Dr. Chow cares for patients with lung, head and neck, and thyroid cancers. She is devoted to finding new treatments for these diseases.
I believe that good clinical skills and judgment, state-of-the-art technology, alongside a true caring approach can provide patients with the best possible care. It is important to take the time to inform and work with patients in a comfortable compassionate manner to help them make decisions about their treatment and condition. I am strongly dedicated to clinical research, new cancer drug development, and early phase clinical trials. Clinical research is necessary to move cancer care forward, in order to find better treatments to potentially enable patients to live longer and better, and to offer the hope of possibly finding a future cure.
Lung cancers, Head and Neck cancers, Thyroid cancer, Solid Tumor Phase I/Early Phase Clinical Trials, Novel Cancer Drug Development
- Associate Professor, Medical Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Associate Member, Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Medical Doctor Certification/ Medical Training (MD)
- University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, August 1995 - May 1999, completed with First Class Honors
- B.Sc (First Class Honors) Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Sept. 1990 - May 1994
- Honor’s thesis: Novel Chemotherapeutic Agents in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
- Phase I Clinical Trial and Drug Development Fellowship - University of Colorado, Denver, CO,
- CAMO Fellowship Award Recipient 2005/2006
- Medical Oncology Fellowship Training, University of Calgary/Tom Baker Cancer Center, July 2002-July 2004
- Internal Medicine Residency Training, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, July 1999 to June 2002
- Dr. Chow discusses new combination and gene therapies for lung cancer in this ASCO 2016 video
Dr. Laura Chow came to medicine with a pharmacology and therapeutics background. For her honor’s thesis, she wrote about new drug development for lung cancer and became actively involved in lung cancer research. She decided to attend medical school in Canada and chose oncology as her specialty because of her love of research and because of her personal experiences with cancer.
“I had a close family friend, an aunt, and an uncle who all died of lung cancer when I was young. Another uncle died young of nasopharyngeal cancer,” Dr. Chow says. It was these early childhood family experiences that motivated her to seek a career in medicine as much as anything else.
After medical school, Dr. Chow completed an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and Medical Oncology Fellowship Training at the University of Calgary/Tom Baker Cancer Center, and a Phase I Clinical Trial/Drug Development and Lung Cancer Fellowship at the University of Colorado in Denver.
Dr. Chow returned to Ottawa, Ontario Canada and developed an active Phase I clinical trials program there. She led the phase I clinical trial program, and was very active in her clinical practice and clinical research for over three years before joining Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in January 2010 as an associate professor at the University of Washington and assistant member of Clinical Research at Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.
“Lung Cancer, head and neck cancer, and esophageal cancer are all very complex and serious cancers where treatment and survival improvements have been very limited,” says Dr. Chow. “Clinical research in these cancer types where people are generally quite ill and less responsive to chemotherapy has been very difficult. There is definitely an unmet need in these challenging cancers to develop new treatments and further research to help these patients to improve their survival without compromising their quality of life. Early clinical trials such as phase I/II trials are an important step towards finding better treatments.”
Dr. Chow has been a principal investigator and co-investigator in a number of Phase I/II clinical trials and lung cancer trials. She has a lot of experience running clinical trials involving small molecules targeting cancer pathways such as EGFR, Her2neu, IGFR apoptotic pathways, anti-angiogenic therapies with chemotherapy, oncolytic virus therapies, and immunotherapy.
“The best part of being a physician is getting to know my patients and their families,” she says. “Each patient is a unique individual and I enjoy providing them with information and working with them to find a treatment that best suits them. I enjoy the complexities of cancer and challenges of making difficult diagnoses.
When Dr. Chow isn’t caring for patients, she devotes her time to finding new treatments for these diseases in active research protocols.
Outside of work, Dr. Chow enjoys running, hiking, long distance bike riding, painting, practicing yoga, and cooking with her husband.
“I really believe that there is hope for better treatment and survival for lung cancer patients and patients with advanced cancer,” says Dr. Chow. “My goal is to support patients through a difficult time and to hopefully make their experiences with cancer more positive."