Kleber Yotsumoto Fertrin, MD, PhD
I decided to be a doctor because I didn’t want to be around machines all the time. For a long time, I envisioned being an engineer because I was very good at math, but I wanted to be able to have daily interactions with people. As a teenager, I decided to work in health care because I found myself very interested in genetics research. Here at SCCA, I have a nice combination of caring for my patients in clinic while also conducting research.
Personalized care is very important. Each patient I see is different and has different needs. Being an effective listener and building trust helps me address those varying needs. In the future, I hope we can apply modern technology to achieve not only personalized diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases, but personalized prevention of diseases as well.
Specialties and clinical expertise: Hematologic malignancies, non-malignant hematology
In Brazil, where I’m originally from, thalassemia and sickle cell disease are public health problems and are managed almost entirely by specialized public hematology centers — all the way from diagnosis to treatment with transfusion and bone marrow transplantation. I first studied hemoglobin disorders as an undergraduate; this life-changing opportunity eventually brought me closer to patients, but also piqued my interest in research to try to help solve the issues I faced on a daily basis in the clinic. Recently, a complication that has particularly caught my eye is iron overload — specifically, trying to understand its clinical heterogeneity across different anemias and working toward better management of the condition.
Benign hematology chose me. I happened to join a professor’s lab when I was an undergrad, and he worked with hemolytic anemias, especially the genetic ones. From that point on, I fell in love with the field. Prior to joining the team at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, I was a professor of hematology at the University of Campinas in Brazil. I have been involved in translational and clinical research involving red cell disorders and its complications since my medical school years.
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.
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.
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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.