Dr. Santana-Davila is a medical oncologist who specializes in treating lung and head and neck cancers.
As oncologists, we have the privilege of helping patients go through one of the most difficult phases of their life. It is our responsibility to offer the best possible treatment, providing state-of-the art care within a multidisciplinary team. My goal is to provide patients and their families the most up-to-date and clear information about their disease, prognosis, and treatment options, including the latest in clinical trials. Then we can work together to make treatment decisions that are compatible with their beliefs and values and delivered in a state-of-the-art care facility.
- Associate Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Assistant Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- MD: Universidad Anahuac, Mexico City, Mexico
- Residency: University of Minnesota
- Fellowship: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Originally from Mexico City, Rafael Santana-Davila, MD, was drawn to a career in medicine because of his interest in the science of the human body. “And also because of the influence of my father, an accomplished physician himself,” Dr. Santana-Davila said.
After medical school, he came to the United States to continue his training in oncology where he has lived and worked for the past several years.
My interest in oncology grew from two things, first from a fascination with trying to understand the process of why cancer develops and second, and probably most important, is because while caring for cancer patients, they invariably teach you a variety of life lessons that make you a better person,” he said.
Dr. Santana-Davila’s research interests are very wide, from health services research, where his main goal is to understand how patients are treated in the general population and establishing if we can mirror what is seen in the latest clinical trials when treating the average individual, to designing and implementing clinical trials that test new treatments in the battle against cancer.
“I want continue seeing advances in therapeutic options for patients with cancer,” Dr. Santana-Davila said. “We have come a long way from a few decades ago, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
His time outside work is spent with his wife and two children. They especially like exploring the outdoors.