Natasha B. Hunter, MD

Physician
Fred Hutch
Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Affiliate Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutch
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“A cancer diagnosis changes people. It's rewarding to be present with them while they make that adjustment.”
— Dr. Hunter
Why did you change careers from journalism to medicine?

Medicine is similar to journalism in many ways: You read, you talk to experts, you observe, you listen to people's experiences and then you draw conclusions and write a summary. But, as a journalist, your goal is simply to tell the truth. This goal can place you at odds with your sources, and it can sometimes feel a bit abstract. In medicine, I love that I still get to do almost everything I enjoyed as a journalist, but now it’s always in pursuit of tangible goals around caring for people — goals that are shared among patients and providers.

Hunter-secondary.jpg
Why do you choose to work with patients who have breast cancer?

In my first year of fellowship, I met an elderly woman with metastatic breast cancer. She was in terrible shape, and I didn’t expect her to live very long, but she became my patient and lived for more than two years longer. Working with her made me understand the impact I can have on patients, especially those with breast cancer. We have more and more tools each day to treat this disease. I was inspired by her strength and felt very honored to care for her; that’s one of the reasons I chose this disease type.

Metastatic A metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread to other areas of the body by way of the lymph system or bloodstream.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Breast cancers

Breast cancer

I am a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of breast cancer. Prior to joining SCCA, I completed a fellowship in oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine. My research interests include studying breast cancer biomarkers, which may improve our ability to gauge response to treatment and monitor for recurrence and remission. I’m also interested in exploring new therapies for metastatic disease and how to improve access to studies and new treatments for patients who live in remote areas.

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. Recurrence Cancer that has come back, usually after a period during which it could not be detected. It may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or someplace else. Also called recurrent cancer. Remission A decrease in, or disappearance of, signs and symptoms of cancer. A decrease in, or disappearance of, signs and symptoms of cancer. In partial remission, some (but not all) signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although cancer still may be in the body.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Medical Degree
Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University
Residency
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Fellowship
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Board Certification
Internal Medicine, 2015; Medical Oncology, 2018, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English

Stories

Diagnosed young with breast cancer, patient with two genetic mutations finds multidisciplinary approach at Fred Hutch specialty clinic
Diagnosed young with breast cancer, patient with two genetic mutations finds multidisciplinary approach at Fred Hutch specialty clinic

Four years ago, Teresa Campagna woke up the morning after a tough work-out. As she massaged her muscles to relieve the soreness, she felt a lump.

Research

Clinical trials

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.

Study ID:
NCT05132582
A Study of Tucatinib or Placebo With Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab for Metastatic HER2+ Breast Cancer (HER2CLIMB-05)
Complete title
A randomized, double-blind, phase 3 study of tucatinib or placebo in combination with trastuzumab and pertuzumab as maintenance therapy for metastatic HER2+ breast cancer
Study ID:
NCT04072952
A Phase 1/2 Trial of ARV-471 Alone and in Combination With Palbociclib (IBRANCE®) in Patients With ER+/HER2- Locally Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer (mBC)
Complete title
A Phase 1/2, open-label, dose escalation, and cohort expansion clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of ARV-471 in patients with ER+/HER2- locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, who have received prior hormonal therapy and chemotherapy in the locally advanced/metastatic setting

Publications

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.

Press

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

Your care team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care 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.
Kelly A. Nelson, ARNP, DNP
Kelly A. Nelson, ARNP, DNP
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Practice Provider
Registered nurse (RN)
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your doctor and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Patient care coordinator
Patient care coordinator
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your doctor and serves as your scheduler.

Insurance

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.

For providers