Lev Silberstein, MD, PhD

Lev Silberstein, MD, PhD

Lev Silberstein, MD, PhD

  • Physician, Fred Hutch
  • Associate Professor, Translational Science and Therapeutics Division, Fred Hutch
  • Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine

Medical Oncology

“Our goal is to cure cancer — but trying to prevent it, or to find new ways to slow it down while maintaining good quality of life for patients who can't be cured, may be just as important.”

— Dr. Silberstein

Has cancer ever affected you personally?

When I was in my twenties, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. At first, we were told that the tumor was very aggressive but later found out that his initial diagnosis was not entirely accurate; he actually had a rare tumor that was slower-growing, and he enjoyed eight more years with us. That experience taught me to always be on the lookout for unusual ways a patient’s disease presents — what may be unique or what doesn’t seem to fit — in order not to miss a rare diagnosis or less common clinical situation.

What’s it like to work with you?

In my experience, most patients appreciate clear communication, a genuine sense of empathy and dedicated time to discuss their concerns, so those three things form the foundation of my approach to care. I find that the more knowledge that you as a patient have about your disease and prognosis, the more likely you are to feel a sense of control about your situation and make informed decisions that fit your priorities. I come as a representative of Fred Hutch’s entire team of doctors; we consult with each other regularly in order to find the best possible approach to your condition. While I may be the physician in charge of your care, you have access to the collective wisdom of world-renowned experts.

Provider Background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Hematologic malignancies, non-malignant hematology

Acquired bone marrow failure disorders

I am a physician-scientist and hematologist who specializes in caring for patients with acquired bone marrow failure disorders, such as aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). These disorders affect stem cells that normally reside in the bone marrow and give rise to all blood cells in the body. When stem cells are damaged by drugs or chemicals or acquire genetic mutations, they are no longer able to produce healthy blood cells and may become cancerous.

The treatment options for these patients are currently very limited. In the laboratory, my colleagues and I conduct basic research to find soluble molecules in the bone marrow that can protect stem cells from injury or stress. Our long-term goal is to turn one of these molecules into a drug that can help stem cells repair damage, restore their ability to make blood cells and prevent the development of leukemia. Learn more about our research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Medical Degree
AwardsNovosibirsk Medical Institute

The Royal London Hospital, London, United Kingdom, Internal Medicine

University College Hospital, London, United Kingdom, Hematology

PhD, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston


Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Translational Research Program Grant
This grant provides funding for innovative basic research exploring cures and improved treatment options for leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma that shows promise for clinical application.

Andy Hill Research Endowment Distinguished Researcher Award
This award supports the recruitment of talented scientists to cancer research organizations in Washington state.


All news
Two Fred Hutch postdocs named 2021 Damon Runyon Fellows Awards to Drs. Edie Crosse and Ching-Ho Chang fund ‘creative, high-risk projects’ in cancer research August 13, 2021
Washington’s CARE Fund awards Dr. Lucas Sullivan Distinguished Researcher grant Sullivan studies metabolic pathways required for cancer growth, progression May 17, 2019

Clinical Trials

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

Find a Clinical Trial


Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors 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 provider has written.

View Dr. Lev Silberstein'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 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.

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 media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210