Associate Professor, Program in Immunology
Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
Dr. Sylvia Lee is interested in developing T-cell therapies for solid tumors. She collaborates with lab-based investigators to help bring novel T-cell constructs to clinical trials in patients. One type of this cancer immunotherapy that she studies is called tumor infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, therapy. TILs are T cells that can attack cancer but get shut off by tumors before they can eradicate the disease. To harness TILs’ power, researchers extract these dormant cells from a piece of tumor and reactivate them in the lab. They then select those cells best able to recognize and attack the tumor and multiply those cells to the billions in the laboratory before reinfusing them into patients. This experimental strategy may hold particular promise for treating patients with highly mutated cancers like melanoma. Dr. Lee started Fred Hutch’s TIL program and works with industry to help expand TIL therapy to other types of cancer. An oncologist, Dr. Lee also treats patients with melanoma and lung cancers at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutch’s clinical-care partner.
University of Washington School of Medicine
M.D., University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Internship, University of Washington School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine
Residency, University of Washington School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine
Fellowship, University of Washington School of Medicine, Division of Oncology and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center