Clay Siegall may have found cure for cancer

Clay Siegall, the cancer innovator and founder of Seattle Genetics, has spent a lifetime searching for novel cancer therapies that someday may lead to what’s known in the business as the c word, a bona fide cure. With over 15 years as a researcher and nearly 20 as a CEO of his own firm, Dr. Siegall is one of the world’s foremost cancer experts and will be one of the key players to watch in the coming decades of cancer research.



A new therapy for an ancient scourge


Dr. Siegall was first drawn to cancer research when he was made aware for the first time, as a college student, of the barbaric and sometimes lethal treatments for many different types of cancer. Ranging from horrific, like the nausea-inducing and completely debilitating metal-based chemotherapies, to the ghastly, like the various radical surgical techniques which involve amputations and other grievous excisions, the orthodoxy of cancer treatment leaves the worst excesses of the Inquisition to want for brutality.


After working as a cancer researcher for 15 years, Dr. Siegall discovered a new class of drugs that promised an end to all that was diabolic about cancer treatment. These were called the antibody drug conjugates.


The principle behind them is startlingly simple. An antibody drug conjugate binds a cytotoxin, something that kills cells, to an antibody, which in this context is a kind of enzyme which binds to a particular molecule in the tumor. Once bound to the tumor, the antibody portion, which is conjugated, or linked, to the cytotoxin portion, releases the cytotoxin into the cellular environment, causing the immediate death of the cell in question and, in some cases, other neighboring cells.


What’s so revolutionary about these drugs is that they only target tumor cells. In the case of Seattle Genetics’ first FDA approved drug, Adcetris, the antibody targets a gene which is expressed specifically and only in Hodgkin lymphoma cells. Thus, there is no systemic release of the cytotoxin, as occurs in traditional chemotherapy. This reduces the side effects of treatment to almost nothing while vastly increasing the lethality to the malignancy.

Seattle Genetics Is Kicking Cancers Butt!

Cancer is a battle many people fight everyday. Both patients and families are effected by the physical, emotional and financial strains of the chronic condition. For years, the traditional form of cancer treatment has been through Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, commonly known as chemo, is a cancer treatment that uses a combination of anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. While it is the most common form of cancer treatment, it is not the only option. Chemotherapy has a high probability of introducing harmful toxins to the body, and producing side effects rendering patients incapable of performing routine activities on their own. Being educated and informed on the side effects of chemotherapy, and the other options available could greatly improve the quality of life for cancer patients.


Co-founder of Biotechnology company Seattle Genetics Clay Siegall is committed to delivering alternative cancer treatment options to patients and their families. As an industry leader in antibody-drug conjugates, they have earned their mark at the top of innovative cancer treatment options. Unlike chemotherapy, ADCs target and kill cancer cells through the use of monoclonal antibodies, and harness the potential to enhance anti-tumor activity. Choosing an ADC treatment may also reduce the risk of toxic effects associated with traditional chemotherapy. ADCETRIS is the first ADC released by Seattle Genetics, with the help of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The new ADC is currently available in over 50 countries.

In an effort to reach more patients, Seattle Genetics is conducting a large scale clinical development program that will serve to assess the potency of the ACDs in regards to lymphoma and non-lymphoma patients. Through the development program, and their partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Seattle Genetics received complete commercialization rights to ADCETRIS in the United States and Canada. When Seattle Genetics was founded, they had one goal. Cancer patients needed more options, and more education on their condition. With the introduction of ADCETRIS, slowly but surly, they are changing the world of cancer treatment, attacking one cell at a time.