Christina S. Baik, MD, MPH

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Associate Professor, Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“I believe the best cancer treatment decisions stem from actively collaborating with you and your family and understanding your values and priorities.”
— Dr. Baik
When did you know you wanted to be an oncologist?

In high school, I was very interested in sciences and also very drawn to community service. I felt that becoming a doctor was a perfect way to combine these interests. During my residency, I felt an especially close connection with the cancer patients I met. Many had a perspective of life that enriched and challenged me, both as a physician and as a person. I also believe in the importance of extending care to the community by better understanding cancer risk factors and developing prevention strategies for those at risk. This is part of my work as an oncologist too.

Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.
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How do you approach cancer treatment?

My personal motto is to live a life of grace and generosity. I try to bring this into all of my work. Treatment is a process, and I feel very privileged when my patients and their families allow me to see some of the most intimate details of their lives as we take each step in that process. I enjoy being an educator, not only to other physicians and trainees, but also with you and your family throughout your care.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Head and neck cancers, thoracic cancers

Lung cancer

My clinical research focuses on developing effective targeted therapies for people with oncogene-driven lung cancer. I’m also interested in understanding the mechanisms of primary and secondary resistance to immunotherapy, or why immunotherapy doesn’t work for everyone. In my lifetime, I hope that we’ll be able to detect more lung cancers in the early curable stages and that metastatic lung cancer will become manageable so people can live long and productive lives even with the disease.

Head and neck cancers

While a diagnosis of head and neck cancer can be devastating news for patients and their families, I’ve witnessed that the news can bring out the best in many people. This is one reason I decided to take care of people with cancer. It’s a very rewarding way to commit my time and energy.

Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Metastatic A metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread to other areas of the body by way of the lymph system or bloodstream. Targeted therapy A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. Some targeted therapies block the action of certain enzymes, proteins or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Other types of targeted therapies help the immune system kill cancer cells, or they deliver toxic substances directly to cancer cells and kill them. Targeted therapy may have fewer side effects than other types of cancer treatment. Most targeted therapies are either small molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies. Thoracic Having to do with the chest.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of Puget Sound
Medical Degree
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Residency
Brown Medical School, General Internal Medicine
Fellowship
Tufts Medical Center, Hematology-Oncology
Board Certification
Oncology, 2009, 2019, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health; Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Languages
English
Korean

Stories

Diagnosed with lung cancer, Morhaf Al Achkar is living with purpose
Diagnosed with lung cancer, Morhaf Al Achkar is living with purpose

In 2016, Dr. Morhaf Al Achkar was in a unique position. As a primary care physician (PCP) at University of Washington Medicine, he knew he needed to act quickly when he started experiencing ongoing and worsening shortness of breath. An X-ray showed that his lungs were full of fluid, and a pathology report confirmed what he had already started to suspect: lung cancer. Within a month of his diagnosis, he was taking a targeted oral treatment, an option he was eligible for due to the ALK (Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase) gene found during his initial testing.  

SCCA launches new Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Clinic
SCCA launches new Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Clinic

SCCA recently launched a Thoracic Oncology Multispecialty Clinic (TOMC) to bring multidisciplinary care to patients with lung cancer and other thoracic cancers. The clinic unites top thoracic surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to evaluate patients and design customized treatment plans.

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:
NCT04077463
A Study of Lazertinib as Monotherapy or in Combination With Amivantamab in Participants With Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
Complete title
An Open-label Phase 1/1b Study to Evaluate the Safety and Pharmacokinetics of JNJ- 73841937 (Lazertinib), a Third Generation EGFR-TKI, as Monotherapy or in Combinations With JNJ-61186372, a Human Bispecific EGFR and cMet Antibody in Participants With Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Study ID:
NCT04161391
Study of TPX-0046, A RET/SRC Inhibitor in Adult Subjects With Advanced Solid Tumors Harboring RET Fusions or Mutations
Complete title
A PHASE 1/2 STUDY OF TPX-0046, A NOVEL ORAL RET/SRC INHIBITOR IN ADULT SUBJECTS WITH ADVANCED/METASTATIC SOLID TUMORS HARBORING ONCOGENIC RET FUSIONS OR MUTATIONS
Study ID:
NCT03851445
Lung-MAP: A Master Screening Protocol for Previously-Treated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Complete title
A Master Protocol to Evaluate Biomarker-Driven Therapies and Immunotherapies in Previously-Treated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (Lung-MAP Screening Study).

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.
Katie R. Weaver, MSN, ARNP
Katie R. Weaver, MSN, ARNP
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Practice Provider
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.

For providers