Oncologist Brian Druker on Live Wire Radio: “We’re seeing results we never thought imaginable”

“Oncologists actually are now optimists. When I started out in this business we were a bunch of pessimists,” Druker told a crowd at Portland’s Alberta Rose Theatre. “We’re seeing results we never thought imaginable.”


For a taping of Live Wire Radio, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker, M.D., shared the stage with the indie rock band Blind Pilot, comedian Phoebe Robinson, and Bill Oakley, a writer for “The Simpsons.” (Portland-based Live Wire is distributed by Public Radio International and broadcast on 37 public radio stations across the U.S. and Canada.)

“So Luke I’ve got a question for you,” Druker asked show host Luke Burbank. “The topic is seriously funny, right?”

“Correct. The theme of the show is seriously funny,” Burbank said.

“And you invited me here to talk about cancer?” Druker wanted to know.

Joking aside, Burbank asked how the Knight Cancer Institute plans to spend the $1 billion pledged by philanthropic donors led by Phil and Penny Knight.

“What we’ve set out is an ambitious goal of trying to detect cancer at its earliest, most curable stages,” Druker said.

“Our view is that if we can detect cancer early – stage one, curable – we can save many, many more lives than we do now.  And we think we can do that by assembling a team of 30 of the brightest investigators in the country and their teams, all told about 300 people working here trying to solve that problem.”

You can listen online or download a podcast of the full episode. Druker’s interview starts around 29:40.