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Mobile oncologist Dr. Thaddeus Beeker lost his father to leukemia at age 6. Now, fighting blood cancers is both his passion and profession.
“My family’s experience with cancer has always been in the back of my mind,” said Beeker, who joined USA Mitchell Cancer Institute as a staff medical oncologist and professor of Interdisciplinary Clinical Oncology. “I wanted to help others and their families, as well.”
In addition to seeing patients at MCI’s Mobile office, Beeker will serve as Stem Cell Transplant Program director and Associate Fellowship Program director. He most recently served as a hematologist at Southern Cancer Center.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Beeker join our team at the Mitchell Cancer Institute,” said MCI Director Dr. Michael A. Finan. “His more than 20 years of experience in hematology/oncology in the Mobile area, and his interest in multiple myeloma and malignant hematology, will bring added breadth and depth to our range of services for our patients.”
“He is a well-respected physician in the region, and I am excited to welcome him to the MCI,” Finan said.
A graduate of Wake Forest University and East Carolina University School of Medicine, Beeker has spent the past 22 years in the practice of hematology/oncology in Mobile. He also co-founded the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant Program at Providence Hospital, which provides specific treatment for certain blood cancers.
“For certain diseases like multiple myeloma and relapsed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a stem cell transplant can be a potential curative treatment,” Beeker said. “It’s a way to get at resistant cancer cells.”
High doses of chemotherapy can have a significant impact on bone marrow function, Beeker explains. This challenge can be addressed by harvesting a person’s blood stem cells and freezing them prior to chemotherapy.
The patient undergoes chemo and, after 48 to 72 hours, receives an infusion of their own previously harvested stem cells. Normal bone marrow production can return in as little as 11 days.
Beeker said that it’s important to provide this treatment locally.
“We want patients who are battling life-threatening diseases like multiple myeloma or relapsed lymphoma to receive state-of-the-art therapy in their own community, where they can receive comfort and support from their family and friends,” he said.
Beeker has been active in clinical trials and is principal investigator on multiple trials through the National Cancer Institute. He completed his residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was chief resident. He and his wife, Kelly, who live in the Oakleigh District in Mobile, have two adult sons, Curry and T.J.
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