Andrew J. Cowan, MD

Interim Clinical Director, Myeloma Service; Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Research Associate, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“The foundation of a cancer success story is teamwork.”
— Dr. Cowan
Why did you become a physician?

When my mother was in her twenties, she was diagnosed with advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma. It was a harrowing time for her, but she was cured through a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, and her success story inspired me to pursue medicine, eventually specializing in oncology. One of the great things about following this path is the mentors you meet along the way. During my fellowship at the Boston University Amyloidosis Center, I worked with some excellent oncologists whose clinical expertise, kindness toward their patients and passion for research continue to inspire me to this day.

Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer.
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What’s it like to work with you?

The physician-patient relationship is all about teamwork. Together, we’ll create a treatment plan that incorporates the most recent scientific advances and reflects your priorities. I see my role as that of teacher, coach and advisor — answering your questions, helping you think through the options and providing recommendations so that you can make sound decisions. I also think it’s important to discuss clinical trials when appropriate; depending on your diagnosis and health, trials are sometimes the best option for treatment, and they are also a vital part of advancing cancer care for future generations.

Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Treatment plan A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A treatment plan may also include information about how much the treatment is likely to cost and about regular follow-up care after treatment ends.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Hematologic Malignancies

Plasma cell disorders

I am a hematologist-oncologist who specializes in treating multiple myeloma and other plasma cell disorders. In addition to caring for patients at SCCA, I am an active clinical researcher, helping to conduct studies investigating therapies for multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. I am also a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Scientific Review Committee, where I examine the feasibility and merit of research protocols. Teaching has always been an important part of my career; as a UW assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology, I enjoy teaching medical students and fellows about hematologic malignancies.

Amyloidosis

Following my residency, I worked at the Amyloidosis Center, an internationally recognized leader in the treatment and research of amyloidosis and related diseases. As part of a multidisciplinary patient care team, I also conducted clinical research in gastrointestinal amyloidosis and the impact of bone marrow amyloid deposits on stem cell transplantation.

Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Gastrointestinal Refers to the stomach and intestines. Also called GI. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of Washington
Medical Degree
University of Washington School of Medicine
Residency
Boston Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Hematology-Oncology; Boston University Amyloidosis Center, Amyloidosis
Board Certification
Internal Medicine; Hematology; Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English

Stories

Research

Clinical trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

Study ID:
NCT03374085
A Safety, PK and Efficacy Study of CC-92480 Monotherapy and in Combination With Dexamethasone in Subjects With Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma (RRMM)
Complete title
A PHASE 1/2 MULTICENTER, OPEN-LABEL STUDY TO ASSESS THE SAFETY, PHARMACOKINETICS AND EFFICACY OF CC-92480 MONOTHERAPY AND IN COMBINATION WITH DEXAMETHASONE IN SUBJECTS WITH RELAPSED AND REFRACTORY MULTIPLE MYELOMA
Study ID:
NCT04184050
A Phase 1/2 Open-label, Multicenter, Dose Escalation and Dose Expansion Study of the Safety, Tolerability, and PK of HPN217 in Patients With R/R MM
Complete title
A Phase 1/2 Open-label, Multicenter, Dose Escalation and Dose Expansion Study of the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of HPN217 in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Publications

Many of our SCCA physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this SCCA provider has written.

Press

SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.

Your care team

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Registered nurse (RN)
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Patient care coordinator
Patient care coordinator
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician and serves as your scheduler.

Insurance

SCCA accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

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