John A. Thompson, MD

John A. Thompson, MD
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John A. Thompson, MD

  • Medical Director, Phase I Clinical Trials Program, Fred Hutch
  • Professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
  • Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine

Medical Oncology

“Our research creates hope and possibility; I’m thrilled when our work makes an impact on your treatment.”

— Dr. Thompson

What excites you about your job?

It was during my internal medicine residency that I first became interested in oncology. I was inspired by both the science of cancer and the relational side of this specialty — the connections you form with patients and families. At Fred Hutch, I’m able to have dual careers: I get to experience the thrill of discovering better approaches to treating melanoma and kidney cancer while also witnessing firsthand the significance of this progress. Our research creates hope and possibility; I’m thrilled when our work makes an impact on your treatment.  

How do you like to work with patients?

My goal is to establish a clear diagnosis, share with you the natural history of melanoma or kidney cancer as it affects you and develop a treatment plan that is based on good science and tailored to your needs. I know that learning  about your illness can be daunting. Sorting through all the available cancer information takes patience and time. One of my roles as an oncology specialist is to help you and your family sift through the data and find what’s useful to you. Patients often feel relieved when they can narrow down their information base and spend more time and energy taking care of themselves.  

Provider Background

Area of Clinical Practice
Kidney cancer, skin cancers

I am a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of kidney cancer and melanoma. At Fred Hutch, I serve as the co-director of the melanoma clinic and the medical director of the Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program. Researchers in this program collaborate with local biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop novel therapies for patients with solid tumor cancers. Phase 1 clinical trials can be a good option when conventional cancer treatments have stopped working.  

My clinical research focuses on exploring novel therapies for kidney cancer and melanoma, including blood stem cell transplants and immunotherapy. I was part of the team at Fred Hutch that reported the first successful use of a patient’s own T cells (a type of infection-fighting immune cell) as the sole therapy for putting an advanced solid-tumor cancer into long-term remission without radiation or chemotherapy. In addition to caring for patients and leading research, I’m active on many boards and committees that represent patients with kidney cancer and melanoma.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
Davidson College

Medical Degree
University of Alabama, Birmingham

University of Washington School of Medicine, Internal Medicine

University of Washington School of Medicine, Internal Medicine

Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 1985, American Board of Internal Medicine; Internal Medicine, 1982, American Board of Internal Medicine

Internship, University of Washington School of Medicine


Seattle Met's 2018 Top Doctors award
Dr. Thompson has been recognized as a Top Doctor in this peer-nominated award multiple years in a row.


All news
7 skin cancer myths — debunked Experts take on base tans and other ‘complete baloney’ standing in the way of skin health August 2, 2017

Clinical Trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch physicians. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your physician can decide if a study is right for you. 

Find a Clinical Trial Led by Dr. Thompson


Many of our Fred Hutch physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch physician has written. 

View Dr. Thompson's Publications

Your Care Team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like registered dietitians, 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.

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 providers.

Email or call 206.667.2210