Dr. Coveler is a medical oncologist who treats cancers of the gastrointestinal system and is also the director of the Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Clinic.
My goal is to be what my patient and my patient’s family needs me to be. I work hard to be an educator so they can take an active role in their care. I strive to guide my patients through that which is unknown to them. I am an advocate for their choices. This provides my patients with optimal care and permits them to create a plan that empowers them to confront the disease on their own terms.
Gastrointestinal oncology, clinical immunotherapy, early phase clinical trials
- Associate Professor, Medical Oncology Division, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Director, Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Clinic, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
- Northwestern University Medical School 1998-2002
- Internship: Baylor College of Medicine 2002-2003
- Residency: University of Washington 2003-2005
- Fellowship: Tumor Vaccine Group 2005-2007
- Fellowship: University of Washington / Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 2007-2010
“Cancer treatment has come a long way from its inception, but it has a longer way to go,” says Andrew Coveler, MD medical oncologist with the gastrointestinal oncology group at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Dr. Coveler treats patients with cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. He came to SCCA because he wanted to be part of an institution that provides premier, patient-focused cancer care; research and trial opportunities for his patients; and to participate in educating the next generation of physicians. “Being part of the future is important to me, and this is the academic institution in the Pacific Northwest to be at,” he says.
Dr. Coveler chose medical oncology as a specialty because he enjoys taking care of patients with challenging diagnoses. “Everyone’s situation is different and I want cancer treatment to be integrated into someone’s life, not consume it.” Dr. Coveler also notes, “Working with patients who have cancer is to work with families.”
With his clinical expertise in immunotherapy, Dr. Coveler is involved in research to explore immune-based treatments, including cancer vaccines. He says, “Therapies which use a patient’s own immune system can help prolong their life with minimal side effects.” Dr. Coveler explains that recent studies have demonstrated promising results in the treatment of melanoma, lymphoma and prostate cancer. “It may take years before cancer vaccines can be used to prevent people from developing cancer,” he says, “but we are getting to the point where vaccines can prevent recurrences in those patients who have already had the disease.” Dr. Coveler also works with the Phase I clinical trial program to bring new therapies to SCCA and to his patients.
Dr. Coveler, is also a founding co-chair of the Comprehensive Oncology Review Course presented by SCCA in conjunction with its parent organization the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. “Education is important and being part of this course keeps me updated in all the sub-specialties of oncology,” he says.
Getting to know his patients is what Dr. Coveler enjoys most in his practice and he is excited that treatments are becoming more effective and less toxic. “We have made good strides in the past 30 years, but the next 30 years will bring fantastic, new therapies that are more effective and cause fewer side effects for our patients.”