Jennifer M. Specht, MD
I feel privileged to spend time with my patients, many of whom do extraordinarily well because we’ve made a lot of advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. I continue to be inspired by the young women I care for, who have had their life plans completely altered by a diagnosis and yet who manage the upheaval with grace, strength and dignity. One of the most rewarding parts of my job are the relationships I develop with patients and families over time. I see them as heroes who are truly focused on what’s important in life.
As our scientific understanding of breast cancer advances, treatment options have become increasingly complex. My job is to make you an expert in this field, sharing as much information as you would like so that you feel confident and equipped to manage your journey. I also support participation in well-designed clinical trials to help answer important questions about breast cancer, which ultimately leads to better health and longer lives for patients.
Specialty: Medical Oncology
I am a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in caring for patients with all stages of breast cancer. My expertise includes treating women with triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that does not respond to hormonal medications. At Fred Hutch, I see patients in the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic and lead the Phase 1 Breast Cancer Program, which tests the safety and efficacy of novel breast cancer therapies.
I am also a clinical trialist; my research interests include breast cancer genetics, immunotherapy and the use of molecular imaging to better understand the biology of breast cancer. Currently, I serve as the primary investigator for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium’s (TBCRC) clinical site at the University of Washington. TBCRC is a group of academic institutions that conduct collaborative translational research to discover new treatment strategies for breast cancer.
Stories and testimonials
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.
In the spring of 2012, Maria Pearson was grooming one of her horses when he tossed his head to dispel flies and knocked Pearson in the chest, causing her left breast to swell up. A few months later, she fell off that same horse, broke her hand and tore her rotator cuff. It was a rough few months, to say the least.
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch 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.
Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch provider has written.
Your care team
Fred Hutch 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.