Dr. Wilson H. Miller
Molecular war against cancer
Director, Clinical Research Unit
Jewish General Hospital, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
Dr. Miller is a visionary and a rare expert in the use of molecular therapy to kill cancer cells. A native of Kansas City, he chose to settle in Quebec more than 25 years ago because he found the ideal conditions for his research work at the Jewish General Hospital and at McGill University.
Searching for a cure
Always on the lookout for new ideas to kill cancer cells, the oncologist quickly specialized in phase I clinical trials to monitor the development of promising experimental drugs through all clinical trial phases.
“We have been fortunate to make rapid progress over the past decade with the discovery of targeted therapy and immunotherapy, which awakens the immune system to kill tumours. These two very different approaches have revolutionized the care of cancer patients. Today, we are combining them to increase their effectiveness and reduce side effects. We have a lot of clinical trials underway. It’s really exciting,” he says enthusiastically.
“My main interest is to find new drugs that will transform cancer treatment.”
Finding innovative treatments
A pioneer in early clinical trials in oncology, Dr. Miller was involved in all trials for ipilimumab, the first immunotherapy treatment. He also contributed to the development of other immune checkpoint inhibitors, including PD-1 inhibitors.
The molecular oncologist is also pushing the boundaries of targeted gene therapy with the WHINTER study, which aims to improve the survival of patients with advanced cancer by identifying the genes that are responsible for tumour growth in each patient.
Under Dr. Miller’s leadership, the Clinical Research Unit at the Jewish General Hospital – Lady Davis Institute’s Segal Cancer Centre is a global benchmark for the training of clinician-researchers. Most of them return to their home countries. For his part, Dr. Miller pursues his quest, relentlessly looking for new ideas and partnership opportunities for phase I clinical trials that could revolutionize cancer treatment.