These researchers dedicate their careers to finding new treatments and cures for people with cancer.
Research in the Lab Leads to Better Care for People with Cancer
How does the immune system interact with a tumor? And what does the tumor do back?
These are the questions that motivate Dr. Luke.
Dr. Luke meets patients when they have exhausted nearly all other options. Time in the lab lends confidence to his collaborative approach to guiding patients through difficult decisions.
“I try to think about how I actually tell the person and get the information to them in a way that they’ll actually be able to hear it,” says Dr. Luke. “Some things that we say aren’t hearable, and nobody wants to hear them.”
Though he considers himself a doctor first and a researcher second, his work is fueled by searching out the breakthroughs that patients need.
“All this research in clinical trials is to get new drugs. In the end, this is the piece that is most important to me,” he says. “The biggest success in my career has been contributing to the massive improvements in the treatments available for patients with advanced melanoma. Since 2011, there have been 13 FDA approvals of new drugs or new combinations of drugs. As someone who works on drug development from first-in-human all the way to approval, it’s been tremendously satisfying to see the science from the laboratory become treatments for patients. And I don’t really know what’s more meaningful than getting years out from that and realizing that it really did work.”