Distinguished Lecture Series

brian druker

Knight Campus Distinguished Lecture

Brian Druker, M.D., director of the Knight Cancer Institute, gave the 2019 Knight Campus Distinguished Lecture, titled “Imatinib as a Paradigm of Targeted Cancer Therapies.”

 

Imatinib as a Paradigm of Targeted Cancer Therapies

Imatinib (Gleevec) was the first of its kind, targeted cancer therapy, killing cancer cells without harming normal cells. Dr. Druker performed laboratory studies that led to the development of imatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and then spearheaded the highly successful clinical trials of imatinib, which led to FDA approval of the drug in record time.

This work changed the life expectancy of patients with CML from an average of 3 to 5 years, to a 95% five-year survival and has resulted in a paradigm-shift in cancer treatment from non-specific chemotherapy to highly targeted therapeutic agents. His lecture will focus on how this drug was developed, the hurdles he faced, and how this paradigm is now being applied widely for the treatment of cancer.

The Knight Campus Distinguished Lecture Series

The Knight Campus Distinguished Lecture is an annual event designed to bring nationally and internationally recognized science, technology and engineering leaders to the University of Oregon community to give their perspective on the future of their fields. 

 

brian druker looking at samples
Brian Druker, M.D.

Brian Druker, MD, is the director of the Knight Cancer Institute and associate dean for oncology of the OHSU School of Medicine. His research is focused on translating the knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer into specific therapies and investigating the optimal use of these molecularly targeted agents. He performed preclinical studies that led to the development of imatinib (Gleevec) for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and then spearheaded the highly successful clinical trials of imatinib, which led to FDA approval of the drug in record time. This work changed the life expectancy of patients with CML from an average of 3 to 5 years to a 95% five-year survival, and has resulted in a paradigm shift in cancer treatment from non-specific chemotherapy to highly targeted therapeutic agents.