R. Alex Hsi, MD

Physician
Fred Hutch
Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Specialty:
Radiation Oncology
Location icon Located at
“Practicing the art of medicine is about listening intently and striving to understand all of your needs.”
— Dr. Hsi
Why do you practice radiation oncology?

Being a physician gives me the opportunity to contribute to society on both an individual level, through clinical practice, and a community level, by participating in research and education. One of the benefits of radiation oncology as a specialty is that it allows me to treat people from a variety of social, economic and racial backgrounds who are dealing with a broad spectrum of diseases. It’s a field where science, technology and patient care intersect in a way that is both very challenging and very rewarding.

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What is your approach to care?

Advances in technology and science have allowed us to make great strides in the treatment of cancer. Yet practicing the art of medicine — listening intently to patients and understanding their needs — is vital to achieving optimal outcomes and providing quality care. Each person comes to my office with varying levels of knowledge and concerns about radiation therapy. I enjoy walking you through the different treatment options, step by step, so that you can choose the one that’s right for you and hopefully go home with a little peace of mind.

Radiation therapy The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.

Provider background

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Prostate cancer, bladder cancer

I am a radiation oncologist with more than 20 years of experience in cancer care. I specialize in the treatment of prostate and bladder cancers and primarily work with patients at SCCA Peninsula, a radiation oncology clinic located in Poulsbo, Washington. My background includes serving as the section chief for radiation oncology at Virginia Mason Medical Center and co-founding the Peninsula Cancer Center (now known as SCCA Peninsula). My research is focused on improving the treatment of prostate cancer. My colleagues and I led the first U.S. clinical trials of both stereotactic body radiation therapy — a type of focused external beam radiation therapy that precisely targets cancer cells — and SpaceOAR hydrogel, which reduces radiation side effects to areas surrounding the prostate. Currently, I am a primary investigator for a clinical trial on focal brachytherapy for recurrent prostate cancer. This form of therapy involves placing radioactive implants directly at the tumor site.

Community Oncology

Our mission is to provide patients with the highest quality, personalized care closer to home. As part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, our community oncologists offer patients multidisciplinary tumor board opinions, clinical trails and expertise in treating a variety of cancers.

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. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Radiation therapy The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. 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.
Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Kalamazoo College
Medical Degree
University of Michigan
Residency
University of Michigan, Internal Medicine; University of Pennsylvania, Radiation Oncology
Board Certification
Radiation Oncology, 2019, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English

Research

Clinical trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch 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.

Publications

Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch provider has written.

Your care team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care 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 doctor and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Patient care coordinator
Patient care coordinator
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your doctor and serves as your scheduler.

Insurance

Fred Hutch 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.