Ajay K. Gopal, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Bone marrow transplantation, lymphoma
We are united in the cause of finding your best treatment.”
Why is research important to you?
Improving patient care is what motivates my scientific research. I want to get results out of the lab as quickly as possible, so all patients have access to the newest treatments. For example, one project I’m working on is improving therapeutic options for older patients with lymphoma. The average age range of a person with this disease is 60 to 65. They represent half of all lymphoma patients, yet many are disqualified from participating in clinical trials due to toxicity issues. This means that these patients don’t always have access to the latest treatments. More research is vital to getting the most effective therapies to this group.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I am a medical oncologist who specializes in lymphomas and other cancers of the blood. I also serve as the director of clinical research for hematology malignancies at SCCA. My research focuses on three main areas. The first is novel targeted therapies for lymphomas, such as radioimmunotherapy for use in stem cell transplants. The second area is low-toxicity therapies such as fenretinide; a synthetic derivative of vitamin A, fenretinide could be helpful for patients who have slow-growing lymphomas. My third area of investigation is curative therapies for older adults with lymphoma. Across these research topics, I have authored more than 100 scientific papers. I have also been a presenter at the annual conference of the American Society of Hematology.
What do you want patients to know about working with you?
Some patients come to my office armed with research they’ve unearthed on the Web about their condition. Others just show up feeling afraid, confused or both. However you are feeling, I will meet you where you are. It’s important for me to understand your disease, but I must also understand you — who you are outside of a person with cancer. I’ll share what the most current research has to say and what the standard care options are. We’ll work together as a team to improve your health and well-being and help you cope with your diagnosis.
Duke University Medical Center, Internal Medicine
University of Washington, Hematology-Oncology
Medical Oncology, 2000, American Board of Internal Medicine