Daniel W. Lin, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Genitourinary oncology, early detection and prevention
Educating a patient for his or her options for their cancer, about what to expect in the big picture, whether that’s about their surgery, or after surgery, or their general wellbeing later, I consider to be an important part of their care. The meaning of the word physician is teacher. I embrace that.”
Why do you practice oncology?
Daniel Lin, MD, comes from a family of educators and physicians. He went to college thinking he could do anything. “I quickly realized that biology and the study of cancer was my calling,” he said. His father is an academic pathologist whose calling was also cancer. “I grew up hearing about tumors. In eighth grade, I wanted a picture of a tumor for a report which I thought was really cool,” Dr. Lin said. By the time Dr. Lin went to college, he knew his calling was medicine. He enjoys what he does and in particular, the education piece. He teaches residents and medical students, but it’s the teaching of his patients that he considers most important and is the most rewarding for him. “Educating a patient for his or her options for their cancer, about what to expect in the big picture, whether that’s about their surgery, or after surgery, or their general wellbeing later, I consider that to be an important part for their care,” he said. “The meaning of the word physician is teacher. I embrace that.” Looking at prostate cancer in general, Dr. Lin knows the future lies in what can be achieved in research. Two areas of interest for him include treatment and understanding biomarkers of prostate cancer aggressiveness, and learning how to prevent prostate cancer. “Is there something we can measure in tissue, urine, or blood, that goes beyond what we already know about the patient to understand the behavior of prostate cancer?” Dr. Lin asked. “That can help recommend treatment or surveillance.” The other area of research interest for him is in prevention, avoiding prostate cancer to begin with, but preventing it from recurring as well. “What are you born with?” he asked. “Can we modulate your predisposition with diet or exercise? We know we are doing something to ourselves. Men in Asia particularly don’t really get much fatal prostate cancer, but when they start immigrating to this country, they start getting prostate cancer and more aggressive prostate cancers.” Many studies recognize that Japanese men are now getting more cancers similar to Caucasians. Dr. Lin and his colleagues have done experiments with diet, specifically high-fat versus low-fat diets, over six weeks and biopsied prostates to see if they can see a difference. “The genes had favorable response to the diet,” Dr. Lin said. The question then moved to what to do with these patients and studies moved to specific foods and down to the enzyme level where Dr. Lin and colleagues now have a study with a broccoli enzyme in pill-form that they are studying in men.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
University of Washington, Dept. of Urology
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Urology, 2003, 2013, American Board of Urology
Internship, University of Washington, Dept. of Surgery