Lauri M. Burroughs, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/Seattle Children's/Fred Hutch
Pediatric bone marrow transplantation, non-malignant disorders
Families give me a wonderful gift when they teach me a lesson that I can use to help the next patient.”
Why do you specialize in treating and researching non-malignant blood disorders?
I started my career thinking I was going to go into pediatric oncology, but I ended up being drawn to patients with non-malignant (non-cancerous) blood disorders. These diseases can profoundly compromise a child’s quality of life and shorten their lifespan. It’s an area of medicine that historically hasn’t been given as much attention as blood cancers like leukemias, so there’s a huge need for more research and better treatment options. As I got to know children with these disorders, it was obvious that they deserved a better life. Ever since then, I’ve been motivated to try to address the many challenges these patients and their families are up against.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I specialize in caring for children with non-malignant blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease and bone marrow failure syndromes. I also serve as the director of the Non-Malignant Transplant Program for SCCA, Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In this role, I review and help develop the clinical practice standards for patients with non-malignant blood disorders.
My research is focused on developing safer, more effective bone marrow transplant procedures for children with these diseases. Prior to receiving a transplant, patients undergo a process called conditioning where they receive high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. Although conditioning prepares the body for an influx of transplanted blood cells, it can have toxic side effects. I am conducting national clinical trials to evaluate the use of gentler pre-transplant conditioning regimens.
What experiences have informed your research and approach to care?
Every year, I attend a free summer camp for children and their families who are dealing with a rare type of blood disorder. I am one of many experts who come to talk about the disease and the new therapies that are coming along, but I feel that I learn just as much as the parents and children who attend. I hear about the struggles these families face and what it means for them to live day in and day out with this disorder. Their stories not only inform the way I take care of patients back home but also inspire me to research ways to improve their quality of life.
University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison
Indiana University School of Medicine, Pediatrics
University of Washington School of Medicine, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, 2009, American Board of Pediatrics; General Pediatrics, 2001, American Board of Pediatrics
Internship, Indiana University School of Medicine