Dr. Kathryn Pennington

Dr. Pennington is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist. Her philosophy of care is structured around using a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and individualized treatment approach for each patient. She believes that cancer care is a partnership, and she strives to empower every person to be actively involved in their care. Dr. Pennington specializes in gynecologic cancer treatment including surgery and chemotherapy, as well as symptom management for cancer survivors during and after treatment. She also has expertise in gynecologic cancer prevention for individuals at increased genetic risk. She has performed more than 1000 robotic surgeries since completing her training and has surgical expertise in minimally-invasive surgeries, complex open abdominal and pelvic surgeries, and vulvar surgeries.  Prior to joining Alaska Women’s Cancer Care, Dr. Pennington was an Associate Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she served as a full-time clinician, researcher, and educator. Her research interests include gynecologic cancer survivorship, as well as the molecular genetics of ovarian cancer. She is passionate about improving the lives of individuals with gynecologic cancer through clinical trials. Dr. Pennington is the Principal Investigator of two national clinical trials funded by the National Cancer Institute: she developed an innovative trial (the “ICE COMPRESS” trial) testing the efficacy of cryocompression and compression therapies to prevent chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and she is Principal Investigator of a trial comparing the efficacy of two surgical techniques to prevent cancer in BRCA1 carriers (the “SOROCk” trial). She has also served as site Principal Investigator for many clinical trials at the University of Washington. She is an active member on multiple clinical trial committees in NRG Oncology and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered). Dr. Pennington is happy to be a part of the Alaska Women’s Cancer Care team and to provide exceptional care for our patients in Alaska.


Dr. Pennington completed her Bachelor of Science in Pure Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2002 with Special Honors in Research. She received her Medical Degree at the University of Michigan Medical School in 2006, with a Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in Clinical Skills and the Art of Medicine and ranked in the top 5 of her medical school class. She completed a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan in 2010 and served as Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan for one year. She then moved to Seattle and completed her four-year fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington in 2015. She served an additional nine years as a faculty member in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at University of Washington. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology (2009) and board certified in Gynecologic Oncology (2018).


Dr. Pennington loves spending time with her husband, son, and three cats. She is an animal lover and loves the outdoors and nature. She is thrilled to be living in Alaska! She enjoys back-packing, cross-country skiing, scuba diving, board games, jigsaw puzzles, and quilting.


Pennington KP, Schlumbrecht M, McGregor BA, Goodheart MJ, Heron L, Zimmerman B, Telles R, Zia S, Penedo FJ, Lutgendorf SK. Living Well: Protocol for a web-based program to improve quality of life in rural and urban ovarian cancer survivors. Contemp Clin Trials 2024;144:107612; Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38914309.

Pennington KP, Huh WK, Russo S, Walker JL. Does Salpingectomy Prevent Ovarian Cancer:  Let’s Prove It! The Cancer Letter 2023;49(11). March 17, 2023.

Westin SN, Moore K, Chon HS, Lee JY, Pepin JT, Sundborg M, Shai A, Garza J, Nishio S, Gold MA, Wang K, McIntyre K, Tillmanns TD, Blank SV, Liu JH, McCollum M, Mejia FC, Nishikawa T, Pennington K, Novak Z, De Melo AC, Sehouli J, Klasa-Mazurkiewicz D, Papadimitriou C, Gil-Martin M, Brasiuniene B, Donnelly C, Michelle Del Rosario P, Liu X, Van Nieuwenhuysen E; DUO-E investigators. Durvalumab plus carboplatin/paclitaxel followed by maintenance durvalumab with or without Olaparib as first-line treatment for advanced endometrial cancer: the phase III DUO-E trial. J Clin Oncol 2023; Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37864337

Mirza MR, Chase, DM, Slomovitz BM, Christensen RdP, Novak Z, Black D, Gilbert L, Sharma S, Valabrega G, Landrum LM, Hanker LC, Stuckey A, Boere I, Gold MA, Auranen A, Pothuri B, Cibula D, McCourt C, Raspagliesi F, Shahin MS, Gill SE, Monk BJ, Buscema J, Herzog TJ, Copeland LJ, Tian M, Zangdong H, Stevens S, Zografos E, Coleman RL, Powell MA; RUBY Investigators. Dostarlimab for primary advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer. N Engl J Med 2023;388(23):2145-2158. PMID: 36972026

Rios-Doria EV, Pennington KP, Reiter DJ, Parker EU. Diagnostic challenges in differentiating between  hydropic abortus, complete and partial hydatidiform molar pregnancies in early gestation. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2023 33(9):1482-1484. PMID: 37268312

