Dr. Eric Vallieres is the Surgical Director of the Swedish Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., where he specializes in thoracic surgery and the treatment of esophageal cancer, lung cancer, hyperhidrosis, mediastinal pathology, mesothelioma, and pleural disease. Valliers is widely considered an international authority on multimodal therapy for the treatment of lung cancer, which involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation – tailored to each patient’s particular needs.
Vallieres studied medicine at the Unitersite Laval Medical School in Quebec and went on to complete his residency and a thoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Toronto. He then went to France and completed a clinical fellowship in thoracic surgery at the University of Bordeaux. Upon his return to Canada, Vallieres began his teaching career as an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Alberta in Edmonton for three years, followed by a two-year assistant professorship at the University of Ottawa, Ontario. He became an associate professor of surgery at the University of the Washington School of Medicine in 1996 (and was named the surgery department’s “Teacher of the Year” in 1998), and then became the Surgical Director at the Swedish Cancer Institute in 2004, where he currently resides.
A passionate advocate for multimodal therapy, Vallieres uses a variety of treatment options and regularly consults with physicians spanning a wide spectrum of specialties. This approach is particularly relevant with respect to mesothelioma, as extensive studies have determined that the best treatment plan for this disease involves multiple therapies. This multimodal approach produces a median survival time of between 16 and 22 months, the longest among mesothelioma patients. While there is no known cure for mesothelioma, surgery can remove substantial portions of cancerous tissue, thereby prolonging life expectancies and improving quality of life.
An expert in the diagnosis and treatment of pleural mesothelioma, Vallieres is one of the few thoracic surgeons qualified to perform extrapleural pneumonectomy. This procedure involves the removal of an entire lung, part of the diaphragm, and the linings of the heart and remaining lung. Only those with cancer limited to the chest cavity, who are relatively healthy, are considered candidates for this radical and difficult treatment method.
Vallieres has been involved in a number of studies and clinical trials, having published more than 150 scholarly articles and abstracts in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and other medical publications. Aside from mesothelioma, his research has touched on such areas as abdominal abscesses, abdominal cancer, appendectomy, and related abdominal abnormalities.
His clinical trials have touched on a number of diagnosis and treatment topics, including the use of a breath test to detect lung cancer, the use of certain novel combinations of chemotherapy drugs, the effectiveness of radiation in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer, and the use of a medical sealant to treat pleural air leaks after pleural surgery.
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