Cancer Clinical Trials

A researcher examining a petri dish.

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.

Innovations

OHSU is a world leader in groundbreaking cancer research.

SMMART trials

Our innovative 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. 

Gleevec

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.

Targeted therapies

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.

Early detection

The Knight Cancer Institute has launched the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center, 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.

Our excellence

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.

Research partnerships

The Knight Cancer Institute is part of regional, national and international research partnerships, offering patients local access to the latest advances and clinical trials.

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