Sylvia M. Lee, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“It is my privilege to work with you during your triumphs and difficult times.”
— Dr. Lee
Why do you enjoy about practicing oncology?

I was fortunate to be raised in a loving family that valued caring for others, and I wanted a career that would allow me to help people. I became a high school science teacher in the Teach for America program and then returned to medical school. I initially planned to focus on internal medicine, but during my oncology rotation, I decided that I wanted to work with cancer patients. I find oncology patients to the most inspiring and rewarding patients I have ever worked with, as they deeply appreciate their loved ones and the value of life.

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What is your approach to treatment?

I will care for you the way I would care for my family, with respect and compassion. My goal is to help you and your loved ones clearly understand your treatment options, providing you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions about your care.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Skin cancers, thoracic cancers

Lung cancer and melanoma

I am an expert in tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, a form of immunotherapy that uses your own immune cells to attack your tumor. TILs are a type of T cell that attacks cancer, but tumors can turn off this immune response. We can extract the dormant cells from a piece of tumor, reactivate them in the lab, multiply the cells to the billions in the laboratory and reinfuse them into patients to fight cancer.

I believe that enhancing your own immune system’s natural ability to recognize and attack cancer cells is perhaps the most promising new form of treatment, and many clinical trials are available for you to explore.

Head and neck cancers

We plan to expand T-cell therapy to head and neck cancer, allowing your immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells in your body. I am committed to extending the benefits of this new immunotherapy to as many patients as possible.

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. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Lymphocyte A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes (white blood cells) are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies, and T lymphocytes help kill tumor cells and help control immune responses. T cell A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte. Thoracic Having to do with the chest.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Medical Degree
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Residency
University of Washington, Division of General Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Washington, Division of Hematology & Oncology
Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 2011, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
Internship, University of Washington, Division of General Internal Medicine
Languages
English

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:
NCT03970382
A Study of Gene Edited Autologous Neoantigen Targeted TCR T Cells With or Without Anti-PD-1 in Patients With Solid Tumors
Complete title
A Phase 1a/1b, Open Label First-in-Human Study of The Safety, Tolerability and Feasibility of Gene Edited Autologous NeoTCR T Cells Administered as a Single Agent or in Combination with Anti-PD-1 to Patients with Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors

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.

Press

SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.

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.
Sarah  Bedtelyon, ARNP
Sarah Bedtelyon, ARNP
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Practice Provider
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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