Book reading shares OHSU’s place in cancer research history

August 1, 2013
Dr. DrukerWhen author Jessica Wapner visited Portland for a recent reading of her new book, it’s no surprise that she asked OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker to join her on stage. It was his story that served as the happy ending to The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level.

The talk covered highlights from Wapner’s book, which chronicles more than a half century of discoveries that eventually led to a new approach to treating cancer.  Druker’s career and the research he did that led to Gleevec figures prominently. 

Wapner spent several days at OHSU as she researched the book. Before and after the visit, she devoted months to extensive interviews with scientists, health care providers and patients. The book starts out, in fact, describing a patient’s bone marrow biopsy at the Knight Cancer Institute.  
The reading attracted a diverse audience including Knight Cancer patients. One of those patients travels regularly from the Midwest to Portland to receive care here. She was thrilled to learn that her appointment coincided with the book event. 
Following the talk, Wapner and Druker addressed a wide range of questions about everything from how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fast tracks new cancer drugs to the impact of early discoveries, such as Peyton Rous’ Nobel Prize-winning research into transmissible chicken cancer.  
To watch the talk at Powell’s Books, visit C-Span’s Book TV.
Pictured above: Dr. Druker

This article was written by Elisa Williams. It first appeared on the Knight News blog