Ash B. Cearley, PA-C
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Bone marrow transplantation, immunotherapy
People who come to us for their care should never feel confused about the next steps in the process.”
Why do you work in oncology?
I really enjoy the relationships I form with my patients. Depending on their specific treatment, I see some of my bone marrow transplant patients almost daily for months. On the immunotherapy side, we have patients coming back for short-term follow-ups. I’ll see these patients six months or a year later, and it’s nice to hear how they are doing and how they are back to enjoying sports, being physically active or other personal interests.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I work on rotation, which means I work about two or three months at a time focused on a service within the bone marrow transplant team, such as stem cell transplant. I’m interested in the pathophysiology of transplants — how the process works, from making the diagnosis to providing follow-up treatment. My role is also unique in that I work with both the transplant and immunotherapy teams.
In my opinion, immunotherapy today is almost where bone marrow transplant was 40 or 50 years ago. There’s a lot we are still figuring out, but that also means better treatment options may be just around the corner for our patients. Many of our patients who are receiving immunotherapy treatment are on a clinical trial, which helps us learn more about possible new therapies.
What is your approach to care?
Communication is absolutely essential, so I do my best to be very detail-oriented. There are a lot of elements that make up a treatment plan for my patients, and I want to make sure my patients and their families understand everything, starting with the reason they’re here, details on their specific cancer diagnosis and, of course, any and all questions they may have. People who come to us for their care should never feel confused about the next steps in the process.