early detection

New funding for a dire need: Pancreas cancer early detection

With a $250,000 award from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, researchers will seek to validate biomarkers able to detect pancreas cancer months or years before patients experience overt symptoms of the disease.   Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the deadliest of the major cancer types, with a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent. Unlike the other major causes of cancer mortality, pancreatic cancer is increasing in both incidence and number of deaths each year. Principal investigator Brett Sheppard, … Read More

Oregon’s precision medicine pioneer targets earlier cancer detection

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker talks with Medscape about breaking out of one-size-fits-all thinking in cancer screening and prevention ____________________ “We are now in the process of building an entire program on what I call precision early detection of cancer,” said Brian Druker, M.D., “We are trying to be more accurate in taking the same precepts of precision medicine for advanced cancer and using them earlier.” If it works, Druker told Medscape’s editor-in-chief, … Read More

Mole Mapper brings open data for cancer research

A new report in Nature Scientific Data explains how researchers can access and use the growing trove of data coming from users of Mole Mapper, a mobile app for tracking suspicious nevi.   Mole Mapper gives users the option to contribute to melanoma research by sharing anonymous images that show how moles evolve over time, potentially advancing toward malignancy. Investigators with Institutional Review Board oversight can access this user-generated data. More than 11,000 users have downloaded the … Read More

First in philanthropy: Phil and Penny Knight

Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny ranked no. 1 in The Chronicle of Philanthropy list of Americans who donated the most to charity in 2016.

What to make of smart machines that may soon outperform doctors

Artificial neural networks are getting really good at identifying skin cancer The first artificial intelligence to solve scientific problems debuted in 1967, when it proved capable of deducing molecular structures from mass spectrometry data. Now, of course, we have AIs that trounce “Jeopardy!” champions and chess grandmasters. And this week the machines ticked off a victory in the field of medicine: identifying melanomas and malignant carcinomas as accurately as expert humans, according to a report in the … Read More

Knight Cancer signal achievements of 2016

The staff and faculty of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute accomplished much together during the past year. Here’s a sampling of achievements that reflect the mission of delivering compassionate care and scientific discoveries that will end cancer as we know it:

The ‘Cancer translated’ blog top ten posts of 2016

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s “Cancer translated” blog explores new findings, ideas and debates in cancer medicine, from basic biology, to clinical trials, to prevention, survivorship and patient advocacy. We sorted a year’s worth of posts to find the most heavily trafficked reports. Here’s the top 10 in order of popularity:

Predicting colon polyp risk from microRNA

Differences in microRNA in colon polyps may help identify high risk cases that require more frequent follow-up screening, according to a study with four OHSU co-authors that is featured on the cover of Cancer Prevention Research this month.

Blood test for cancer early detection? A giant study is underway

Grail Inc., a startup with investors including Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, made a splash earlier this year when it unveiled plans to develop a blood-based screening test for cancer. The first clinical trial is now underway, the company announced on Dec. 1. OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker, M.D., who is a member of Grail’s scientific advisory board, said the study represents a “critically important” step in establishing the foundational knowledge that will … Read More

Making better decisions to prevent colon cancer

To prevent deaths from colon cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends no less than eight different screening approaches for average-risk individuals, beginning at age 50. There is no definitive evidence that one program is superior to another, but they all depend on access to high-quality colonoscopy, which is far from guaranteed, says David Lieberman, M.D., a professor of medicine and head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Oregon Health & Science University. … Read More

Targeting leukemia with drug combinations

Targeting leukemia with drug combinations

Cancer researchers have devised a way to rapidly screen combinations of drugs to identify pairs of agents most likely to work synergistically against some of the most difficult to treat forms of leukemia.