How Can We Improve Upon Cancer Research?

Read Transcript

Cancer research is a little bit like mining gold. You have to go through a tremendous amount to find that little nugget. It would be wonderful if you knew where the gold was and you didn't have to spend weeks and months mining tonnes of material to come up with a few fragments but that's been difficult in cancer because we don't know the answer and therefore we don't know exactly how to go about it.

I think one of the things that's happened in cancer is that people recognize that they want to try to do things now that specifically relate to patients, that are so called translatable that their findings can be used in patients within a year or two. Not 20 or 30 years of finding research and I think cancer and the NIH have dedicated themselves to this approach.

It's challenging because you don't want do something that hurts patients, at the same time you want to see the fruits of your resolve in your lifetime and in that patient's lifetime. So I think directing it more specifically to try to help patients with smaller large steps is important.

I also think it's important that people in cancer learn what other people in cancer are doing. We tend to become experts in our small field, but not necessarily keep up on what's going on in other fields of cancer or another sub-specialities or specialties, that's one of the things I enjoy about being a (xx) the most.

I know what I'm doing and can let people know but everyday I'm reminded by people of what they're doing on breast cancer and lung cancer and bladder cancer and skin cancer and some of those things we've been able to use directly into our cancers, so we didn't do any research at all, we simply learned what is already out there.I think that kind of sharing knowledge is very difficult in medicine.

People are busy or challenged and I'm fortunate to be in an environment where it's teaching me every day.that kind of sharing knowledge is very difficult in medicine people, busy or challenged and unfortunate to be in the environment where it's teaching me everyday.