Edmond A. Marzbani, MD

Medical Director of Oncology
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at UW Medical Center - Northwest
Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“No matter a person’s particular circumstances, it’s really important to understand what they value in life so you can arrive at a treatment plan together that truly reflects what they want.”
— Dr. Marzbani
What drew you to oncology?

I come from a family of physicians, starting with my paternal grandfather, who practiced medicine in a small town on the Iran-Iraq border. Growing up, I intended to break the family tradition by studying science and becoming a researcher. However, life in a lab proved unsatisfying for me; sometimes it was hard to trace the line between my efforts and finding cures for human disease, and I also missed connecting with people. Medicine, and oncology in particular, blends scientific rigor with the chance to bond with patients and families. Early in my career, it was clear that oncology as a field was poised to undergo a sea change in terms of how cancer was treated. It’s been really exciting to witness the shift from harsh chemotherapy regimens to more personalized therapies with fewer side effects. I find it meaningful to share these advances with my patients and help them maintain the best quality of life possible. 

Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
What personal experiences have informed your approach to care?

My maternal grandfather was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer when he was 96 years old. His oncologist didn’t want to move forward with treatment because of his age, which really upset my grandfather, who didn’t like the idea of someone telling him to just give up. My grandfather decided to move forward with chemotherapy anyway, and he lived until he was 98. One of his biggest joys in life was his garden, and being able to have two more seasons to grow his heirloom tomatoes was a big deal to him. No matter a person’s particular circumstances, it’s really important to understand what they value in life so you can arrive at a treatment plan together that truly reflects what they want. I believe in maintaining an open dialogue with patients and families where we can talk about any issue that comes up. Starting with the initial appointment, I focus on patient education, sharing as much information as is helpful for making informed decisions. This helps alleviate anxiety and allows us to work together as a team.   

Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. 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. Stage The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body. 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

Lung cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers

I am a board-certified medical oncologist and the medical director of oncology at SCCA at UW Medical Center - Northwest. My practice includes treating patients with a variety of cancers; however, my primary area of focus includes cancers of the lung, breast and gastrointestinal system. In addition to providing care, I look for ways to enhance the patient experience from an administrative perspective, such as improving access to clinical trials and lowering barriers to timely tests and treatments.

Gastrointestinal Refers to the stomach and intestines. Also called GI. Medical oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and targeted therapy. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and targeted therapy. A medical oncologist is often the main health care provider for someone who has cancer. A medical oncologist also gives supportive care and may coordinate treatment given by other specialists.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Medical Degree
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Residency
University of Washington, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Hematology-Oncology
Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 2013; Internal Medicine, 2010, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English

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.

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.

For providers