Precision oncology has long been a cornerstone of research – and treatment – at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Our illustrated timeline of cancer research advances at OHSU shows how far we've progressed.
Director Brian Druker, M.D., helped pioneer the field with his work in the development of Gleevec, a revolutionary drug for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. Clinical trials launched in 1998. Nearly 20 years later, in 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study that showed an estimated overall survival rate of 83.3 percent for cancer patients taking Gleevec. Prior to FDA approval of the drug, fewer than one in three CML patients survived five years past diagnosis. Gleevec, which has also proven effective in treating other types of cancer, illustrates the power of precision medicine. The ultimate goal is to be able to deliver effective treatments tailored to each patient’s unique cancer.
Over the years, the Knight Cancer Institute has worked steadily to advance the field, fueled by philanthropic investments and led by renowned experts in melanoma, breast cancer, AML, genomics, immune cells, and more. Its new director of precision oncology, Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., is one of the most widely cited medical scientists in the world. This work has changed the course of countless lives.
For a fascinating look back at where it all began – and how far we’ve come – take a look at this timeline that features milestone discoveries and the people behind them.