In recent years, there have been a lot of amazing breakthroughs in the treatments of some cancers. However, progress in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), especially for adults over the age of 65, has been slower than we would like. As the population ages, AML will thus become an increasing health problem, and we desperately need to develop novel therapies that are more effective and less taxing on the body. Such therapies will help to curb the rising tide of AML-related deaths. So I’m driven to better understand the biology of AML and to develop innovative ways to improve treatment for this devastating disease.
Every patient is different, with unique goals, needs and life stressors. One of the most important things that I can do is listen. Truly hearing patients and understanding their concerns allows for the development of trust, which is essential for providing optimal care. Some patients want to know every detail about their disease and treatment, while others prefer to focus more on their recuperation. Whatever their preference may be, I work with them to help ensure the details of their care are attended to and that they feel supported.
Area of clinical practice
Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Leukemia, other blood malignancies
I have been caring for patients as a board-certified medical oncologist at Fred Hutch since it opened in 2001. My expertise centers on the treatment of blood malignancies such as leukemia. Most of the patients that I have the pleasure of seeing are faced with a very challenging decision: whether they should consider stem cell transplantation. I work with these patients to weigh the risks and benefits of choosing a transplant or other therapies.
In addition to caring for patients, I study how the process of aging affects the development of leukemia and other blood diseases. My colleagues and I seek to identify novel biomarkers (molecular signposts) that can help predict a patients’ response to therapy, lead to new tests for early cancer detection and give us insight into how a disease progresses. My research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature, Blood and Leukemia. I also serve on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines Committee for senior adult oncology.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
University of North Carolina Memorial Hospitals, Internal Medicine
University of Washington, Hematology-Oncology
Medical Oncology, 1999, American Board of Internal Medicine
At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.