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Sara Zakem, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor

Locations of Practice


Dr. Zakem is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology who primarily practices at SCCA-Peninsula in Poulsbo, Washington. Dr. Zakem sees and treats patients with a variety of malignancies and has expertise in advanced radiation techniques including stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Dr. Zakem is passionate about bringing the world-class care that patients expect from the University of Washington into the surrounding communities.

Patient Care Philosophy

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be one of the most frightening and confusing experiences in any person’s life, however each day I strive to help patients understand and navigate their cancer diagnoses, explaining the role of radiation therapy not only in the context of their overall cancer treatment plan, but more importantly in the context of the goals and values they hold dear. I work with each patient and their family members and caregivers to come up with a treatment plan that meets their needs, and is also rooted in the most rigorous scientific evidence.

Education and Training

Medical Degree: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2016
Residency: Radiation Oncology at University of Colorado, 2021

Selected Publications

Caudell JJ, Ward MC, Riaz N, Zakem SJ, Awan MJ, Dunlap NE, Isrow D, Hassanzadeh C, Vargo JA, Heron DE, Marcrom S, Boggs DH, Reddy CA, Dault J, Bonner J, Higgins KA, Beirler JJ, Koyfman SA, Machtay M, Yao M, Trotti AM, Siddiqui F, Lee NY. Volume, Dose and Fractionation Considerations for IMRT-based Re- irradiation in Head and Neck Cancer: A Multi-Institution Analysis. IJROBP. 2018 Mar; 100(3) 606-617. PMID: 29413274.

Ward MC, Lee NY, Caudell JJ, Zajichek A, Awan MJ, Koyfman SA, Dunlap NE, Zakem SJ, Hassanzadeh C, Marcrom S, Boggs DH, Isrow D, Vargo JA, Heron DE, Siddiqui F, Bonner J, Beitler JJ, Yao M, Trotti AM, Riaz N. A competing risk nomogram to predict severe late toxicity after modern re-irradiation for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Oral Oncol. 2019 Mar; 90:80-86. PMID: 30846182.

Zakem SJ, Robin TP, Smith DE, Amini A, Stokes WA, Lefkowitz C, Fisher CM. Evolving trends in the management of high-intermediate risk endometrial cancer in the United States. Gynecol Oncol. 2019 Mar; 152(3):522-527. PMID: 30876498.

Zakem SJ, Mueller AC, Meguid C, Torphy RJ, Holt DE, Schefter T, Messersmith W, McCarter MD, Del Chiaro M, Schulick RD, Goodman KA. Impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) on R0 resection rate for borderline resectable and locally advanced pancreas cancer. HPB. 2020 Dec; In Press. PMID: 33277184.

Mueller AC, Piper M, Goodspeed A, Bhuvane S, Williams JS, Bhatia S, Phan AV, Van Court B, Zolman KL, Pena B, Oweida AJ, Zakem SJ, Meguid C, Knitz MW, Darragh L, Bickett TE, Gadwa J, Mestroni L, Taylor MRG, Jordan KR, Dempsey P, Lucia MS, McCarter MD, Del Chiaro M, Messersmith WA, Schulick RD, Goodman KA, Gough MJ, Greene CS, Costello JC, Neto AG, Lagares D, Hansen KC, VanBokhoven A, Karam SD. Induction of ADAM10 by RT drives fibrosis, resistance, and EM