Setsuko K. Chambers, MD

Bobbi Olson Endowed Chair of Ovarian Cancer Research
Director of Women's Cancers, University of Arizona Cancer Center
Professor and Division Director of Gynecology Oncology, University of Arizona

Dr. Setsuko K. Chambers is one of the few nationally recognized Gynecologic Oncologists elected to the National Academy of Medicine.  This reflects a level of excellence which stands out in the country.  Dr. Chambers has over 30 years' experience specializing in the management, surgery and chemotherapy of gynecologic cancers.  She has expertise spanning very basic through translational research, clinical trials including investigator-initiated clinical trials, to active clinical care.  She performs open and laparoscopic surgeries as indicated for cancers, pelvic masses, and for high-risk women in need of risk-reducing surgeries.  She runs several innovative chemotherapy trials in ovarian cancer, open at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.  Dr. Chambers is the team leader at the Cancer Center for gynecologic oncology trials, which includes cooperative group (NRG/GOG-partners, SWOG), industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated trials.  She is one of the top accruers to clinical trials in the Cancer Center.  She also has expertise in genetic counseling and management of women at risk for breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.  In 2004, she developed and serves as Director of the only clinic for individuals at high risk for breast, ovarian and other hereditary cancers in the state of Arizona, situated at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.  Dr. Chambers, along with her breast and gastrointestinal oncology colleagues and genetic counselors, work together to incorporate early detection and prevention strategies to reduce cancer risks for these high-risk individuals.

Dr. Chambers received her BS and MD degrees from Brown University.  She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Yale University.  During her tenure at Yale, she helped direct and mentor 15 fellows in her role as Director of Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Research, then Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program.  She was the first female tenured professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology and remained at Yale as a member of the faculty until 2004.

In 2004, Dr. Chambers joined the faculty at the University of Arizona where she continues to actively mentor faculty, residents, post-doctoral fellows, and undergraduate students in her laboratory, in the clinical setting and through her leadership positions.  During her time at the University of Arizona, Dr. Chambers has continuously held leadership roles in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as Vice Chair and Section Head of Gynecologic Oncology.

At the University of Arizona Cancer Center, Dr. Chambers is the Director of Women's Cancers and holds the Bobbi Olson Endowed Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research.  She established in 2006, and serves as Principal Investigator, of the University of Arizona Cancer Center's Tumor Biorepository (wherein Gynecology Oncology is responsible for 39% of total accruals).  After 5 years, she stepped down as co-leader of the Cancer Biology Program, one of 4 major programs in our NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center.  During that time, Dr. Chambers helped successfully compete for the Cancer Center Support Grant renewal.

Dr. Chambers is one of the few gynecologic oncologist physician-scientists in the country, active as both a researcher and clinical gynecologic oncologist, evaluating oncology patients at The University of Arizona Cancer Center.  She has directed a laboratory devoted to understanding the molecular basis for breast and ovarian cancer metastasis and initiation for over 3 decades.  Her research laboratory continues to study the regulation of gene expression at a basic RNA and protein level of CSF-1 and CSF-1R, as well as the molecular basis for breast and ovarian cancer invasion and metastasis.  Dr. Chambers increasingly focuses on the tumor micro-environmental influence on tumor initiation in the fallopian tube and ovary.

As a translational scientist, Dr. Chambers also has reviewed and continues to review grants for a number of national entities, including the NIH, DOD, and others.  She serves as co-founding Editor-in-Chief for a new open access journal American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Throughout her career, Dr. Chambers has served on many national and regional committees, grant review panels and study sections.  She served as an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1999-2016 and is certified in the subspecialty of Gynecologic Oncology.  In 2000, she served as President of the New England Association of Gynecologic Oncologists.  She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2009 and has authored over 145 peer-reviewed publications and chapters.

Clinical Services Provided:

For more information about Dr. Chambers, visit her University of Arizona Cancer Center bio



Brown University Medical School, 1980
Yale-New Haven Hospital - Obstetrics & Gynecology
Yale University School of Medicine - Gynecologic Oncology
Board Certifications: 
ABOG - Subspecialty of Gynecologic Oncology, American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Clinical Services Provided: