100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Kiuchi Clinic

CEO  Shimizu Akio

Message to young people
Don’t give up. Even when you are stuck, there is always a way for you to take. Break new ground to find your way to the future.

I was a science geek when I was young. I made a motor and a racing car model that used the motor. I was also interested in engines, wondering how they worked and questioning what would happen if I changed different things? I had lots of questions. I was also quite a bad kid.

When I was a junior in high school, I went to the Noto Peninsula with a friend who wanted to study medicine at university. He said to me, “A doctor is the only occupation who hears ‘Thank you’ for doing his job.” That moment changed my life. I thought doing a job that pleases other people would be satisfying. That’s when I decided to do what I do now.

After finishing my undergraduate studies, I went to graduate school and majored in pathology, which is the study of the causes and diagnoses of diseases. My specialty was cancer, so I researched liver cancer. After finishing graduate school, I began working at a cancer research center studying immunotherapy and played a role in bridging clinical medicine and basic medicine. In researching immunotherapy, there were many occasions in which immunotherapy worked in experiments but not in clinical trials. Trying to find out why was one of the big challenges in researching immunotherapy.

If there are five researchers, that’s enough. I wanted to be one of the five, but one day, I realized it would be impossible to be one of the five. That’s when I gave up being a researcher. I wanted to be a good cancer researcher.

So I decided to open my own clinic to practice medicine. You can fail in research as many times as you want, but not everything about clinical medicine can be explained by research. For a doctor, each patient is merely one of hundreds. But for a patient, their doctor is their only doctor and this is the biggest difference between research and clinical medicine.

I gave up my dream of helping 100,000 people in my 10 years as a researcher. Then I became a clinical doctor and decided to be helpful to the patient in front of me. Soon after opening my clinic, I added immunotherapy — instead of only chemotherapy — to my cancer treatment methods. I also began visiting patients’ houses to treat them.

My goal is to keep offering immunotherapy to patients. I will also pursue other cancer treatment methods such as surgery and radiation. Radiation therapy has become very advanced and cancer, which was once often fatal, is becoming something that can be cured. I would like to keep learning the most advanced cancer treatments and providing them to patients.

Company Profile

Kiuchi Clinic
Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture
Internal medicine, dermatology, surgery, cancer treatment