Dr. Eric Vallières is a general and thoracic surgeon at the Swedish Medical Center. He has extensive experience treating patients with a wide range of conditions, including mesothelioma. Dr. Vallières believes in individualized treatment plans and strives to find the best therapies for each of his patients.
“To find the right treatment for each individual that we meet and see, it’s 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. And in lung cancer, there is stronger evidence that if you provide the right treatment for the right stage of the cancer, you can expect better results.” -Dr. Eric Vallières
Dr. Vallières’ patients appreciate the time he takes to explain conditions and treatment plans in simple, non-medical terms. He arms every one of his patients with all the information they need to make an informed decision and is considered to be a respectful, personable physician.
“As a surgeon taking care of people diagnosed with lung cancer, the personal connections developed over the years is palpable and incredibly rewarding.” -Dr. Eric Vallières
Dr. Vallières speaks both English and French and is affiliated with Swedish Medical Center’s Cherry Hill and First Hill facilities. In his spare time, Dr. Vallières likes to ski, cycle, and travel.
Dr. Vallières’ Location
Patients interested in working with Dr. Vallières can book an appointment with him through:
Swedish Cancer Institute
1101 Madison Street, Suite 850
Seattle, WA, 98104
Dr. Vallières’ Career Highlights
Dr. Vallières has had an impactful career in oncology so far. Some of the highlights of his profession include:
- Has researched multi-approach treatments for mesothelioma to improve patient outcomes
- Surgical director at the Swedish Cancer Institute for over a decade
- One of the limited U.S.-based surgeons to perform “SMART” therapy, a highly aggressive treatment that can double the survival rate of some mesothelioma patients
- Received dozens of grants to further research thoracic conditions and cancers
- Has contributed more than 150 articles to medical journals and publications
Dr. Vallières’ Background
Dr. Vallières earned his MD at Laval University in Quebec, before completing a general surgery residency and thoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Vallières then completed a second fellowship at the University of Bordeaux.
Following his formal medical education, Dr. Vallières worked as a surgeon in Canada and was an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Alberta, and then the University of Ottawa. He then moved to the United States, taking a role at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine for several years. He quickly proved his worth at the School of Medicine and was awarded Teacher of the Year after his second year teaching.
In 2004, Dr. Vallières joined the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle as Surgical Director of the Lung Cancer Program and Medical Director of the thoracic surgery division. It is here that he continues to research new therapies that will help improve length and quality of life and treat patients with utmost care.
Dr. Vallières is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in non-cardiac thoracic surgery. He has expertise in a wide range of lung and chest disorders, including esophageal cancer, lung cancer, pleural diseases, and mesothelioma.
Within his work on pleural mesothelioma, Dr. Vallières has established himself as a leading authority on multimodal treatment approaches that combine several therapies together. For pleural mesothelioma patients, his approach typically combines extrapleural pneumonectomy 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. Vallières recognizes the importance of finding the right mix of treatments for each individual patient and has done clinical research to help further the medical community’s ability to develop optimal treatment strategies for mesothelioma and other lung cancers.
Dr. Vallières’ Career Accomplishments
Dr. Vallières is an accomplished thoracic surgeon who has a strong holistic understanding of abdominal cancers and disorders. He has expertise in a wide variety of areas and, as a result, has become a versatile surgeon. He is currently the Surgical Director of Thoracic Oncology at the Swedish Medical Center.
Dr. Vallières has helped advance the treatment of mesothelioma by performing extrapleural pneumonectomies, and through his research into treatment plans that combine this surgery with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. His work has helped extend the lives of his patients and further the medical community’s knowledge of mesothelioma.
Dr. Vallières is recognized internationally for his work with multimodal treatment plans for lung cancers, including mesothelioma. His approach combines the surgical removal of a tumor with chemotherapy and, sometimes, radiation therapy.
Dr. Vallières is also one of the few surgeons in the United States to perform SMART therapy, a mesothelioma treatment that applies a toxic dose of radiation to the lung before removing it entirely. Although aggressive, it has proven to double life expectancy and reduce recovery times for some mesothelioma patients.
Awards & Honours
- Seattle Met Top Doctor Award
- America’s Top Doctors
- America’s Top Doctors For Cancer
- Teacher of The Year
- CMS Stage 1 EHR
Dr. Vallières’ Current Work
Dr. Vallières is the Director of Thoracic Surgery at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, where he works as a general and thoracic surgeon. He has several areas of expertise, including mesothelioma, sarcoma, lung cancer, robotic surgery, and esophageal cancer. Dr. Vallières is respected for his wide range of knowledge and ability to effectively treat dozens of thoracic conditions.
Dr. Vallières is continuing his groundbreaking “SMART” mesothelioma treatment at the Swedish Medical Center—the first American hospital to adopt the therapy. Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy, or SMART, is a method that applies a toxic dose of radiation to the lung, before removing it entirely. While extremely aggressive, SMART has doubled the three-year survival rate for mesothelioma patients when compared to traditional multimodal approaches.
Dr. Vallières is a member of numerous professional organizations, including:
- Fellow – The Royal College of Surgeons of Canada
- Vice Chairman of Lung Committee – Southwest Oncology Group
- Member – Society of Thoracic Surgeons
- Member – Western Thoracic Surgical Association
- Member – General Thoracic Surgical Club
- Member – Western Thoracic Surgical Association
Notable Work by Dr. Vallières
Dr. Vallières researched the outcome of a malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment that took a trimodal approach, starting with induction chemotherapy, which was followed by extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery 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. Vallières 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. Vallières’ Healing Philosophy
Dr. Vallières knows that knowledge is power. He 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. Dr. Vallières 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. Eric Vallières
Dr. Vallières takes patient safety extraordinarily seriously and served on the Surgery Quality Review Committee at the Swedish Medical Center for several years, where he held his peers to an extraordinarily high standard of patient respect and care.