Lauri M. Burroughs, MD
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.
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.
Specialties and clinical expertise: Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation
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.
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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