Jeffrey Chou, MD, PhD
Dr. Jeffrey Chou is fighting cancer both in the laboratory and in the clinic.
“My specialty interest is tied to my research studying the immunology of colorectal cancer,” Chou says. “I hope to someday provide my patients treatments based on my research.”
Chou is a medical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, an acting instructor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a research associate at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He specializes in gastrointestinal cancers and treats patients with esophageal, gastric, intestinal, liver, pancreatic and biliary cancers, as well as colorectal cancers.
Chou is committed to providing his patients access to the most effective and current therapies. In addition, he aims to develop immune-based therapies in the laboratory for future use. Since studies show the body’s immune system plays a role in the development of colorectal cancer, Chou says it stands to reason that attacking cancer through immune cells would be effective.
“I am inspired to pursue these treatments as colorectal cancer affects so many people,” he says.
In the United States colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in both men and women. It is second only to lung cancer as the deadliest cancer so there is a great need to find new, more effective treatments.
Chou is currently conducting pre-clinical studies in which T cells from patients are reprogrammed to recognize and attack antigens found in colorectal cancer but not in normal cells. The eventual goal will be to use a patient’s own T cells to treat their tumors. This work could potentially offer patients, who have progressed through conventional chemotherapy but have developed a resistance to the treatment, a new option in the fight against cancer through a clinical trial.
Chou divides his time between his research and patient care. In his clinical practice, he finds the most enjoyable part is meeting patients and their families. “I believe in working with my patients and serving as their partner in their fight against cancer. I try to explain their diagnosis and the disease, provide the most current information and work with them to develop a treatment plan,” he says. “I try to give them hope for what’s ahead.”
His decision to become a physician stemmed from his early interest in scientific research. “I felt that becoming a physician scientist would be the best way to place myself at the exciting interface between the lab bench where scientific discoveries are made and the clinic where scientific discoveries are applied to benefit people,” Chou says. "Cancer is such a widespread disease that afflicts so many people and their families. Progress is being made every day through research. Being an oncologist provides the opportunity to be a lifelong learner in a continuously changing field.”
Dr. Chou is currently researching a potential treatment for colorectal cancer using immune cells at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
“In my lifetime as a physician, I hope to see an overall decreased cancer mortality and less toxicity from cancer treatments,” Chou says.
When he isn’t working, he enjoys watching movies, traveling, and spending time with family.
Jeffrey Chou, MD, PhDDr. Chou is a medical oncologist who treats patients with gastrointestinal cancers.
Patient Care Philosophy:
I believe in working with each patient as a partner in the fight against cancer. To ensure the success of this partnership, my goal is to equip patients with the most up-to-date information needed to make the right decisions.
- Acting Instructor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Research Associate, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Cancer immunotherapy, colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal cancers
Education And Training
- BA: UC Berkeley
- MD, PhD: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- Residency: Internal Medicine at University of Washington Medical Center
- Fellowship: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington Medical Center