Jim Boonyaratanakornkit, MD, PhD
I’m involved in research on respiratory viruses. Respiratory viruses, such as the common cold, can take a toll on our cancer patients, especially our transplant patients whose immune systems are not working properly. My goal is to develop new vaccines and treatments for these viruses in our cancer patients, so that we have other treatments to offer if our patients get sick. When a patient does get sick from a virus or infection, I make sure to discuss options with the patient’s medical oncologist or hematologist, and as a team, we determine the best treatment option for the patient.
Every fourth Sunday, I volunteer at South Lake Union House. Because we see patients from all over the country, many patients and their families don’t have homes in Seattle, so we offer housing for them while they are in treatment. I volunteer, because it’s important to help patients feel at home as much as possible, no matter where they are from. I serve brunch at South Lake Union House and it’s great to sit down with patients and their families and get to know them outside of the hospital, outside of their disease. I really enjoy connecting with them on a more personal level and sharing a meal together.
Specialty: Infectious Disease
It was always really fascinating to me that we have an army of cells in our bodies that are dedicated to fighting off infection. In certain diseases like cancer, that army isn't working properly and needs some help. Now we have the arsenal: antibiotics, new immunotherapies and antivirals that can help patients get through a difficult time in their life.
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch 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.
Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch provider has written.
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