Top Doctor Top Doctor
The Top Doctor award is a peer-nominated award for providers who give exceptional care.

Hannah M. Linden, MD, FACP

Clinical Director, Breast Cancer Program 
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor of Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Joint Member, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“There are a lot of breast cancer therapies that work well — and they keep getting better. There’s a high chance for a cure, and even if we can’t cure you, we can often treat you. That’s why breast cancer care is a very uplifting field.”
— Dr. Linden
What makes breast cancer care meaningful for you?

I did a fellowship at the University of Washington, where I spent a lot of time in the lab cloning and folding proteins. It was interesting and I liked the idea of moving the science forward, but my work didn’t directly impact patients. I like taking care of people, so I realized that spending my days with DNA and petri dishes wasn’t going to be satisfying in the long run. Eventually, I was able to move from the lab into more of a translational research role with breast cancer, where I could bring the latest findings and studies to patients while incorporating their needs and perspectives into research. I bridge the gap between basic science and clinical practice, and that’s much more fun for me. What I also enjoy about my specialty is that there are a lot of breast cancer therapies that work well — and they keep getting better. There’s a high chance for a cure, and even if we can’t cure you, we can often treat you. That’s why breast cancer care is a very uplifting field. 

Hannah_Linden_Secondary.jpg
How do you like to work with patients?

My job is to scratch my head and think about how I can do the best for you as an individual, taking into account your goals and concerns and what the research  says. My relationships with patients are longitudinal; I don’t just stamp you with a treatment pathway and send you through the SCCA system. We maintain an ongoing dialogue about your care so that we can modify the plan if a bothersome side effect shows up or if treatment is interfering with some aspect of your life. Above all, I see myself as an advocate to help you access the cancer therapies, clinical trials and supportive care that you need.   

Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Breast cancers

Breast cancer

I am a medical oncologist who treats women and men with all stages and types of breast cancer. My clinical practice spans SCCA and Harborview Medical Center, and I help patients across both organizations access clinical trials. One of my areas of expertise is endocrine therapy, which involves manipulating hormones to stop or slow the growth of tumors. 

My research is focused on new breast cancer therapies and molecular imaging techniques. For example, one national trial uses a radiolabeled tracer to predict how patients with metastatic breast cancer will respond to estrogen-blocking therapy (a form of endocrine therapy), which can ultimately inform treatment decision-making. Another area of interest is helping underserved populations access high-quality cancer care. In addition to working with patients and conducting research, I’m also active in education, serving as the associate program director of the Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine. 

Hormone therapy Hormones can cause some cancers to grow. To slow or stop growth, synthetic hormones or other drugs can be used to block the body’s natural hormones, or surgery is used to remove a hormone-producing gland. Treatment that adds, blocks or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. Hormones can also cause certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer) to grow. To slow or stop the growth of cancer, synthetic hormones or other drugs can be used to block the body’s natural hormones, or surgery is used to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone. Also called endocrine therapy, hormonal therapy and hormone treatment. Imaging In medicine, a process that makes pictures of areas inside the body. Imaging uses methods such as X-rays (high-energy radiation), ultrasound (high-energy sound waves) and radio waves. Medical oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and targeted therapy. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and targeted therapy. A medical oncologist is often the main health care provider for someone who has cancer. A medical oncologist also gives supportive care and may coordinate treatment given by other specialists. Metastatic A metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread to other areas of the body by way of the lymph system or bloodstream.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Yale University
Medical Degree
University of Massachusetts
Residency
University of Arizona Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
University of Arizona Medical Center, Internal Medicine; University of Washington School of Medicine, Medical Oncology
Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 1997, 2019, American Board of Internal Medicine
Other
Internship, University of Arizona Medical Center
Languages
English
Awards
Seattle Met's 2016 Top Doctors Award

Dr. Linden received this peer-nominated award for exceptional patient care.

Stories

Highlights from the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
Highlights from the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Chemotherapy is not necessary for postmenopausal women with node-positive, ER+, HER- breast cancer and a low recurrence score, according to a recently published peer-reviewed study (RxPONDER). The study was discussed in December at the 44th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), along with other developments in breast cancer research. 

Research

Clinical trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

Study ID:
NCT04906395
Ovarian Suppression Evaluating Subcutaneous Leuprolide Acetate in Breast Cancer (OVELIA)
Complete title
A Phase 3, Single Arm, Open-Label Study Evaluating Ovarian Suppression Following Three-Month Leuprolide Acetate for Injectable Suspension (TOL2506) in Combination with Endocrine Therapy in Premenopausal Subjects with Hormone-Receptor Positive (HR+), Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2)-Negative Breast Cancer
Study ID:
NCT04224272
A Study of ZW25 (Zanidatamab) With Palbociclib Plus Fulvestrant in Patients With HER2+/HR+ Advanced Breast Cancer
Complete title
Phase 2a Study of ZW25 in Combination with Palbociclib Plus Fulvestrant

Publications

Many of our SCCA physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this SCCA provider has written.

Press

SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.

Your care team

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Registered nurse (RN)
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Patient care coordinator
Patient care coordinator
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician and serves as your scheduler.

Insurance

SCCA accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

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