Photo: Fred Hutch
Education, Training, Board Certifications
- M.D., University of Alberta, Canada
- Residency, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
- Fellowship in Medical Oncology, UW
- Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine
- Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Graft-vs.-host disease
Research and/or clinical interests
Dr. Brenda Sandmaier’s goal is to extend the benefits of transplant immunotherapy to a broader range of patients, including hematopoietic cell transplant patients who are older or have medical complications, and those who do not have donors with complete genetic matches. She has developed less-toxic conditioning regimens, which are the preparatory treatments given to patients about to undergo hematopoietic cell transplants, also known as blood stem cell transplants. She established the curative potential of these new conditioning regimens in patients with blood cancers and related blood disorders. Her lab continues to investigate and establish the applications of these less-intense regimens.
Dr. Sandmaier also investigates a treatment known as radioimmunotherapy, or RIT. This approach, pioneered at Fred Hutch, uses immune system molecules called antibodies to deliver radiation directly to the blood cells, including the cancer cells, without damaging other healthy cells. While the first generation of RIT is being tested in clinical trials, Dr. Sandmaier’s lab is refining the next generation to be even more precise. First-in-human clinical trials of one such next-gen therapy, directly translated from her lab’s work, are underway. Her lab is also investigating the use of this approach to eradicate the HIV reservoir.
Dr. Sandmaier has also developed numerous clinical trials based on her preclinical findings for preventing graft-vs.-host disease, or GVHD, a serious complication caused when the donor cells attack the patient’s body. These include trials to evaluate novel approaches for GVHD prevention in combination with reduced intensity conditioning regimens developed at Fred Hutch. Many of these trials are multi-institutional, enrolling patients in Seattle and around the world.