K&C - Dr. Barrett Rollins, Chief Scientific Medical Officer, Dana-Farber 8-21-18

Dr. Rollins manages the scientific and research operations of Dana-Farber. Dr. Rollins can speak about the importance of basic cancer research and its impact on patient care.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Join us right now as he does every year's doctor Gerald doctor Howard you I'm good good good what's so we ask every year what's what's new what we will we've learned last year. We learned a lot of great stuff. First Lola thank you guys the one thing to be I Nelson bella for stepping up and just incredible what you guys do every year. On behalf of everybody at the farmers bank uses to which we appreciate so what's new. There's our doctors doctor Rawlins ever been in health at Christmas party. No he's not. It up and asked what's that what you would it make me an alpha yeah. I'm begging you make you know. So. Let me tell you about what is most exciting right now what's most exciting is the fulfillment of literally a hundred years worth of research and thinking about cancer which is to have your body's own immune system. Take carrier cancer and the question is. If you get infected by a bacteria or virus you're immune system. Mounts this big response to get rid of the why does it do with cancer for a hundred years we thought maybe it does it but we didn't know why it wasn't effective. Well if you think about it. You're infected with the virus like the flu virus he got a fever you have aches and pains that fever neck and in those aches and pains. They all come from your immune response and so when the virus is gone immune response has been quiet down here and there are. Molecular signals there hormones that the quiet that down. We've now discovered over the past ten years or so that cancers. Take those signals to dampen down the immune system. And if you can block those signals. Now the immune system starts to see cancers and can actually get rid of them with very few side effects and so now. In cancers that when I was training we couldn't creed at all like a certain kind of lung cancer or a skin cancer melanoma. Or kidney cancer these are responding. To these immune drugs and now the reason I'm bringing this up. Is because the single biggest selling drug now in oncology is one of these immune response drugs. The target of that thing was directed against was discovered by one of our researchers doing basic science supported by. Money that risk and what's actually stems Gordon Freeman he's sort of he ought to be in Paris under vacuum to use that sort of international standard really geeky scientist. But he is a brilliant guy absolutely brilliant and he discovered these signals and now. 1015 years later these drugs corrected against this the only way that research gets done. Is by having people like your listeners. Send in money and make pledges and support that kind of resource so every time when your listeners hears about this wonderful event of there's some new lung cancer recovering or somebody with kidney cancer recovering because of one of these drugs. They're partly responsible. Well I think it's a skirt mostly us I think most and get most value yes is it cure cancer about what was I thinking. I let go of it we say this every year I I want to reiterate because it it it when I first heard it blew my mind progress. Which childhood leukemia when I was a kid my next door neighbor of Westbrook died. And there was nothing they could do that made him comfortable. You know news that was it and so less than 10% believe survival rate. Of that. And we came here and now it's 85 to nine getting close to 90% close to ninety. Which makes it. You know like not. A death sentence all you hear that term view he be here. Kids leukemia and you have a really good chance of getting through. We do it's amazing thing is it completely changes the way we think about this but there's that last 10% right we gotta get we gotta be able to cure everybody. How does that happen so that happens because I just wondered why can't 300. What we don't know yet we don't know exactly why you know every one of the things that we've learned through basic research that supported by your listeners. Is that not all cancers of the same right if you get down right into the you know that DNA of these cancers they differ from one to another. And so in that 10% there's something different about those guys and we have to figure out what it is. And bring. New kinds of therapy to actually cure that last 10% in tech there's a lot of that work going on them are right now with clinical trials of leases are. We were saying that earlier when you hear clinical trial you think I'm doomed and they've tried everything else all the conventional stuff didn't work. But it's you don't think of it that way you think of the truck is a good chance you're gonna get through this and you're going to be fun. You know the reason for that is the conventional stuff. Was developed when you thought of cancer as as these big blocks of diseases lung cancers all of this thing childhood leukemia is all this thing kidney cancer office. We now know there may be thousands of different types so somebody fails so called conventional therapy all that means is. We haven't figured out that they are you for their individual customize tight and that's what clinical trials for medical trials. Our beacon of hope they are not a death sentence. I was doctoral thanks again for joining us we appreciate it we'll talk through short next year dresses and elf right right that's that's not a man I promise something.