Craig Jordan - Father of Tamoxifen
“Mothers have seen their children grow up. Grandmothers have seen their grandchildren grow up. That never happened before 1975, when chemotherapy was going to cure everything, and it didn't.
I was going to spend my career looking at the good, bad and the ugly. We needed to find out everything we could about Tamoxifen, so we did no harm. We were going to give it forever. Then, we better be sure that it's going to be safe.
How do we give the drug? They want to give it for a couple of years. I did experiences. I said that you've got to give it forever. Five years at least and we worked out exactly the strategy to use target, only those tumors that have estrogen receptors. It was the first targeted therapy.”
The result of that is that today we have an embarrassment of riches with many dozens of new targeted agents that have revolutionized the management of cancers, not only breast cancer but all types of cancer.
Although, Professor Jordan is known widely in the scientific community as a towering figure, mentees and colleagues know him for something that is more special, which is his character, his leadership, his mentorship, he has this enthusiasm. That is really remarkable to see in a scientist, who has been through all the ups and downs in science.
“The passion of discovery is taking the ideas that you have and seeing how far you can go. Can we figure out what it is that stopping those cancer cells from going through cell death and be able to switch that on? Let's try and find a druggable product that can say to cancer cell die.”