Lee D. Cranmer, MD, PhD, FACP
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
You are more than a patient: You are a critical partner in our research efforts. If we hope to improve cancer care, it will only be by working together.”
What made you want to practice oncology?
Several of the mentors and role models in my early life were physicians, and I always knew I wanted to work in a field where my efforts would directly improve the world. While I was a medical resident at the Mayo Clinic, I worked in the cancer ward and quickly realized there were unmet needs for people with cancer, which made me want to continue working with them to see how I could help. I believe that immunotherapy will provide a means to treat the disease more effectively and even prevent it in some cases. I expect to make this the focus of the rest of my career.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
As the director of Sarcoma Medical Oncology, my expertise is in the clinical management of sarcomas, a rare kind of cancer that grows in connective tissue — cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body. I am focused on supporting and expanding sarcoma research collaborations at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine, including the development of local clinical trials, involvement in national clinical trials, the teaching and mentoring of hematology-oncology fellows and community-outreach activities.
I treat patients with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. I’ve been directly involved in the design or execution of over 70 institutional, industry and national cooperative group-sponsored therapeutic clinical trials for melanoma and sarcoma patients, in addition to phase 1 solid tumor protocols. These have included trials of molecularly targeted therapies and immune-boosting therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.
How do you partner with your patients?
I believe in a team-based approach to cancer care, with you at the center of the team. You are also a vital partner in our scientific work, as well as the direct beneficiary of our past and current laboratory research and clinical trials. Although most discoveries lead to only incremental improvements, I’ve been honored to participate in research that has been groundbreaking in its impact on the people we care for.
University of California, San Diego
Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Internal Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Medical Oncology
Medical Oncology, 2004, 2014; Internal Medicine, 2001, 2011, American Board of Internal Medicine
PhD, University of California, San Diego; MSc, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; Master, University of Liverpool; MPH, University of Arizona; Teaching Appointment, University of Arizona