Dr. Carpenter is a pediatric hematology oncologist and Outpatient Clinical Director of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He treats children who need a transplant for leukemia, lymphoma, and other malignancies as well as non-malignant disease including immunodeficiency disorders and bone marrow failure syndromes. He has particular expertise in graft-versus-host disease and long-term follow-up. He is also part of the Adult Long Term Follow-up team.
Dr. Carpenter's philosophy centers on four key elements: "I try to listen carefully and recognize unique circumstances that each patient-family dyad brings to transplant. I like to empower patients and families with relevant evidence-based knowledge obtained from research and clinical experience so that they may better navigate available options and difficult treatment decisions. I strive to maintain an open communication style that facilitates the necessary ongoing partnership of patient and relevant healthcare providers. Lastly, patient quality of life remains a focus of any therapy plan that I offer."
Acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, long-term follow-up of hematologic cell transplant (HCT) survivors.
Histiocytic disorders of of childhood, langerhans cell histiocytosis and familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; bone-marrow (hematopoeitic stem-cell) tansplantation for osteopetrosis.
Dr. Carpenter also treats children for:
- Severe combined immunodeficiency
- Immunodeficiency diseases
- Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
- Chronic granulomatous disease
- T-cell deficiency
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- HIV malignancies
- Outpatient Clinical Director of Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant
- Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
- Professor, Hematology Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
- University of Sydney, Australia, Medicine and Surgery, 1988
Down-Under Doc is Here to Stay
In 1995, Paul Carpenter, MD came to the United States from Sydney, Australia for a hematology fellowship program at the University of Washington. He began working at Fred Hutch. His intention was to get more oncology training and return home.
In 1998 he received a two-year Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In 1999 he began a research fellowship from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The success of his work at the Hutchinson Center motivated Dr. Carpenter to stay.
“In Australia, I initially trained in a hospital equivalent to a VA hospital here but then decided I really wanted to work with pediatric patients, where most cancers are curable and you can make a big difference in patients’ lives. What I do intellectually is exciting… a complete package.”
Staying on at the Hutchinson Center meant that Dr. Carpenter would see adult patients as well as pediatric patients, something he has found very satisfying: “You get a complete range of perspective. People who come here tend not to have lifestyle issues. Anybody can get cancer.”
Looking more like a rugby player than a world-class oncology researcher and physician, Dr. Carpenter has a gentle style that is both warm and confident.
When it comes to seeing patients, he says his philosophy centers on four elements: careful listening, empowering patients, maintaining open communication, and keeping the patient’s quality of life a focus of any treatment plan he offers.
Always on the hunt for the best treatment for his patients, Dr. Carpenter’s office contains shelves of well-labeled, organized notebooks containing information about open, closed, and proposed research studies.
In 2001, Dr. Carpenter joined the Long-Term Follow-up staff. His research focus is on acute and chronic graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD), the amelioration of long-term complications associated with GVHD therapies, and the prevention of relapse after transplant in the context of continued immunosuppressive therapy. He has lead several protocols at the Hutchinson Center, one of which was the development of a new antibody treatment to treat GVHD that had not responded to standard therapy. Results were good after its Phase 1 trial and this was later further explored in a national multi-center Phase II clinical trial.
He has also recently designed and opened a new study that seeks to significantly reduce the amount of prednisone a transplant patient will need to take during standard therapy for GVHD. “While prednisone is important to a patient’s treatment regimen,” he says, “in prolonged high-doses it is also very hard on the body and has many side effects, and may compromise survival in its own right by increasing the risk for infections.”
Another of Dr. Carpenter’s studies recently demonstrated that it is safe to administer Gleevec, a targeted-therapy drug, within the first 100 days of high-dose conditioning therapy and transplant in high-risk patients with leukemia.
“The early results of this approach in terms of preventing relapse are very encouraging,” he says. Other studies that Dr. Carpenter has designed include looking at the effectiveness and potential drug interactions of administering cholesterol-lowering medications in bone marrow and blood stem cell transplant patients who often experience significantly elevated cholesterol levels after their transplants.
Dr. Carpenter was awarded for his outstanding collegial approach to patient care and clinical research. For the full story, click here.
To read more about Dr. Carpenter's clinical studies, click here.