Johnnie J. Orozco, MD, PhD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“I strive to be mindful of the therapies we as a field are working on, who they’re geared for and what populations are being left out, because everyone should have the opportunity to experience a cure.   ”
— Dr. Orozco
What do you enjoy about being a physician-scientist?

Being at the forefront of what’s going on in the clinic gives me a sense of what the challenges are and what obstacles patients are facing, so that I can take those issues back to the lab and research potential solutions. For example, people who need a stem cell transplant and who are ethnic or racial minorities often have difficulty finding a fully matched donor on transplant registries, because most of those donors are non-Hispanic whites. I’m investigating ways to make partially-matched transplantation — when donors and recipients share only some of the same genetic markers — safer, so that transplantation can be a treatment option available to more people. 

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. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.
Johnnie J. Orozco, MD
What’s it like to work with you?

My approach to care is guided by two things: what the data supports and what you want to accomplish. We plot your course of treatment together, and that plan may look different for each person. Some patients opt for a transplant, some choose to participate in a clinical trial, and others may go a completely different route. One of the aspects of oncology practice I enjoy is the opportunity to be flexible and creative, drafting a plan that optimizes your medical care and also takes into account your hopes, life goals and values.  

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.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Leukemias and lymphomas

I am a board-certified hematologist-oncologist who specializes in treating and researching blood cancers, such as leukemias and lymphomas. At SCCA, I consult with patients who are considering bone marrow transplantation and provide care for those who pursue this treatment path. I also work with patients who have been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). 

In the lab, I explore ways to make stem cell transplantation safer and more effective, particularly transplants involving donors who are only a partial genetic match to their recipients. My clinical trials test radioimmunotherapies, a type of targeted radiation that works with proteins in the immune system to attack cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. Another area of interest is developing new treatment options for patients with AML that does not enter complete remission.

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. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Remission A decrease in, or disappearance of, signs and symptoms of cancer. A decrease in, or disappearance of, signs and symptoms of cancer. In partial remission, some (but not all) signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although cancer still may be in the body. 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
University of California, Los Angeles
Medical Degree
University of Washington School of Medicine
Residency
University of California, San Francisco
Fellowship
University of Washington, Hematology-Oncology
Board Certification
Internal Medicine, 2009; Medical Oncology, 2012; Hematology, 2013, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
PhD, University of Washington; Internship, University of California, San Francisco
Languages
English
Spanish

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.

Press

SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.

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.

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