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Meet Dr. Stephanie Schaub, our newest Sarcoma team member

Meet Dr. Stephanie Schaub, our newest Sarcoma team member

This September, our newest sarcoma expert joins the proton therapy team. Dr. Schaub finished her medical residency in radiation oncology at the University of Washington, where she was Chief Resident during her final year. Now she’s an Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiation Oncology.

“I feel fortunate to have trained at the University of Washington,” says Dr. Schaub. “It was the patient-centered, collaborative, frontier-pushing scientific culture that initially made it my first choice for residency, but also for remaining as faculty.”

Only select radiation oncology residency programs around the country have proton therapy as a resource. Since Dr. Schaub was especially interested in treating children, and children can often benefit from proton therapy’s physical properties -- because it allows for no exit dose, thereby potentially minimizing the risk of late toxicities -- she was excited to train and work at the University of Washington. Dr. Schaub is working closely with her mentor, Dr. Ralph Ermoian (our pediatric radiation oncologist), and the world-class Seattle Children's Hospital team. She cares for childhood and adolescent patients in addition to adult patients.

Dr. Schaub was drawn to radiation oncology when she discovered she would have the opportunity to spend more time with patients, understand their concerns, challenges, and support system, and work hand-in-hand with patients and their families. She was especially interested in sarcomas, because they’re one of the most challenging cancer types to treat, and greatly benefit from a multi-disciplinary treatment approach.

“Sarcomas are rare (only 1% of all cancers), and there are more than 100 different histologies (tissue types) that have distinct clinical behavior, response to therapy, and patterns of spread,” she says. “Importantly, certain cases of sarcoma can benefit significantly from the use of proton therapy, such as chondrosarcomas or chordomas of the skull base or spine, many pediatric tumors, some retroperitoneal tumors, and retreatment of patients who have previously received radiation.”

Dr. Schaub originally comes from California. For her medical training, she’s lived in all four quadrants of the US, including Florida and Boston, however, it’s Seattle that feels most like home. She loves going on adventures with her husband, Franz, and one-year-old daughter, Madlaina, from discovering the seasonal vegetables at farmers markets to hiking, kayaking, or exploring local art galleries.

“But honestly,” she says, “the most fun I've had over the past year has been watching my daughter grow and learn even the most basic of things. It’s so phenomenal to watch how palpable learning can be. This fascination with learning and growth is what inspires me to be involved in medical education. I look forward to serving as a bridge between the pediatric and adult sarcoma worlds at the Center, and to best learn how we can push the frontiers forward in both settings. My research interests involve developing novel, non-invasive biomarkers (e.g., imaging or blood sample signals) that can predict cancer outcomes or treatment-related toxicity to advance precision radiation therapy.”

We are excited to have Dr. Schaub join our team with Dr. Ed Kim and Dr. Ralph Ermoian.