Edward N. Libby, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Bone marrow transplantation, plasma cell disorders
What gets me up in the morning is conducting research that improves your care.”
What have you learned through working at SCCA?
Patients and their families are amazing; the suffering they endure without complaint so that they might once again resume their normal lives motivates me endlessly to improve treatment options. To them, I say thank you for sharing your lives with me and allowing me to be your physician. I’ve also learned how far we’ve come in the battle against formidable diseases like multiple myeloma — and just how far we have to go. We need more patients to participate in clinical trials, so that we can translate discoveries in the lab to successful therapies in the clinic.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I am a board-certified hematologist who specializes in treating patients with multiple myeloma, amyloidosis and other plasma cell (white blood cell) disorders. I provide daily care for patients who are newly diagnosed and those who have relapsed. I also have two decades of experience conducting clinical trials. One focus of my research is the use of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of multiple myeloma. A targeted drug therapy, these antibodies attack myeloma cells while leaving healthy tissue intact. This class of drugs has proven effective for treating other conditions such as lymphoma, so we’re hopeful that these antibodies, when combined with other treatments, can also improve outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma.
Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare form of cancer that causes large amounts of an abnormal protein to build up in the blood. I enjoy collaborating with investigators across the country to treat patients with this disease. I am also active in researching drug therapies, such as rituximab, for the treatment of WM and other forms of lymphoma. In 2017, I was invited to present the latest clinical trial news on WM for an education forum hosted by the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation.
How do you approach patient care?
Thomas Merton, an author and Trappist monk, once wrote, “Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” We are on this journey together, and in order for me to be there for you in a genuine and beneficial way, humility is key. Just because I understand your disease doesn’t mean I grasp how it’s affecting you personally. Just because I know the clinically recommended treatment for your condition doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. That’s why my motto is, “Listen, listen and then listen some more.” Humility leaves room for your voice so that we can make decisions together, manage uncertainties and remain open to changing the course of treatment, if needed.
University of Texas
University of Texas at Houston
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, Hematology
Hematology (Internal Medicine), 2006, American Board of Internal Medicine