Merav Bar, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Bone marrow transplantation, cellular immunotherapy, long-term follow-up
I love bringing new ideas, novel technology and innovative treatment strategies from the lab to the bedside.”
What do you enjoy about practicing oncology?
I originally wanted to go into oncology because the field was so dynamic — there was so much potential for research and improvement — and that continues to be true. I love bringing new ideas, novel technology and innovative treatment strategies from the lab to the bedside. We are now in an era where we are trying to more precisely target cancer cells while also decreasing complications and minimizing toxicities; I really enjoy being part of that progress.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I specialize in caring for patients with blood cancers who undergo stem cell transplantation. My expertise includes providing long-term follow-up care, particularly for patients who have post-transplant-related complications, such as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), when a donor’s stem cells attack healthy cells in the recipient’s body. I am also an attending physician in SCCA’s immunotherapy clinic. My research is focused on understanding the long-term effects of immunotherapies and improving outcomes for patients who receive stem cell transplants. I’m studying how to improve the treatment of chronic GVHD and seeking to better understand the biology of graft-versus-tumor effect (GvT). Gvt occurs when a donor’s stem cells attack any cancer cells that remain in the recipient’s body; it’s beneficial because it can reduce the risk of disease relapse. The ultimate goal is to enhance GvT while eliminating GVHD.
What’s it like to work with you?
Facing a diagnosis of cancer and then undergoing treatment can be very intense, and I find it rewarding to guide patients through these experiences. I try to involve you as much as possible in your care, explaining the disease process and the rationale behind different treatment approaches so that you know what to expect and can make informed decisions. It’s also important to consider quality of life, which can mean something different for each patient. Part of our work together is finding ways to support your well-being and cope with the many life changes a cancer diagnosis can bring.
Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
University of Washington, General Internal Medicine
University of Washington, Hematology-Oncology
Medical Oncology, 2008; General Internal Medicine, 2003, American Board of Internal Medicine