Top Doctor Top Doctor
The Top Doctor award is a peer-nominated award for providers who give exceptional care.

Keith D. Eaton, MD, PhD

Clinical Director of Thoracic, Head and Neck Medical Oncology
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Medical Director for Quality, Safety and Value
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“Helping people is really important to me. My childhood heroes were Gandhi and Einstein. Now, as a clinician and researcher, I get to connect closely with patients while bringing them leading-edge treatments.”
— Dr. Eaton
Why did you become an oncologist?

I was always drawn toward the sciences, particularly physics and math. But in graduate school, I began to feel like something was missing; the more I pursued these interests, the more I felt removed from people. Then I met my wife, who was in medical school at the time. Through her, I discovered that a career in medicine would be scientifically challenging while also providing that missing human element, so I switched gears and decided to become a physician. What I like about being an oncologist is that I get to treat the whole person, not just their illness. I’m interested in how someone is coping, what their priorities are and how I can help them lead a healthy, fulfilling life despite a cancer diagnosis.

Keith_Eeaton_Secondary.jpg
Do you have a personal connection with cancer?

In 2012, I was diagnosed with leukemia and was given less than a 5 percent chance of survival. Kind of like Harry Potter — I’m the boy who lived. As a survivor, I never lose sight of how fortunate I am to support others as they face the challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment. I consider patient education to be one of the most important aspects of my work because it empowers you to make informed decisions and participate fully in your care. I’m known as kind, patient, a good listener and an open, compassionate communicator. I’m committed to answering all your questions honestly and really getting to know you.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Lung cancer, head and neck cancer, cancer of unknown primary

I provide care for patients with cancers of the lung, thyroid, head and neck, as well as those diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary (CUP), a rare disease in which the origin of malignant cells found in the body is not known. In addition to providing clinical care, I serve as the medical director for quality, safety and value at SCCA. In this role, I focus on improving cancer care at a systems level, from the way we communicate with patients to the way we deliver care at the end of life, among other areas. From a research perspective, I lead clinical trials investigating novel drug therapies for lung cancer. I also collaborate with colleagues seeking to better understand cancer biology and to develop more targeted treatments.  

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of California, San Diego
Medical Degree
University of California School of Medicine, San Diego
Residency
University of Washington, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Medical Oncology
Board Certification
Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine; American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
PhD, Physics, University of California School of Medicine, San Diego
Languages
English
Awards
Seattle Met's 2019 Top Doctors award

Dr. Eaton has been recognized as a Top Doctor year after year.

Stories

Diagnosed with a rare adrenal tumor, Whitney Wynn beats the odds
Diagnosed with a rare adrenal tumor, Whitney Wynn beats the odds

Whitney Wynn had experienced strange symptoms for years, but her primary care physicians didn’t suspect cancer. Her recurrent yeast infections were dismissed as “just women’s problems” although they were later attributed to the high levels of cortisol being secreted by her tumor. 

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
EVALUATING ASSOCIATION BETWEEN EARLY ENDPOINTS AND OVERALL SURVIVAL AND EVENT-FREE SURVIVAL IN RESECTABLE NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER (NSCLC) PATIENTS TREATED WITH NEOADJUVANT THERAPY IN CANCER CENTERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE (FRANCE, GERMANY, AND SPAIN): A RETROSPECTIVE PATIENT CHART STUDY
Study ID:
NCT03785249
Phase 1/2 Study of MRTX849 in Patients With Cancer Having a KRAS G12C Mutation KRYSTAL-1
Complete title
A Phase 1/2 Multiple Expansion Cohort Trial of MRTX849 in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors with KRAS G12C Mutation
Study ID:
NCT03906071
Phase 3 Study of Sitravatinib Plus Nivolumab vs Docetaxel in Patients With Advanced Non-Squamous NSCLC
Complete title
A Randomized Phase 3 Study of Sitravatinib in Combination with Nivolumab Versus Docetaxel in Patients with Advanced Non-Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with Disease Progression On or After Platinum-Based Chemotherapy in Combination with Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy

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.

Consumer’s Guide to Targeted Therapies for EGFR+ Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

SCCA’s Keith Eaton, MD, was quoted in Everyday Health about the role of genetic testing after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

How to Manage the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

SCCA's Keith Eaton, MD, PhD, spoke with Everyday Health about dealing with the common side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and fatigue, and what you can do to feel better. 

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.
Jennifer E. Jacky, MSN, ARNP, AOCNP
Jennifer E. Jacky, MSN, ARNP, AOCNP
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.
Team coordinator (TC)
Team coordinator (TC)
Your team 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.

For providers