V.K. Gadi, MD, PhDDr. V.K. Gadi is a medical oncologist who specializes in caring for patients with breast cancer at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
“The focus of my interactions with my patients is providing information about cancer care options such that patients and their loved ones are able to choose what is best for their needs,” he says.
In addition to providing clinical care to patients at SCCA, he is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and an assistant member in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
“For as long as I can remember, my parents had encouraged a life of medicine for me based on my natural aptitudes for science and math,” says Gadi.
However, at the age of 18 as a freshman in college, Gadi got his first job as a biomedical researcher in a laboratory. It became evident to him that to become an exceptional physician, the kind that can make big impacts on the welfare of large groups of individuals, he would also need to immerse himself in science. “For these reasons,” he says, “I studied to become both a PhD scientist and a physician concurrently.”
As a trainee physician, Gadi found many specialties in medicine to be fascinating… endocrinology, cardiology, neurology, and oncology. “At the end of the day, time and time again, I found that I most enjoyed being with cancer patients and their families,” he says. “Their expectations, struggles, and victories were the ones that I found most compelling and I just needed to be part of that.”
In addition to being a clinician, primarily taking care of breast cancer patients, Gadi lives a “triple life.” He teaches and trains junior physicians; he has a laboratory dedicated to understanding the basis of protection (and possibly harm) derived from pregnancy on cancer risk regarding which he has published a number of molecular epidemiology studies. “And now I find myself in a mode of translation to bring these findings to bear on the actual cancer problem,” Gadi says. “I also participate in clinical research. I write and design trials myself and participate in those of my colleagues here and around the world by recruiting patients for these studies. My clinical research focus has been centered around immune therapy for cancer.”
As for the future of cancer and cancer treatment, Gadi hopes to put himself out of business. “First, I want to see fewer cases of breast cancer overall. Second, for those who have early stages of the disease, to be able to manage the problem medically to always result in cure. Finally, for those with advanced breast cancer, to relegate it to an ‘inconvenience’ – a problem to die with and not from,” he says.
Outside of work, Gadi would like to say he plays poker, exercises, and watches basketball, “but the truth is that I apparently like spending my time in estrogen-laden environments,” he says. “At home, the ratio of female humans to men is 4:1 and when non-primate mammals are included 7:2 but the boy cat has clear allegiance to the girls. At the lab, the ratio is 7:1, and in the breast cancer medical oncology clinic, including just nurses and doctors, is 12:1!”
V.K. Gadi, MD, PhDDr. Gadi is a medical oncologist who specializes in caring for women with breast cancer.
Patient Care Philosophy:
The focus of my interactions with my patients will be providing information about cancer care options such that patients and their loved ones are able to choose what is best for their needs.
- Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology, University of Washington
- Assistant Member Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Education And Training
- MD and PhD: University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Residency and Internship: University of Washington
- Fellowship: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington