Roland B. Walter, MD, PhD, MS

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Associate Professor, Division of Hematology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“My goal is to collaborate with you to establish a treatment path that is geared toward your personal values and needs.”
— Dr. Walter
Why do you work with patients who have leukemia?

I studied medicine in Switzerland. While there are many differences between the U.S. and Swiss medical systems, there’s one thing that’s the same: the personality of patients with acute leukemia. I continue to be impressed with their strength, courage and spirit. They face difficult treatments and onerous side effects with grace and gratitude. Aside from the patients themselves, I enjoy the complex, interdisciplinary nature of treating people with this disease. There are all these different aspects of medicine that come together, and I think that’s unique.

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.
Roland_Walter_Secondary.jpg
What is your approach to care and treatment?

A successful patient-physician partnership is based on transparency. With that in mind, I see it as my role to clearly explain the nuances of your disease and share what the science has to say about treatment, including both conventional and experimental options. With that as our basis, we will develop a treatment plan that best matches your life values and goals. For many of the treatment decisions, there is no absolute right or wrong; I want you to feel empowered to make decisions that fit your beliefs and wishes.

Treatment plan A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A treatment plan may also include information about how much the treatment is likely to cost and about regular follow-up care after treatment ends.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Acute myeloid leukemia

I am a board-certified hematologist who specializes in treating patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). My research focuses on developing novel antibody-based therapies for AML. Antibodies are proteins in the blood that attack invaders like viruses. I’m studying how to direct antibodies to identify and kill AML cells. Some of the antibodies in development work by engaging a patient’s own immune cells. My colleagues and I create new therapeutics for AML in partnership with other investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and industry partners. These collaborations have led to the development of five new drugs that have subsequently been brought forward to the clinic for testing in people with AML.

Antibody A protein made by immune system cells and released into the blood. Antibodies defend the body against foreign substances, such as bacteria. Antibody A protein made by immune system cells and released into the blood. Antibodies defend the body against foreign substances, such as bacteria. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Hohe Promenade, Zurich
Medical Degree
University of Zurich, Switzerland
Residency
University Hospital of Zurich, Internal Medicine; Raetisches Kantons-und Regionalspital, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Hematology
Board Certification
Internal Medicine, 2016; Hematology, 2017, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
PhD, University of Washington; MS, University of Washington
Languages
English
German
Awards
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar in Clinical Research Award

Dr. Walter received the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Scholar in Clinical Research Award, which supports original investigation into the treatment of hematologic malignancies.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation "A" Award

The “A” Award provides funding for scientists who want to establish a career in pediatric oncology research.

Research

Clinical trials

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.

Study ID:
NCT04789408
Study Evaluating the Safety of KITE-222 in Participants With Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Complete title
A Phase 1 Open-label, Multicenter Study Evaluating the Safety of KITE-222, an Autologous Anti-CLL-1 CAR T-cell Therapy, in Subjects With Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Study ID:
NCT04195945
CPX-351 or CLAG-M Regimen for the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia or Other High-Grade Myeloid Neoplasms in Medically Less-Fit Patients
Complete title
Randomized Phase 2 Trial of CPX-351 (Vyxeos) vs. CLAG-M (Cladribine, Cytarabine, G-CSF, and Mitoxantrone) in Medically Less-Fit Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) or Other High-Grade Myeloid Neoplasm
Study ID:
NCT03386513
Study of IMGN632 in Patients With Relapse/Refractory AML, BPDCN, ALL, Other CD123+ Hem Malignancies
Complete title
A Phase 1/2, Multi-center, Open-Label Study of IMGN632 Monotherapy Administered Intravenously in Patients with CD123-positivie Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Other CD123-positive Hematologic Malignancies

Publications

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.

Your care team

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

Insurance

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.

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