Wisinski KB, Flamand Y, Wilson M, Luke JL, Tawbi HA, Hong F, Mitchell EP, Zweibel JA, Chen H, Gray RJ, Li S, McShane LM, Rubinstein LV, Patton D, Williams PM, Hamilton SR, Behrens RJ, Pennington KP, Conley BA, Arteaga CL, Harris LN, O’Dwyer PJ, Chen AP, Flaherty KT. Trametinib in Patients with NF1, GNAQ or GNA11 Mutant Tumors: Results from the NCI-MATCH ECOG-ACRIN Trial (EAY131) Subprotocols S1 and S2. JCO Precision Oncology. 2023 Apt;7:e2200421. PMID: 37053535

Ghezelayagh TS, Kohrn BF, Fredrickson JU, Manhardt E, Radke MR, Katz R, Gray H, Urban RR, Pennington KP, Liao JB, Doll KM, Simons E, Burzawa JK, Goff BA, Speiser P, Swisher EM, Norquist BM. Uterine lavage identifies cancer mutations and increased TP53 somatic mutation burden in individuals with ovarian cancer. Cancer Res Commun. 2022; 2(10):1282-1292. PMID: 36311816

Eurich KE, Deckert A, Smith B, Kolahi K, Pennington KP. The feasibility of screening for malnutrition in the outpatient setting and the prevalence of malnutrition in patients with newly-diagnosed ovarian carcinoma. Gynecol Oncol Rep. 2022; 43: 101052. PMID: 35958956

Somasegar S, Weiss AS, Norquist BM, Khasnavis N, Radke M, Manhardt E, Pennil C, Pennington KP, Eckert MA, Chryplewicz A, Lengyel E, Swisher EM. Germline mutations in Black patients with ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal carcinomas. Gynecol Oncol. 2021; 163(1):130-133. PMID: 34452747

Ghezelayagh TS, Pennington KP, Norquist BM, Khasnavis N, Radke MR, Kilgore MR, Garcia RL, Lee M, Katz R, Leslie LL, Risques RA, Swisher EM.  Characterizing TP53 mutations in ovarian carcinomas with and without concurrent BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. Gynecol Oncol. 2021;160(3):786-792. PMID: 33375991.

Pennington KP and Dunivan G. Topical hemostatic agents at time of obstetric and gynecologic surgery: ACOG Committee Opinion Number 812. Obstet Gynecol. 2020;136(4):e81-e89. PMID: 32976379

Weiss AS, Swisher E, Pennington KP, Radke M, Khasnavis N, Garcia RL, Kilgore MR, Lee MK, Norquist BM. Inherited mutations in fallopian tube, ovarian, and primary peritoneal carcinoma: changes in diagnoses and mutational frequesncy over 20 years. Gynecol Oncol. 2020;159(1):214-220. PMID: 32709535

Perrone ME, Reder NP, Agoff SN, Garcia RL, Agnew KJ, Norquist BM, Pennington KP, Swisher EM, 24. Kilgore MR. An Alternate Diagnostic Algorithm for the Diagnosis of Intraepithelial Fallopian Tube Lesions. Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2020 May;39(3):261-269. PMID: 31033800

Rush SK, Swisher EM, Garcia RL, Pennington KP, Agnew KJ, Kilgore MR, Norquist BM. Pathologic findings and clinical outcomes in women undergoing risk-reducing surgery to prevent ovarian and fallopian tube carcinoma: A large prospective single institution experience. Gynecol Oncol. 2020 Mar 19:S0090-8258(20)30101-3. PMID: 32199636

Ghezelayagh TS, Stewart LE, Norquist BM, Bowen DJ, Yu V, Agnew KJ, Pennington KP, Swisher EM. Perceptions of risk and reward in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers choosing salpingectomy for ovarian cancer prevention. Fam Cancer. 2020 Apr;19(2):143-151. PMID: 32096072

Jorge S, McFaddin AS, Doll KM, Pennington KP, Norquist BM, Bennett RL, Pritchard CC, Swisher EM. Simultaneous germline and somatic sequencing in ovarian carcinoma: mutation rate and impact on clinical decision-making. Gynecol Oncol. 2020 Mar;156(3):517-522. PMID: 31883735

Jorge S, Swisher EM, Norquist BM, Pennington KP, Gray HJ, Urban RU, Garcia RL, Doll KM. Patterns and duration of primary and recurrent treatment in ovarian cancer patients with germline BRCA mutations. Gynecol Oncol Reports. 2019 Aug 9;29:113-117. PMID: 31467964

Morse CB, Toukatly MN, Kilgore MR, Agnew KJ, Bernards SS, Norquist BM, Pennington KP, Garcia RL, Liao JB, Swisher EM. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and homologous recombination deficiency are independently associated with improved survival in ovarian carcinoma. Gynecol Oncol. 2019 May;153(2):217-222. PMID: 30803719

