCMLf.


Jerald Radich, MD

Contact Information

Phone
(206) 667-4118
Fax
(206) 667-2917
Email
Additional contact

Mail Stop: D4-100