Pamela S. Becker, M.D., Ph.D.

Pamela Becker M.D., Ph.D.
FACULTY MEMBER

Pamela S. Becker, M.D., Ph.D.

Member
Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.221.0503
Mail Stop: UW Campus Box 358056

In her lab, clinical research and patient care, Dr. Pamela Becker strives to help patients with blood disorders. She has several main areas of research. First, she studies fundamental cancer biology, including how cancer develops and becomes resistant to treatment. Second, she is creating a new high-throughput test to help doctors choose the best treatment for each patient. This precision-medicine approach incorporates information about the tumor’s genomic profile and the results of a screen of more than 150 drugs and drug combinations on tumor tissue. Third, Dr. Becker works on gene therapy for Fanconi anemia. Finally, she leads clinical trials to test new drugs and other advances to help blood-cancer patients.

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Medicine
University of Washington

Attending Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Education

Harvard Medical School-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Health Sciences and Technology Program, 1986, M.D.

Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1986, Ph.D.

Clinical Expertise

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Bone marrow failure including Aplastic anemia, Myelodysplastic syndrome, and Fanconi anemia
  • Gaucher disease

Research Focus

Dr. Becker is pursuing several areas of translational research investigation, including 1) the mechanism of adhesion mediated chemotherapy resistance in acute myeloid leukemia and 2) hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy for an inherited disorder of DNA repair, Fanconi anemia, 3) application of precision medicine to hematologic malignancies with incorporation of genomic analysis, gene expression analysis, and in vitro high throughput drug sensitivity data to optimize treatment.

Optimizing therapy of hematological malignancies

  • Environment mediated chemotherapy resistance in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and multiple myeloma. We have performed extensive analysis of the interaction of acute myeloid leukemia or multiple myeloma with the bone marrow microenvironment, focusing on receptors such as VLA-4, CXCR-4 and CD44/E-selectin ligand. We test novel combinations of chemotherapy with agents that disrupt adhesion of leukemia or myeloma cells in the laboratory, that are currently being tested in clinical trials in patients.
  • Precision medicine approaches to acute leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, multiple myeloma and other cancers.
    We have developed an in vitro high throughput drug sensitivity assay for cancer testing and use results from this assay in combination with mutation analysis and gene expression data to choose therapy for patients with refractory or relapsed acute leukemia. We are working to extend this methodology to other cancers.

Gene therapy for inherited stem cell disorders

  • We performed the preclinical studies with a lentiviral vector in support of a gene therapy clinical trial for Fanconi (aplastic) anemia that is currently open for enrollment.

 

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210.