In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

A Walk With Purpose: Memoir of a Bioentrepreneur

By Michael D. Becker

“Nothing is as sobering or life-changing as those dreaded words, ‘you have cancer.’ This is a story of a husband, father and bright entrepreneur whose very private struggle with a preventable cancer has been made public with amazing clarity, insight and can’t put-the- book-down humanity.”  -James L Gulley, MD, PhD

With a prolific career in biotechnology, serving as CEO of two companies who worked in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, Michael Becker knew and understood cancer. It was his job. So, when he was looking in the mirror at age 47 and saw a lump in his neck that wasn’t there the day before, he knew something was wrong. After several tests and agonizing waiting periods for results, his worst fears were confirmed – he had stage IV oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancer. While initial treatment appeared successful, his cancer returned in December 2016 and he was given about a year to live.

What does someone do with a diagnosis like that? Everyone would react different. For Becker, he became determined to share his story of adversity and daily triumph, which is all chronicled in his new book, A Walk With Purpose: Memoir of a Bioentrepreneur. Part memoir, part fascinating look inside the biotechnology industry, A Walk With Purpose takes readers down his career path from an investment advisor to chief executive officer of an oncology-focused biotechnology company, to finally ending on the other end of the industry: a terminal cancer patient facing his own mortality. This fast-moving, fascinating and heart-wrenching memoir shows a personal account of all sides of the oncology biotech industry: from CEO to patient.

Becker also spends his time educating others not just about cancer but about one thing in particular: that his cancer was caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is preventable with currently available vaccines. If Becker had access to them growing up, it is very likely he would have never even gotten cancer at all.

“This vaccine simply didn’t exist when I was a teenager,” Becker says, “If it had, it would have prevented my cancer.”


Michael Becker has more than 20-years of diverse experience as a serial entrepreneur, C-level industry executive, communications expert, pharmaceutical developer, Wall Street securities analyst, and registered financial advisor. He is the founder and president of MDB Communications LLC, which provides a full range of investor relations, public relations, and digital media services to the biotechnology industry.

Previously, he served as CEO of two biotechnology companies working in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, including New Jersey-based Cytogen Corporation. Widely quoted by the press, he has published original articles on medical, financial, communications, marketing, and regulatory topics relevant to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries.

Becker currently lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters, but was raised in the great city of Chicago and is a loyal Cubs baseball fan – which just goes to show that he is an eternal optimist

A Walk With Purpose was released in April 2017 and is available for order on Amazon and in select bookstores.