Lauri M. Burroughs, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Washington School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Director, Non-Malignant Transplant Program
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/Seattle Children's/Fred Hutch
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“Families give me a wonderful gift when they teach me a lesson that I can use to help the next patient.”
— Dr. Burroughs
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.  

Benign Not cancer. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Nonmalignant Not cancer. Nonmalignant tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called benign.
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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. 

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Non-malignant blood disorders

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. 

Benign Not cancer. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. 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. 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. Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. 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. Conditioning Treatments to prepare patients for stem cell transplantation. May include chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy and radiation. The treatments used to prepare a patient for stem cell transplantation (a procedure in which a person receives blood stem cells, which make any type of blood cell). A conditioning regimen may include chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy and radiation to the entire body. It helps make room in the patient’s bone marrow for new blood stem cells to grow; prevent the patient's body from rejecting the transplanted cells; and kill any cancer cells that are in the body. Conditioning Treatments to prepare patients for stem cell transplantation. May include chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy and radiation. The treatments used to prepare a patient for stem cell transplantation (a procedure in which a person receives blood stem cells, which make any type of blood cell). A conditioning regimen may include chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy and radiation to the entire body. It helps make room in the patient’s bone marrow for new blood stem cells to grow; prevent the patient's body from rejecting the transplanted cells; and kill any cancer cells that are in the body. Nonmalignant Not cancer. Nonmalignant tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called benign. Sickle cell disease An inherited disease in which the red blood cells have an abnormal crescent shape, block small blood vessels and do not last as long as normal red blood cells. An inherited disease in which the red blood cells have an abnormal crescent shape, block small blood vessels and do not last as long as normal red blood cells. Sickle cell disease is caused by a mutation (change) in one of the genes for hemoglobin, which is the substance inside red blood cells that binds to oxygen and carries it from the lungs to the tissues. It is most common in people of West and Central African descent. Also called sickle cell anemia. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of Wisconsin
Medical Degree
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison
Residency
Indiana University School of Medicine, Pediatrics
Fellowship
University of Washington School of Medicine, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Board Certification
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, 2009, American Board of Pediatrics; General Pediatrics, 2001, American Board of Pediatrics
Other
Internship, Indiana University School of Medicine
Languages
English

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:
NCT03980769
Donor Stem Cell Transplant With Treosulfan, Fludarabine, and Thiotepa in Treating Patients With Non-malignant Disorders
Complete title
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for patients with non-malignant disorders using Treosulfan, Fludarabine, and Thiotepa
Study ID:
NCT03619551
Conditioning SCID Infants Diagnosed Early (CSIDE)
Complete title
A randomized trial of low versus moderate exposure busulfan for infants with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) receiving TCRαβ+/CD19+ depleted transplantation
Study ID:
NCT01659606     Pediatric trial
Radiation- and Alkylator-free Bone Marrow Transplantation Regimen for Patients With Dyskeratosis Congenita
Complete title
Radiation and Alkylator-free conditioning for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for bone marrow failure due to dyskeratosis congenita/telomere disease

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.

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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