Pennington KP, Urban RR, Gray HJ. Revisiting Minimally Invasive Surgery in the Management of Early-Stage Cervical Cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2019 Jan;17(1):86-90. PMID: 30659132

Gordhandas S, Norquist BM, Pennington KP, Yung RL, Laya MB, Swisher EM. Hormone replacement therapy after risk reducing salpingo-oophorectomy in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations; a systematic review of risks and benefits. Gynecol Oncol. 2019 Apr;153(1):192-200. PMID: 30661763

Pennington KP, McTiernan A. The role of physical activity in breast and gynecologic cancer survivorship. Gynecol Oncol. 2018 Apr;149(1):198-204. PMID: 29395306

Bernards SS, Pennington KP, Harrell MI, Agnew KJ, Garcia RL, Norquist BM, Swisher EM. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with BRCA1 or RAD51C methylated versus mutated ovarian carcinoma. Gynecol Oncol. 2018 Feb;148(2):281-285. PMID: 29233532

Strickland SV, Rendi MH, Garcia RL, Norquist BS, Pennington KP, Kilgore MR. Evaluation of Intraoperative Assessments in the Management of Endometrial Carcinoma: A Retrospective Quality Assurance Review. Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2018 Sep;37(5):414-420. PMID: 30102260

Pennington KP, Norquist BM, Swisher EM. Lessons from the NOVA trial: an editorial on results, biomarkers, and patient selection for PARP inhibition in recurrent ovarian cancer. Transl Cancer Res 2017;6(Suppl 2):S301-305.

Swisher EM, Norquist BM, Pennington KP, Rendi MH, Garcia RL.  DNA repair mutations and outcomes in ovarian cancer (Letter to the Editor, response). Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(3):659.  PMID: 25646182

Pennington KP, Walsh T, Harrell MI, Lee MK, Pennil CC, Rendi MH, Thornton A, Norquist BM, Casadei S, Nord AS, Agnew KJ, Pritchard CC, Scroggins S, Garcia RL, King MC, Swisher EM. Germline  and somatic mutations in homologous recombination genes predict platinum response and survival in ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinomas. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Feb 1;20(3):764-75. PMID: 24240112

One of the most highly cited articles in Clinical Cancer Research from 2014

Pennington KP, Wickramanayake A, Norquist BM, Pennil CC, Garcia RL, Agnew KJ, Taniguchi T, Welcsh P, Swisher EM. 53BP1 expression in sporadic and inherited ovarian carcinoma: Relationship to genetic status and clinical outcomes. Gynecol Oncol. 2013 Mar;128(3):493-9. PMID: 23246380

Norquist BM, Pennington KP, Agnew KJ, Harrell MI, Pennil CC, Lee MK, Casadei S, Thornton AM, Garcia RL, Walsh T, Swisher EM. Characteristics of women with ovarian carcinoma who have BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations not identified by clinical testing. Gynecol Oncol. 2013 Mar;128(3):483-7. PMID: 23262210

Pennington KP, Walsh T, Lee M, Pennil C, Novetsky AP, Agnew KJ, Thornton A, Garcia R, Mutch D, King MC, Goodfellow P, Swisher EM. BRCA1, TP53, and CHEK2 germline mutations in uterine serous carcinoma. Cancer. 2013 Jan 15;119(2):332-8. PMID: 22811390

Pennington KP, Swisher EM. Hereditary ovarian cancer: beyond the usual suspects. Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Feb;124(2):347-53. PMID: 22264603

Walsh T, Casadei S, Lee MK, Pennil CC, Nord AS, Thornton AM, Roeb W, Agnew KJ, Stray SM, Wickramanayake A, Norquist B, Pennington KP, Garcia RL, King MC, Swisher EM. Mutations in 12 genes for inherited ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinoma identified by massively parallel sequencing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 1;108(44):18032-7. PMID: 22006311

Berent-Spillson A, Love T, Pop-Busui R, Sowers M, Persad CC, Pennington KP, Eyvazaddeh AD, Padmanabhan V, Zubieta JK, Smith YR. Insulin resistance influences central opioid activity in polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2011 Jun 30;95(8):2494-8. PMID: 21486668; PMCID: PMC3124614

Pennington K, Pulaski H, Pennington M, Liu JR. Too much of a good thing: suicide prevention promotes chemoresistance in ovarian carcinoma. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2010 Sep;10(6):575-83. PMID: 21198443

Eyvazzadeh AD, Pennington KP, Pop-Busui R, Sowers M, Zubieta JK, Smith YR. The role of the endogenous opioid system in polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2009 Jul;92(1):1-12. PMID: 19560572

Boggs [Pennington] K, Duren P. Zeroes of Hypergeometric Functions. Computational Methods and Function Theory Volume 1 (2001), No. 1, 275-287.