Christina S. Baik, MD, MPH
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.
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.
Specialty: Medical Oncology
Head and neck cancers, thoracic cancers
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.
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.
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 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.
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch 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.
Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch provider has written.
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SCCA's Christina Baik, MD, MPH, spoke with CURE about genetic changes and non-small cell lung cancer survival.
SCCA's Christina Baik, MD, spoke with OncLive about treatments for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
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