H. Joachim Deeg, MD
I came to the United States in 1976 after medical school, and I thought I’d stay a year or two and then return to Germany. But life intervened, or as David Whyte, one of my favorite poets, says, “Ten years ago, I turned my face for a moment, and it became my life.” This has been a great place to work because I can combine my three loves: researching, mentoring and providing care. Two months out of the year, I see patients on the transplant service at SCCA, which sparks me to find even better approaches to treating disease. It’s a privilege to be here, and with that comes an obligation to strive for the best.
It’s all about teamwork. The treatment of cancer and bone marrow diseases is complicated. It requires close collaboration among providers from multiple disciplines — and you, the patient. We bring the most up-to-date information and our clinical expertise, but the decisions about treatment are ultimately yours to make. What I think you might appreciate most about me is my honesty. I never sugarcoat — I don’t think most people want that, anyway — but I do believe in being gentle, polite and receptive to your priorities.
Specialties and clinical expertise: Hematologic malignancies
I am a board-certified oncologist with more than 40 years of experience treating patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and other blood disorders. MDS and MPNs are characterized by abnormal production of blood-forming cells. Much of my research has focused on improving the understanding of these diseases and the treatment options. Some of my successes have included establishing bone marrow transplantation as a successful treatment for MDS and MPN as well as developing new therapies for acute graft-versus-host disease, a potentially life-threatening condition that can develop post-transplant. I also created the MDS/MPN clinical trial group at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to continue driving innovation and improving health outcomes for these diseases.
One of my subspecialties is the diagnosis and treatment of aplastic anemia, a rare, non-malignant condition where the bone marrow stops producing enough blood cells. My research has focused on fine-tuning various treatments for this condition, such as bone marrow and stem-cell transplantation, as well as immunosuppressive therapy. In addition to being a keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, I also serve on the medical advisory board of the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation.
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.
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.
Your care team
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.