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

H. Joachim Deeg, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
Professor, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“Kindness, candor and openness: These qualities are the bedrock of our partnership.”
— Dr. Deeg
What do you enjoy about working for SCCA and its partner organizations?

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.

Joachim_Deeg_Secondary.jpg
What do you want patients to know about working with you?

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.

Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Cellular Immunotherapy, Hematologic Malignancies

Myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms

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.

Aplastic anemia

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.

Anemia A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. Benign Not cancer. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Graft-versus-host disease A condition that occurs when donated stem cells or bone marrow (the graft) see the healthy tissues in the patient’s body (the host) as foreign and attack them. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Medical Degree
University of Bonn School of Medicine
Residency
University of Rochester Genesee Hospital, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Oncology
Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 1979; Internal Medicine, 1976, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English
Awards
Seattle Met's 2019 Top Doctors award

Dr. Deeg has been recognized as a Top Doctor in Seattle Met's annual survey multiple years in a row.

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.

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.

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.

For providers