Marco Mielcarek, MD, PhD
I arrived in Seattle in 1994 for a research fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. My plan was to stay for two years and then return to my home in Germany. As you can see, I’m still here. I learned a lot during my fellowship — it was a good collaboration — but I didn’t want the kind of career where I was restricted to the lab. I wanted the privilege of taking care of patients, too. So I decided to stay in the U.S. to pursue those two passions. At SCCA, I get the best of both worlds — working closely with patients and conducting research to make treatment for blood cancers more tolerable.
I believe there are two key ingredients to providing excellent care. The first is tailoring treatment according to your needs and philosophy. An approach that is a good fit for someone else may not be ideal for you, and I never want to make assumptions about what you prefer. The second ingredient is incorporating up-to-date research so that you’re receiving the very best treatment that medicine has to offer, which can sometimes be clinical trials. Participating in trials helps us increase our understanding of diseases and achieve better cure rates.
Specialty: Medical Oncology
Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation
I am a board-certified oncologist with more than 20 years of experience caring for patients who receive stem cell transplants for blood cancers. I also serve as medical director of SCCA’s Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. My research is aimed at the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) — a potentially dangerous complication that can develop post-transplant where immune system cells attack healthy tissues and organs. For example, one study I led found that patients with GVHD could be effectively treated with lower doses of prednisone (a steroid that can have negative side effects) than most physicians had been using. Currently, my colleagues and I are testing whether treating stem cell donors with statins (drugs widely used to lower cholesterol) can prevent GVHD in transplant recipients.
The Fred Hutch Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) is proud to be nationally recognized for our work in bone and marrow and stem cell transplant.
As survival rates for lymphoma are improving, the first therapy is typically the most effective and important. But patients may need more than one therapy. SCCA has one of largest and most comprehensive multidisciplinary lymphoma teams in the nation, and the largest team in the Northwest.
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.
SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.
The cancer center’s pioneering Fred Hutch Blood and Marrow Transplant Program meets complex performance standards set by the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research.
SCCA's Marco Mielcarek, MD, PhD, discussed how COVID-19 has impacted treatment of patients with blood cancers in Washington State.
Your care team
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.