The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is on the leading edge of discovering new ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. We’re involved in more than 400 clinical trials, including studies of targeted therapies that disable cancer cells at the molecular level.
OHSU is a world leader in groundbreaking cancer research.
The SMMART program takes a new approach to fighting cancer. SMMART (Serial Measurements of Molecular and Architectural Responses to Therapy) trials use a combination of targeted medications tailored to each patient.
The idea is to attack multiple cancer pathways at once, stopping the cancer from growing before it can develop resistance to medications. The SMMART team also tracks each tumor, rapidly gathering data to adjust treatment and build knowledge.
The Knight Cancer Institute's Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center is the world’s largest effort to find cancer early. At CEDAR, we’re bringing together the best minds in science to unlock ways to detect cancer when it’s most curable.
Pathfinder 2 study to find cancer early
OHSU is a national site for the Pathfinder 2 study to see how well a blood test called Galleri detects some early cancers. OHSU was chosen by GRAIL, the health care company that makes Galleri.
The study is recruiting 20,000 participants. Dr. Tom Beer, the Knight's deputy director and CEDAR's chief medical officer, oversees the study locally.
Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker, M.D., helped pioneer Gleevec, a medication that turned chronic myeloid leukemia from a dire diagnosis into an illness that can be managed with a daily pill. Tens of thousands of patients have a normal life expectancy because of this advance.
Dr. Druker’s work with Gleevec showed that cancer cells can be targeted at the genetic level, opening a new world of cancer research. The Knight Cancer Institute has been on the front lines of researching targeted therapies ever since. These medications are tailored to the unique biology of a patient’s cancer, taking aim at cancer cells while mostly sparing healthy ones.
The Knight Cancer Institute has earned the National Cancer Institute’s highest designation, as a comprehensive cancer center. We’re the only comprehensive center between Seattle and Sacramento. The distinction, a step up from designation as a cancer center since 1997, recognizes excellence in research that reaches across disciplines, training and education to best serve the region.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the Knight Cancer Institute as the top cancer center in Oregon and among the best in the nation. OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, which works in partnership with the Knight, is ranked the best in Oregon and among the best in the U.S. for children’s cancer care.
The Knight Cancer Institute is part of regional, national and international research partnerships, offering patients local access to the latest advances and clinical trials.
- Children’s Oncology Group
- Gynecologic Oncology Group
- Hoosier Cancer Research Network
- The International Blood-Brain Barrier Consortium: This program, directed through OHSU’s Blood Brain-Barrier Program, combines basic science, research and comprehensive patient care to treat patients with brain tumors. Doctors, nurses, neuropsychologists and researchers work together to develop treatments that outwit the barrier between the bloodstream and brain while protecting brain function.
- The Northwest Marrow Transplant Program: OHSU and the Knight Cancer Institute collaborate with Legacy Health System to offer blood and marrow transplants throughout the region. Oncologists and hematologists combine their expertise to make sure patients benefit from the latest advances.
- Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium: This group, based at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
- Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
- SWOG Cancer Research Network
- Understanding clinical trials
- Clinical Trials Information for Patients and Caregivers, National Cancer Institute
- Clinical Trials, American Cancer Society
- Cancer Clinical Trials, Cancer Support Community
Find a cancer trial
Learn more about clinical trials
Watch this video to find out how clinical trials work and why they're important.