Dr. Cassaday is a hematologist-oncologist who specializes in treating patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The treatment of hematologic malignancies is both very challenging and highly rewarding. My goal is to find the best strategy for each individual patient that I see to hopefully provide the best balance of quality and quantity of life that I can.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and cellular immunotherapy
- Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology, University of Washington School of Medicine
- MD: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health
- Residency: University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
- Fellowship: University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Dr. Cassaday discusses hyperCVAD treatment for ALL at ASH 2015 in this video
Ryan Cassaday, MD, really wanted to be able to use his interest in science to help people in a meaningful way. “It has been a long and sometimes hard road, but I would do it all again if I had to,” he said.
Dr. Cassaday’s first exposure to cancer was through laboratory research. “From that perspective, it is a fascinating disease,” he said. “When I had the privilege of meeting patients with cancer, seeing how the disease impacted their lives and their families, and witnessing how an oncologist can help them in so many different ways, I knew it was the right career path for me.”
Research is a critical part of what Dr. Cassaday does and what Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) does. He is involved in a variety of clinical trials testing new treatments for patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia. He also reviews patients treated at SCCA in the past to try to identify patterns that might predict how to treat future patients better. “I do not do any laboratory-based research,” he said. “I collaborate with people who do, trying to apply their observations and discoveries to patient care.”
To Dr. Cassaday, a better understanding of genetics and immunology will lead to incredible changes in the way that doctors diagnose and treat blood cancers and a variety of other cancers. “Thirty years from now, I predict that we will look back at how we used to treat cancer and marvel at how much progress we've made,” he said.
Dr. Cassaday and his wife moved to Seattle from the Midwest in 2010. “We love living in Seattle,” he said. They try to enjoy the outdoors with their two dogs as much as possible, and he’s also a sports fan, particularly football and basketball.