The Oregon Cancer Center was founded at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in 1992. It became an NCI-designated Cancer Center in 1997. In 2001, the name was changed to the OHSU Cancer Institute. It was renamed the Knight Cancer Institute in 2008. The Institute’s mission is to translate discoveries into better ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat cancer.
The Institute’s over 200 researchers are affiliated with one of four research programs: cancer biology, solid tumors, hematologic malignancies, and cancer prevention and control. These interdisciplinary and collaborative programs encompass the full spectrum of translational research. The clinical researchers, basic scientists, population scientists, and physicians conducting this research move forward our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer and the ways to improve the detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.
Knight engages in research partnerships with national, international, and regional institutions. For example, imatinib was developed at the Institute, which also led early phase studies of the drug in collaboration with M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center and the University of California at Los Angeles. Current regional partners include the Salem Cancer Institute, St. John Medical Center, Tuality Healthcare, the Bay Area Hospital, and Mercy Medical Center. OHSU and the Institute are part of a collaborative clinical program with Legacy Health System called the Northwest Marrow Transplant Program, offering blood and marrow transplant procedures to patients throughout the region.
The basic science conducted at the Institute informs more than 300 clinical trials. For example, Knight is a member of the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium, a national clinical research group, with a coordinating center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Partnering with community hospitals, the Knight participates in several cooperative research groups throughout Oregon. The Institute is part of several cooperative research groups: Children’s Oncology Group, Gynecologic Oncology Group, Southwest Oncology Group, American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group.
The Institute offers four training programs: hematology and oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and pediatric oncology. Through these programs, Knight provides multidisciplinary training for the next generation of cancer scientists and physicians.
Knight addresses cancer in underserved communities, including its work with American Indian populations as part of the Northwest Tribal Cancer Control Project and the Western Tribal Tobacco Prevention Network. Additional collaborations involve cancer control research activities with Asian and Hispanic populations.
* This profile was provided by the Knight Cancer Institute.