What is Personalized Medicine?

Watch the video below to find out

Every cancer is unique

Just as every person is unique, so is every cancer. At the Knight Cancer Institute, we’re dedicated to finding what makes each cancer unique and providing individually tailored and targeted treatments.


Pioneers in personalized medicine

Our pioneering work in personalized medicine ultimately led to the discovery of one of the world’s first targeted cancer drugs, Gleevec, by Dr. Brian Druker at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Gleevec truly revolutionized the way cancer is treated and works by zeroing in and eliminating specific cancer-causing cells, while avoiding serious damage to other non-cancerous ones. This major turning point in the treatment of cancer has led us to expand our focus on delivering personalized care by recruiting the very best and most experienced clinicians and researchers from across the country. But we won’t stop there! Through our efforts in cancer research, diagnostics, drug development and treatments, we continue to lead the way in the field of personalized care.

Dr. Druker has stated that “Our goal going forward is to advance science so that someday there will be a targeted therapy to shut down every form of cancer.” At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, each of us believes in a world without cancer and has a mission to end this disease in our lifetime.

Watch our 30-minute documentary, Ending Cancer As We Know It


The future of personalized medicine is here today at the Knight Cancer Institute

As leaders in the field of personalized medicine, we are investing in:

  • Basic research to understand how cancer cells can escape the body’s normal ways of controlling tissue growth. This will lead to a better understanding of the disease process and will identify targets for drug development.
  • Advanced diagnostic testing which allows us to analyze the many genetic differences within cancer cells. Unlike other centers, Knight Diagnostic Laboratory Services doesn’t just focus on known abnormalities, but analyzes a patient’s tumor tissue to identify abnormalities in any genes linked to a therapy. Rather than a single test, we scan a wide range of genes and collect the genetic profile. This information can be used for current therapeutic decisions as well as future clinical trials.
  • Ground-breaking biorepositories which store cancer tumor samples already analyzed for their genomic information for use in research
  • Clinical experts. The Knight Cancer Institute continues to recruit the best and the brightest physicians and clinical researchers from across the country to enhance our delivery of personalized medicine. Our physicians have the experience to understand how to use the information we are gathering to treat today’s patients in new ways.

At the Knight Cancer Institute our physicians, pathologists, researchers and other member of the team work together to bring each patient the best personalized care available. For us it truly is:

The knowledge of all for the care of one