Guang-Shing Cheng, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Physician
UW Medicine
Associate Member, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Pulmonology
“My hope is that we can eliminate the incidence and severity of cancer treatment-related lung problems. No one should have to live every day feeling like they can’t breathe.”
— Dr. Cheng
What drives your interest in cancer care and pulmonary disease?

One of the first patients I cared for at Fred Hutch/SCCA was a women in her early twenties who’d had a blood stem cell transplant. The procedure cured her leukemia, but she went on to develop bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). It’s a rare post-transplant complication that causes scar tissue to build up in the lungs, narrowing or blocking the airway. This condition kept her from going to nursing school, and although she beat the odds — living with BOS for 16 years — it eventually took her life. To go through an intense, lifesaving procedure like a transplant only to die of a lung disease is devastating. There’s a lot of potential benefit in figuring out how problems like BOS develop; my hope is that we can eliminate the incidence and severity of BOS and other cancer treatment-related lung problems. No one should have to live every day feeling like they can’t breathe.

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. Pulmonary disease A type of disease that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. A type of disease that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. Pulmonary diseases may be caused by infection; by smoking tobacco; or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos or other forms of air pollution. Pulmonary diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia and lung cancer. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.
Cheng-secondary.jpg
How do you help patients?

SCCA is unique in that it’s one of the few places in the country with a group like mine: pulmonologists who exclusively see patients with cancer. I work with people who have all types of disease, from melanoma to lung cancer to leukemias. A large part of my clinical practice is caring for patients experiencing respiratory problems after a blood stem cell transplant. It can be really frustrating for someone to bounce back from such a rigorous procedure and then all of a sudden have difficulty breathing. I think it’s important to share the facts — what we know and what we don’t know — and offer hope. Many people live quite well for decades with some level of lung dysfunction, and we are starting to recognize post-transplant complications like BOS earlier and earlier. I collaborate closely with the Long-term Follow-up Program team, infectious disease experts, oncologists and other specialists to help address lung-related issues.  

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. Melanoma Cancer that begins in the melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). It may begin in a mole (skin melanoma), but it can also begin in other pigmented tissues, such as the eye or the intestines. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.

Provider background

Specialty: Pulmonology

Area of clinical practice

High risk prevention

Respiratory problems from cancer and treatment, lung cancer early detection

I am a pulmonary critical care specialist who treats patients with respiratory problems related to cancer or cancer treatment. At SCCA, I serve as the medical director of the pulmonary outpatient consult service and I provide care through the Lung Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Clinic. I am also an attending physician in the intensive care unit at UW Medical Center-Montlake. 

My research is focused on improving outcomes for patients who experience lung complications following a stem cell transplant. A primary area of interest is bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS); my goal is to improve the prevention and early detection of this disease. I am also involved in multicenter national trials testing new treatments for BOS and other transplant-related lung conditions. My publications include several scientific, peer-reviewed articles about BOS and book chapters about pulmonary disease

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. Pulmonary disease A type of disease that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. A type of disease that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. Pulmonary diseases may be caused by infection; by smoking tobacco; or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos or other forms of air pollution. Pulmonary diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia and lung cancer. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Harvard University
Medical Degree
University of California, San Francisco
Residency
Yale University School of Medicine, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
Yale University School of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Board Certification
Critical Care Medicine, 2009; Pulmonary Disease, 2007; Internal Medicine, 2005, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Languages
English
Chinese (Mandarin)
Awards
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Ali Al-Johani Award

Dr. Cheng received the 2020 Ali Al-Johani Award, which recognizes excellence in patient care.

Testimonials

“Dr. Cheng is driven to improve treatment options and outcomes for patients with post-transplant lung problems. She is compassionate, thorough and dedicated to patient care.”
— Maggie Guerriero, MSN, RN, ARNP

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.

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.
Maggie K.  Guerriero, MSN, RN, ARNP
Maggie K. Guerriero, MSN, RN, ARNP
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Practice Provider
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.