In this week's 60 Minutes story, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- on assignment for 60 Minutes -- profiles Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who has invested nearly a billion dollars of his own money to help find a better way to treat cancer.
60 Minutes producer Draggan Mihailovich tells 60 Minutes Overtime that the most challenging aspect of this profile was to give viewers a sense of what goes on in Dr. Pat's brain.
The following is a script of the video produced for 60 Minutes Overtime by Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson and Lisa Orlando.
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: We now have patients with pancreatic cancer that are free of metatheses for five years. How many people know of that?]
That's Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. This week on 60 Minutes Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiles the renowned doctor and entrepreneur who is shaking up the cancer world with a revolutionary approach to treatment. Dr. Soon-Shiong, also known as Dr. Pat, is not just the wealthiest man in Los Angeles; he's a partial owner of the Lakers. And a familiar face in the team's training room.
[Sanjay Gupta: Is Dr. Pat good luck for you when he's here?]
[Kobe Bryant: Yeah, we have our routine that we do every game, for every game.]
Sanjay Gupta: If you watch Lakers games, Kobe Bryant gives a hug to one guy before the game actually starts, that's our guy.
[Sanjay Gupta: Seems to be working pretty well?]
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: Well, it is.three more to go?]
[Kobe Bryant: Yeah.]
Draggan Mihailovich: You're talking about a city that thrives on celebrity and status.
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: He's neither.
Draggan Mihailovich: He's neither. You know, most people have no idea. They think it's somebody involved in the entertainment industry. Or, you know, a movie producer or, you know, even an actor. And it's Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.
[Kobe Bryant: See you out there.]
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: See you soon.]
Draggan Mihailovich: I'm Draggan Mihailovich. And I'm the producer of the story, Disrupting Cancer.
Sanjay Gupta: I think Dr. Soon-Shiong is one of these guys who is probably used to having been the smartest guy in the room probably from a very young age.
One of the biggest challenges for Gupta and Mihailovich was how to give viewers a sense of what goes on in the mind of a medical genius.
[How does Abraxane work?]
They began by asking him about his ground-breaking cancer drug Abraxane.
Draggan Mihailovich: There was a white board there. He takes a marker and he starts, you know, as you saw at the beginning of the piece, and off he went. And this goes on for 45 minutes. I mean, it was as if your kid took, like, a bowl of spaghetti and threw it up against a white wall.
Sanjay Gupta: It was this idea that cancer patients lose weight. But why do they lose weight? Even if they eat the same number of calories or even double the calories that they used to eat, they could still be losing weight. Why? What Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong was sort of thinking about was it's the protein in the blood that is just sucked up by these cancers. So if the cancers love proteins so much, here's an idea. Let's stick the chemotherapy in the protein, and the protein's now a Trojan horse around the chemo. So the cancer is happy. It's being fed. It's getting all this protein. Boom. Chemo goes off on the tumor. And all of a sudden, you got a very, very effective, potentially, therapy.
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: We have it approved in breast cancer, we have it approved in lung cancer and were talking about patients in pancreatic cancer, and melanoma.]
Sanjay Gupta: That's Dr. Patrick's mind.
Dr. Soon-Shiong believes that the conventional approach to classifying cancer according to its location in the body is short-sighted. He says it's the mutation of the gene, what made it go haywire, that matters.
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: We need to reclassify cancers now to its molecular fingerprints.]
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: He's not just thinking out of the box. I mean, he's creating a revolution.
Sanjay Gupta: He's absolutely creating a revolution, and it involves so many different facets that are not just medicine. Quick example, when you're talking about sequencing genomes of many, many patients -- around the United States and around the world, that is a lot of data, you're talking about 6 billion pieces of information for each patient. Right now, we move things through the Information Superhighway at about megabytes per second. He's talking about wanting to do that in petabytes per second.
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: Never heard of that.
Sanjay Gupta: You got megabytes. 1,000 megabytes is a gigabyte. 1,000 gigabytes is a terabyte. 1,000 terabytes is a petabyte. So you're talking, you know, exponentially, more data per second. And he's basically figured out ways and funded ways to make that happen. That's part of what a revolution looks like.
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: Here we have the world's fastest video camera, what we've done is to take the power of optics or the sun and created a rainbow from laser light.]
Draggan Mihailovich: He's involved in the technology. He's involved in immunotherapy.
[Sanjay Gupta: So you're literally watching cancer cells die here?]
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: Correct.]
Draggan Mihailovich: He's involved in circulating tumor cells. You know, he's involved in metastatic cancers. He's still involved in some respect with his original drug, Abraxane, and how that's used in combination therapies. And the brain is always working with Patrick.
[Sanjay Gupta: Is there anything like this right now? I mean, is anyone doing this sort of.]
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: No, it's in our lab. This is what you call the clinical translation world where 21st century exists today.]
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: He comes across as incredibly confident and, if one has cancer, is he the only game in town?
Sanjay Gupta: I don't think Doctor Pat is the only game in town, by any means. I think he's someone who's looking at trying to disrupt the whole system. I think there are a lot of great oncologists out there, and frankly, there are a lot of oncologists who not only believe what he's doing is the right thing to do, but they're doing it themselves. They're doing it; it's just its smaller scales. Patrick's, sort of, belief is, "Look, I already think that this is what's going to work."
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: He's screaming it from the rooftops.
Sanjay Gupta: Screaming it from the rooftops, spending his own money.
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: Well, I haven't really counted, but it's close to a billion dollars.]
[Sanjay Gupta: A billion dollars?]
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: Billion dollars.]
[Sanjay Gupta: Where's the government in all of this?]
[Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: Trust me, we tried. You know, since 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, I was in Washington, I was at the White House, I was at Congress, I was everywhere. We have not received one penny of funding.]
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: Is he an easily accessible physician?
Sanjay Gupta: There were times when I'd be riding along with him, his phone would ring and, it would be somebody who had been, sort of, referred to him by somebody, you know, one of those situations. And he'd be on the phone with them for 15-20 minutes. "Here's what I think you need to do."
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson: For the hundreds of thousands of people on chemotherapy, Dr. Soon-Shiong is not saying, "Stop what you're doing." But he's pretty much on the edge of that.
Draggan Mihailovich: What he's saying is, "Ask questions." You know, is this the right thing to do. Because more and more what scientists and oncologists will tell you is that perhaps in some cancers, and I'm gonna qualify this. In some cancers, a heavy blast of chemotherapy may not necessarily be, you know, the long-term answer.
Video from inside the Staples Center courtesy of NBA Entertainment