Sylvia M. Lee, MD

Sylvia M. Lee, MD

Sylvia M. Lee, MD

  • Physician, Fred Hutch
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Medical Oncology

“It is my privilege to work with you during your triumphs and difficult times.”

— Dr. Lee

Why do you enjoy about practicing oncology?

I was fortunate to be raised in a loving family that valued caring for others, and I wanted a career that would allow me to help people. I became a high school science teacher in the Teach for America program and then returned to medical school. I initially planned to focus on internal medicine, but during my oncology rotation, I decided that I wanted to work with cancer patients. I find oncology patients to the most inspiring and rewarding patients I have ever worked with, as they deeply appreciate their loved ones and the value of life.

What is your approach to treatment?

I will care for you the way I would care for my family, with respect and compassion. My goal is to help you and your loved ones clearly understand your treatment options, providing you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions about your care.

Provider Background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Skin cancers, thoracic cancers

Lung cancer and melanoma

I am an expert in tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, a form of immunotherapy that uses your own immune cells to attack your tumor. TILs are a type of T cell that attacks cancer, but tumors can turn off this immune response. We can extract the dormant cells from a piece of tumor, reactivate them in the lab, multiply the cells to the billions in the laboratory and reinfuse them into patients to fight cancer.

I believe that enhancing your own immune system’s natural ability to recognize and attack cancer cells is perhaps the most promising new form of treatment, and many clinical trials are available for you to explore.
Head and neck cancers
We plan to expand T-cell therapy to head and neck cancer, allowing your immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells in your body. I am committed to extending the benefits of this new immunotherapy to as many patients as possible.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Medical Degree
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

University of Washington, Division of General Internal Medicine

University of Washington, Division of Hematology & Oncology

Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 2011, American Board of Internal Medicine

Internship, University of Washington, Division of General Internal Medicine


All news
New program to fast-track lung cancer research from lab to clinic Patient-focused science at the heart of $13M National Cancer Institute grant August 6, 2019
Seattle mayor and melanoma survivor Jenny Durkan visits Fred Hutch Mayor shares personal story as Hutch scientists outline the future of cancer therapy March 13, 2019
His immune system eradicated his melanoma. Could other patients’ bodies be taught to do the same thing? How one man’s T cells are guiding the development of next-gen immunotherapies June 19, 2018

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. Lee'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 or call 206.667.2210