Keith D. Eaton, MD, PhD

Keith D. Eaton, MD, PhD
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Keith D. Eaton, MD, PhD

  • Clinical Director of Thoracic, Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Fred Hutch
  • Medical Director for Quality, Safety and Value, Fred Hutch
  • Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Washington Medical Center

Medical Oncology

“Helping people is really important to me. My childhood heroes were Gandhi and Einstein. Now, as a clinician and researcher, I get to connect closely with patients while bringing them leading-edge treatments.”

— Dr. Eaton

Why did you become an oncologist?

I was always drawn toward the sciences, particularly physics and math. But in graduate school, I began to feel like something was missing; the more I pursued these interests, the more I felt removed from people. Then I met my wife, who was in medical school at the time. Through her, I discovered that a career in medicine would be scientifically challenging while also providing that missing human element, so I switched gears and decided to become a physician. What I like about being an oncologist is that I get to treat the whole person, not just their illness. I’m interested in how someone is coping, what their priorities are and how I can help them lead a healthy, fulfilling life despite a cancer diagnosis.

Do you have a personal connection with cancer?

In 2012, I was diagnosed with leukemia and was given less than a 5 percent chance of survival. Kind of like Harry Potter — I’m the boy who lived. As a survivor, I never lose sight of how fortunate I am to support others as they face the challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment. I consider patient education to be one of the most important aspects of my work because it empowers you to make informed decisions and participate fully in your care. I’m known as kind, patient, a good listener and an open, compassionate communicator. I’m committed to answering all your questions honestly and really getting to know you.

Provider Background

Area of Clinical Practice
Head and neck cancers, thoracic cancers

Lung Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Cancer of Unknown Primary
I provide care for patients with cancers of the lung, thyroid, head and neck, as well as those diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary (CUP), a rare disease in which the origin of malignant cells found in the body is not known. In addition to providing clinical care, I serve as the medical director for quality, safety and value at Fred Hutch. In this role, I focus on improving cancer care at a systems level, from the way we communicate with patients to the way we deliver care at the end of life, among other areas. From a research perspective, I lead clinical trials investigating novel drug therapies for lung cancer. I also collaborate with colleagues seeking to better understand cancer biology and to develop more targeted treatments.

Diseases Treated



Education, Expereince and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of California, San Diego

Medical Degree
University of California School of Medicine, San Diego

University of Washington, Internal Medicine

University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Medical Oncology

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

PhD, Physics, University of California School of Medicine, San DiegoAwards


Seattle Met's 2019 Top Doctors award
Dr. Eaton has been recognized as a Top Doctor year after year.

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. Eaton


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. Eaton'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 dieticians, 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