Associate Member, Program in Immunology
Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
Dr. Seth Pollack is an expert on cancers of the bone and soft tissues, known as sarcomas. He is developing new ways to enhance patients’ immune responses against these cancers, aiming to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Pollack's laboratory studies are especially focused on synovial sarcoma and myxoid/round cell liposarcoma, two particularly deadly subtypes of soft tissue sarcomas that affect young people. His team is developing immunotherapies, including vaccines and cellular therapies, targeting a cancer protein called NY-ES0-1. Dr. Pollack is also developing methods to block the escape routes these tumors use to evade immune attack and has multiple clinical trials that have moved these methods from the laboratory bench to the bedside of patients.
Associate Professor, Division of Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
B.A., Mathematics, Haverford College, 1999
M.D., George Washington University School of Medicine, 2005
Internal Medicine Residency, George Washington University Medical Center, 2005-2008
Oncology Fellowship, University of Washington/ Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 2008-2011
Dr. Pollack sees sarcoma patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a partnership between Fred Hutch, UW and Seattle Children’s Hospital and the largest tertiary referral center for sarcoma patients in the Northwest. The SCCA is consistently one of the highest enrolling sites for national sarcoma clinical trials, including trials focused on patients with especially rare sarcoma subtypes.
Dr. Pollack’s laboratory showed that synovial sarcoma and myxoid/round cell liposarcoma (MRCL) tumors homogenously express many proteins that can be recognized by immune T cells. One known as NY-ESO-1 has several features that make it an especially attractive target for immunotherapy. Dr. Pollack led the first study demonstrating the high levels of NY-ESO-1 in MRCL, a finding that has been translated into multiple clinical trials around the world. He is now focused on developing ways to overcome resistance to immunotherapy in sarcoma.
Dr. Pollack is the PI for multiple “bench to bedside” clinical trials that aim to overcome immune resistance in sarcomas and make them susceptible to immunotherapy.