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Dr. Brian Druker honored with Japan Prize
Date:1/25/2012

iven to scientists and researchers who made substantial contributions not only scientifically but also to promoting the advancement of science and technology for the peace and prosperity of mankind."

The Japan Prize Laureates will be formally honored at a Presentation Ceremony in Tokyo on April 25.

"I am honored to receive this distinguished award. It is most meaningful to me because the research it recognizes brings hope to cancer patients and their families," said Druker, director of the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at OHSU. "My goal going forward is to advance science so that someday there will be a targeted therapy to shut down every form of cancer."

Druker began his cancer research career in the 1980s, studying why some formerly normal cells shift into overdrive producing tumors. In 1993, the year he joined OHSU, Druker began testing compounds that could target the molecules that drive chronic myloid leukemia (CML). He identified the compound that ultimately became Gleevec and then led the drug's clinical trials. During the trials, nearly all CML patients saw their white blood counts return to normal in a matter of weeks with little or no side effects. Patients in hospice facilities, who were expecting to die within days, recovered and began leading normal lives and are still alive today. The trials were so successful that they resulted in the fastest approval by the FDA in its history.

Since Gleevec was approved by the FDA in 2001 to treat CML, it has since been proven effective against multiple forms of cancer including pediatric CML and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Gleevec's success has since led to the development of dozens of other FDA-approved targeted therapies and even more that are in clinical trials or about to be approved.

With his scientific and medical achievements, Druker has steadily
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Contact: Elisa Williams
willieli@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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