Bryce Olson’s story

How OHSU is using gene sequencing to fight Bryce Olson’s prostate cancer


Meet Intel employee Bryce Olson. In spring 2014, at age 45, Olson was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Olson is one of 2.8 million Americans now living with the disease, which typically hits men at age 67.

Bryce's diagnosis is pushing him to the edge of life sciences, where computational analysis of human DNA and bioscience meet, pushing healthcare into a new era of precision medicine. In his fight against cancer, the Oregon resident and his health-care team at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute decided to have his tumor DNA analyzed to acquire a deeper understanding of his cancer at a molecular level. By uncovering the cause of his aggressive form of cancer, they hope to find clues that will lead to the right treatment. 

Each time someone gets their full genome sequenced, it generates information for 20,000 genes, which means terabytes of computer data. To analyze that data into meaningful, actionable results is expensive and takes time. Since 2013, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has been working with Intel to shape how this data can be generated faster, cheaper and securely so it can be shared quickly with the right people at the right time. 

Olson wants to spread the word about personalized medicine and the potential of genomic sequencing. For now, OHSU and Intel together are navigating new ground that they believe could lead pharmaceutical companies to create new drugs or help doctors find the right combination of drugs to halt Bryce's cancer while helping others.

Read more about Intel supported health sciences research at OHSU to fight prostate cancer