Geoffrey Hill, MB, ChB, MD

Director of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
José Carreras/E. Donnall Thomas Endowed Chair for Cancer Research
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Hematology Oncology
“Seeing patients cured of leukemia and returning to normal life is highly rewarding.”
— Dr. Hill
Why do you conduct research?

Early in my career, I was caring for a man, about the same age as me, who was an up-and-coming musician. His leukemia had relapsed and there were no treatment options left that could cure him. He didn’t want to spend the time he had left in a hospital, so I would meet him at a local park or his home to provide palliative care, easing his symptoms and making him comfortable. Although I couldn’t save his life, he made a deep impression on mine: I realized that doing research was the best way to save the lives of people like him. Seeing patients with poor outcomes after transplants drives me to keep searching for answers.

Relapse The recurrence (return) of disease after an apparent recovery. Symptom A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. Some examples of symptoms are headache, fatigue, nausea and pain.
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What do you want patients to know about working with you?

In my clinical practice, I see a lot of patients with complications following bone marrow transplants — a curative therapy for otherwise fatal blood cancers — that can be difficult to address. I go into the lab to understand what’s going on biologically so that I can develop new treatments and try to prevent some of these complications. What I do in the lab is constantly informed by my interactions with patients — I’m always striving to improve their outcomes. When working with me, you can expect to have candid discussions about your illness and your treatment options. I want you to be fully informed, understanding the pros and cons of each choice, so that we can make decisions together.

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.

Provider background

Specialty: Hematology Oncology

Blood cancers

As a hematologist and the director of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation at SCCA, I treat patients with blood cancers like leukemia. I also work closely with experts at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to identify ways to combine transplantation with emerging immunotherapies (therapies that harness the immune system) to fight cancer. My background includes leading the bone marrow transplantation and cancer programs at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia, and caring for patients at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. As a senior principal research fellow of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, I have co-authored more than 150 journal articles on stem cells, transplantation and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a potentially life-threatening complication of transplantation.

In the lab, I focus on understanding the immunological mechanisms of GVHD and developing novel therapeutic strategies for prevention and treatment. My research has led to the development of multiple new drugs for GVHD, many of which are currently used in patient care or are undergoing clinical trials.

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. Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Graft-versus-host disease A condition that occurs when donated stem cells or bone marrow (the graft) see the healthy tissues in the patient’s body (the host) as foreign and attack them. Hematopoietic stem cell An immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Hematopoietic stem cells are found in the blood and the bone marrow. An immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Hematopoietic stem cells are found in the blood and the bone marrow. Also called blood stem cell. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. 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. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.
Education, experience and certifications
Medical Degree
University of Auckland Medical School
Residency
Rotorua Hospital; Waikato Hospital
Fellowship
Caterbury Health; Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Other
Teaching Appointment, Queensland Institute of Medical Research
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.

Study ID:
Complete title
Analysis of Immunity After Transplantation
Study ID:
Complete title
Immune Profiling of Graft vs. Host Disease Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Study ID:
Complete title
Analysis of Immunity After Transplantation

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.

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.