Top Doctor Top Doctor
The Top Doctor award is a peer-nominated award for providers who give exceptional care.

David G. Maloney, MD, PhD

Medical Director, Cellular Immunotherapy and Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology
University of Washington
Professor and Medical Director Cellular Immunotherapy, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Leonard and Norma Klorfine Endowed Chair for Clinical Research
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“It’s not enough to treat cancer — we want to rev up your immune system to cure it.”
— Dr. Maloney
Why do you conduct research?

When I was a student at Stanford University in the 1980s, I was part of a team that made an amazing discovery. We created a protein called a monoclonal antibody that targeted cancer cells without harming healthy ones. At the time, there were a lot of skeptics — most people thought that antibody research wasn’t worthwhile. But we persevered, and now monoclonal antibodies are an important part of therapy for a variety of cancers. That breakthrough made me hungry for more. What else could I discover about the immune system? Could we train it to go after tumors the same way it attacks viruses? Does it hold the key for curing cancer, once and for all? These are the questions that have driven my work.

Antibody A protein made by immune system cells and released into the blood. Antibodies defend the body against foreign substances, such as bacteria. Antibody A protein made by immune system cells and released into the blood. Antibodies defend the body against foreign substances, such as bacteria.
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How do you approach cancer treatment?

A treatment plan isn’t something that we devise in one short discussion. It’s an in-depth conversation that may stretch across multiple visits. We’ll consider factors such as your health, your age, your disease, your personal philosophy and what the latest research has to offer. Treatments are rapidly evolving, and I enjoy sharing these advances with you so that you can make the best decisions about your care. Whatever you choose, I’m dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome.

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, Cellular Immunotherapy, Hematologic Malignancies

Lymphoid cancers

As the medical director of the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic at SCCA, I treat patients with lymphoid cancers, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. My expertise spans the use of antibodies (proteins in the immune system that fight invaders), vaccines and bone marrow transplants. In the 1990s, I led the development of the drug rituximab, the first antibody-based cancer treatment, and I was also part of the team that created the mini-transplant, a less intense form of the conventional stem cell transplant.

Today, my research is focused on developing new immunotherapies where a patient’s own T cells (immune cells) are modified with a molecule called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). This receptor directs a patient’s immune system to attack tumors. Known as CAR T-cell therapy, this approach has been remarkably effective in early-phase trials, even with very advanced cancers that resist other treatments.

Antibody A protein made by immune system cells and released into the blood. Antibodies defend the body against foreign substances, such as bacteria. Antibody A protein made by immune system cells and released into the blood. Antibodies defend the body against foreign substances, such as bacteria. Antigen A foreign substance, such as bacteria, that causes the body’s immune system to respond by making antibodies. Antibodies defend the body against antigens. 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. Bone marrow transplant The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Because this treatment destroys the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells, bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. This special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is used to treat certain blood cancers, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy. 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. 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. 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. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells. T cell A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Whitworth College
Medical Degree
Stanford University School of Medicine
Residency
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
Stanford University Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Board Certification
Internal Medicine, 1988; Medical Oncology 2019, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English
Awards
Seattle Met's 2019 Top Doctors award

Dr. Maloney has been recognized as a Top Doctor in Seattle Met's annual survey multiple years in a row.

Stories

Innovative approaches to lymphoma: clinical trials including CAR T-cell therapy, transplant, bispecific antibodies, novel kinase and checkpoint inhibitors
Innovative approaches to lymphoma: clinical trials including CAR T-cell therapy, transplant, bispecific antibodies, novel kinase and checkpoint inhibitors

As survival rates for lymphoma are improving, the first therapy is typically the most effective and important. But patients may need more than one therapy. SCCA has one of largest and most comprehensive multidisciplinary lymphoma teams in the nation, and the largest team in the Northwest.

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:
NCT04245839
A Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of JCAR017 in Adult Subjects With Relapsed or Refractory Indolent B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) (TRANSCEND FL)
Complete title
A Phase 2, Open-label, Single-arm, Multicohort, Multicenter Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of JCAR017 in Adult Subjects with Relapsed or Refractory Indolent B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)

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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