Targeted therapy drugs have transformed the outlook for people diagnosed with one form of blood cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia. A disease with a three- to five-year life expectancy became, for most, a chronic, long-term condition managed with a daily pill. This triumph proved that understanding the earliest drivers of cancer formation can lead to better treatments that target cancer cells more precisely so that healthy cells are left unharmed.
The challenge that remains is to repeat this success for all other blood cancers, and to find ways to stop malignant cells that manage to adapt and become resistant to targeted drugs. Learn more at Knight School on Oct. 15. Dive into the science of precision cancer medicine, explore new treatments on the horizon, and hear from a CML survivor who was among the first participants in the clinical trial that established the breakthrough targeted therapy drug Gleevec.
Knight School is a series of public science talks designed to educate, entertain, and inspire audiences with stories told by Knight Cancer researchers, clinicians and patients. Register early to secure your seat.
Gabrielle Meyers, M.D., is an oncologist at OHSU with a special focus on aplastic anemia, bone marrow transplant and myelodysplastic syndrome. She currently has government and private foundation support to study the genetic changes that lead to bone marrow dysfunction and cancers of the bone marrow.
Judy Orem was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in the 1990s, when few survived more than five years. She was among the earliest participants in the clinical trial of Gleevec and is one of the longest surviving patients cared for in that study by Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.
Cristina Tognon, Ph.D., oversees the functioning of a 50-member cancer biology laboratory at OHSU. She is the lab’s lead team member responsible for developing and managing its role in the Beat AML initiative, which is seeking new treatment options for patients facing an aggressive form of leukemia. The OHSU-led effort has produced the largest cancer dataset of its kind.