About Dr. Vallieres
Dr. Eric Vallieres serves as the medical director of the Swedish Medical Center’s Division of Thoracic Surgery. He treats lung cancer and mesothelioma.
“To find the right treatment for each individual that we meet and see [is] an exercise every single time. Every single time you have to go down the algorithm and make sure that you are taking this particular patient down the right path.”
His patients appreciate the time he takes to explain conditions and treatment plans in simple, easy-to-understand, non-medical terms. He equips his patients with all the information they need to make informed decisions.
Dr. Vallieres speaks both English and French.
Dr. Vallieres’ Career Highlights
Over the course of his career, Dr. Vallieres has:
- Become one of the few U.S.-based surgeons to perform “SMART” therapy (which combines surgery and radiation to possibly double life expectancy in mesothelioma patients)
- Contributed to nearly 200 articles in medical journals and publications
- Received dozens of grants to further research into thoracic conditions and cancers
- Served in senior roles at the Swedish Cancer Institute since 2004
- Taken a multi-faceted approach to treating mesothelioma
Dr. Vallieres’ Background
Dr. Vallieres earned his medical degree at Laval University in Quebec, before completing a general surgery residency and thoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Toronto. He then completed a second fellowship at the University of Bordeaux.
Following his formal medical education, Dr. Vallieres worked as a surgeon in Canada and was an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Alberta and the University of Ottawa.
He eventually moved to the United States, taking a role at the University of Washington School of Medicine for several years. He was awarded Teacher of the Year after his second year of teaching there.
In 2004, Dr. Vallieres joined the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle as surgical director of the Lung Cancer Program and medical director of the Thoracic Surgery Division.
“As a surgeon taking care of people diagnosed with lung cancer, the personal connections developed over the years is palpable and incredibly rewarding.”
At the Swedish Medical Center, he continues to research new therapies that will help improve length and quality of life and treat patients with utmost care.
Dr. Vallieres is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in non-cardiac thoracic surgery.
He has expertise in a wide range of lung and chest diseases, like:
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pleural diseases
Within his work on pleural mesothelioma, Dr. Vallieres has established himself as a leading authority on multimodal treatment approaches that combine several therapies together.
For pleural mesothelioma patients, his approach typically combines a surgery called an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) with chemotherapy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy — a high-precision form of radiation therapy that delivers radiation doses to a precise point within a tumor.
Dr. Vallieres recognizes the importance of finding the right combination of treatments for each patient. He has participated in clinical research to help advance the medical community’s ability to develop optimal treatment strategies for mesothelioma and other types of cancer.
Dr. Vallieres’ Career Accomplishments
Dr. Vallieres has helped advance the treatment of mesothelioma through EPPs, treatment research, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. His work has helped extend the lives of his patients and further the medical community’s knowledge of mesothelioma.
He is internationally recognized for his work with multimodal treatment plans for lung cancers, including mesothelioma.
Dr. Vallieres is one of the few surgeons in the United States to perform Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy (SMART), a mesothelioma treatment that applies a high dose of radiation to the lung before removing it entirely.
The SMART procedure applies a big dose of radiation to the lung before it is entirely removed. SMART has doubled the three-year survival rate for mesothelioma patients when compared to traditional multimodal approaches.
Awards & Honors
Dr. Vallieres’ professional awards and honors include:
- America’s Top Doctors
- America’s Top Doctors For Cancer
- CMS Stage 1 EHR
- Seattle Met Top Doctor Award
- Teacher of The Year
Dr. Vallieres’ Current Work
Dr. Vallieres is the medical director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the Swedish Medical Center, where he works as a general and thoracic surgeon.
His areas of expertise include:
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Robotic surgery
He continues his groundbreaking SMART mesothelioma treatment at the Swedish Medical Center — the first American hospital to adopt the therapy.
Dr. Vallieres is a member of professional organizations, such as:
- Lung Committee Vice Chair – Southwest Oncology Group
- General Thoracic Surgical Club (Member)
- Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (Fellow)
- Society of Thoracic Surgeons (Member)
- Western Thoracic Surgical Association (Member)
Notable Work by Dr. Vallieres
Dr. Vallieres researched the outcome of a malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment that took a trimodal approach, starting with induction chemotherapy, which was followed by an EPP and then one of two forms of radiotherapy — external beam radiotherapy or intensity-modulated radiotherapy.
The study followed patients over the course of 10 years to provide better treatment options for patients with mesothelioma.
Dr. Vallieres concluded that this trimodal approach to treating malignant pleural mesothelioma was safe, with an acceptably low rate of risk.
He also noted that external beam radiotherapy might be the more effective form of radiation in this trimodal recipe.
Dr. Vallieres’ Healing Philosophy
Dr. Vallieres describes his philosophy of care as “empowering my patients with information so that they can make the best decision regarding the treatment of their cancer or disease.”
This approach to healing can be seen throughout his career, as he has dedicated himself to the understanding and treatment of thoracic disorders and cancers, including mesothelioma.
He is also a champion for personalized treatment plans that identify the best therapies for each patient, instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
“As a surgeon, I think if you spend the time in that first encounter to explain things very meticulously, every step of the process, and explain to them what the options are, we can individualize their treatment so that I can offer him or her the treatment that he or she deserves.”
Dr. Vallieres previously served on the Surgery Quality Review Committee at the Swedish Medical Center, where he held his peers to an extraordinarily high standard of patient respect and care.