WEEI>On Demand>>Dr. George Demetri, Senior Vice President for Experimental Therapeutics

Dr. George Demetri, Senior Vice President for Experimental Therapeutics

Aug 30, 2011|

Dr. George Demetri stops by to talk with John and Gerry and discusses what he does on a daily basis to cure this deadly disease. The doctor also talks about some clinical trials, new advances in personalized medicine and where we are headed in the field of cancer research.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Welcome back my friends this is the WEEI -- and Jimmy Fund radio telephone from Fenway Park 8777381234. You can also -- log on to Jimmy Fund dot org or log on to. W -- dot com slash Jimmy Fund or AT&T is really made it easy for you. You can text K cancer all one word -- cancer to 20222. Looking -- on the bill insurance -- -- reported 2191094. Dollars and every gift makes a difference from ten dollars to 5000 dollars you can become a Jimmy -- all star. If you make gift of 15100 dollars or more it's an exclusive club I'll announce your name. Take a bow to all star will be announced on there all -- -- truly make a difference for adults and children currently battling cancer 8777381234. Where Jimmy -- -- it more. Proposals to Marion alana and Lisa sure we a lot of guys that desperate that to Medina and the two of them the two of them are just the greatest the face. That what they do at the clinic case of the -- when you have Nick Leeson the -- prevalent in the patient and the star of the show. I'm. What more we could say you know no. If that as a movie to pick up the phone -- make a donation I don't know what would -- doctor George Dmitri is the senior vice president for experimental therapeutics. You know you of a very tough act to follow after a lot of I don't know that in -- -- -- these different do the opposite. Telling him what tell me what what experimental therapeutics are what do you do adopt a daily basis to help -- the dreaded disease. Well basically what we do is try to come up with new drugs that work better than the ultra -- years and years ago 1020 years ago and my parents were battling cancer. All we had were things that we found by hit or miss extracts from. You know plant leaves some dirt specimens that might kill some cancer cells but in the process hats -- side effects -- pretty impressive. Nowadays we understand much more about what's driving cancer where the short circuits where the wires crossed. And how could we develop drugs. That specifically shut off the circuits and are safe for the rest of the -- how the process get so much more efficient in the last ten or fifteen or twenty years you know we've learned so much more because of the war on cancer this thing going on since the early 1970s the investment this country in the world let's put into the science of understanding. Biology understanding cancer cells is finally able to be translated into new and effective drugs. That are safe pills that aren't so. Difficult to take that this sort of dreaded intravenous infusions all the time that -- people to come into the clinic so much more fun for music doctor. To see my patients to get McHale. And then just haven't come back once a month once every three months read it and see him every week when need to go through a lot of side. We who doctor that Roland said to us earlier in twenty years Google news you'll get rid of cancer but it -- -- -- bill. And it's control it's like. Avalon is trying to upstage again it but it did it that's that's -- two big event a horrible. Expect that really possible is that fairy tale it. It's really possible because we're already doing it with certain diseases certain kinds of leukemia and certain kinds of intestinal cancers literally I've been following some of my patients the last eleven years. Who would have been dead. Eleven years ago will not stand for this hill. That sort of started this revolution this one pill called -- back. Which was just the first of the match last week the FDA approved a new medicine for about 5% of people with lung cancer the week before that. They proved another pill for about six out of ten people have a type of melanoma. I mean these are untreatable cancers before and now it's coming fast and furious I think it's absolutely reality and it's our job Dana Farber. With the support of the very generous people in New England. To make that a reality we're all in this together. And right at a time when the economy's not great. And the government doesn't have a lot of money to put into the kind of research that we're doing it's more important than ever so that we can really bring this to the people that matter people in our own lives. Doctor to be too much of what you'd do deals with clinical trial it's correct correct. A great deal what you do it is their percentage of the book when you're ready to go to clinical trial obviously you're not necessarily confident but hopeful that this is going to be. And upgraded some former fashion with a -- fewer side effects were more efficient treatment. How often do they work out the way you want them to 10% 50% 80% what yet the old number. With one at a 1010%. Would actually succeed a horrible number up you know who would bet on that unit you bet a 110. That's terrible right -- nowadays if we use the science are trials are hopefully -- that more like 400 to 500. And it's a real predictive factor if we can predict what's gonna work and I can look at pace in the eye and say you know if you were my relative. I would absolutely enter this trial because the science says this should. Have a really good chance for working with you and that's with patients listened to become the Dana Farber for that kind of hope. And they trust us to use the science for their own benefit and this is happening right over there is happening right here in America right over the horizon lab coats are coming up -- medicine to. Cure cancer absolutely. And we're not doing it alone were part of whole international consortium this is some of which is coming out of universities like Harvard Dana Farber is the cancer node at Harvard University so we will reach into the expertise of the chemistry department at Harvard or if we needed. MIT's in counseling a lot of collaborations with them we have collaborations in Australia and France and China you name it we will use where we need -- to try to bring things to people. How much deuce side effects negative side effects impact and delay cures -- -- if you could wave a magic wand and said we can invent what we -- invent. And if there weren't side effects it would be bad. Would you be a lot further down the road. You know not really no cancer look at the drugs we've traditionally is twenty years ago side effects of traditional cancer chemotherapy were pretty bad right now in fact. In medicine there's some of the worst side effects of any medicines used to treat anything. So the fact is we started with a pretty well you know -- -- to implement the new drugs are much better tolerated these new pills. That make it's a little bit of trouble handing for example you know that's and I -- that well but again if it's saving your life it's something we're. Dealing yet specifically right now on this date would you really excited about and when you come back here next year you might have a good story to tell us we. Are so excited about lots of delays now we've just taken first baby steps towards doing that we will develop one drug for one disease but now we're starting to mix and match the drugs and that's where. I would actually be a little bit more optimistic even in chief scientific officer I still have cured my sites if we start to mix and match. These drugs once their FDA approved individually. I think curable com. By mixing them together into what is -- by personalized medicine the personalized medicine is simply understanding an individual's cancer and matching the right drug for that person. But that's matching one drug to one person if we say here's one person but now we need three different drugs yes and we wanna pick the right three for that person. That's will hopefully lead to more -- and that's that's hard to do. But that's why we have all the scientists were so good work you guys stumble across cures like I mean today maybe some cure a hangover something -- and hey -- The Viagra story how you record high blood pressure medicine and look what it sounds that -- noses and little involvement veteran. That don't work sometimes. Stumble across secure for something the only exactly in other words there's this one -- this until I mentioned before it was developed really it's something for the heart in workers' art -- -- -- really helps it make people with leukemia live longer and treat systemic that's -- technically live there. And it's a bunch of them. He -- doctor George -- senior vice president for experimental therapeutics thank you for the work you do think -- in time to talk with us today to thank you for -- -- -- -- 8777381234. -- -- -- -- -- all stars -- role -- -- -- these people donated. A lot of money including 15100 dollars we have 2500 dollars from heavily win Newcastle. New Hampshire about several aspect about. Mike Ribeiro -- mass 15100. Dollars John -- from South Weymouth. 15100. Dollars Jennifer Whitney -- -- a thousand dollars William Paul wall and 1000 dollars to take a bow thank you so much. -- now 8777381234. Gives other updated -- would meter. The RL insurance or is it 2191094. But that's -- -- -- violent movement alright this is the WEEI -- Jimmy -- radio telethon. Live from Fenway --

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