A Message from Marty Tenenbaum
Cancer Commons is a nonprofit organization building Rapid Learning Communities comprising researchers, patients, and physicians. We are dedicated to advancing precision therapies by developing a ‘commons’ that collects diagnoses, biomarkers, treatments, and outcomes for patients who fall outside the standard of care. This data is analyzed and discussed by leading clinicians and researchers, with insights from patients, to reach consensus on which treatments are most appropriate for individual patients.
Cancer Commons was born out of personal necessity. A decade ago, I was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, a disease that had no effective therapies and a dire prognosis. I initially consulted several local oncologists, all of whom had different recommendations. I then undertook a nationwide search for clinical trials, several of which appeared promising. But no one could answer the key question on any patient’s mind: which treatment or trial is likely to work best for me? I gathered all the information I could and made an informed guess, betting my life on a vaccine trial that ultimately failed. Still, some participants in that trial responded well. I was fortunate to be one of them. Why did the vaccine work for me and not for others? Thanks to the genomics revolution and related technologies, such as computational and systems biology, we now have the means to answer such questions and, more importantly, to predict which treatments are likely to work best for an individual cancer patient. But we can’t do it without data — from you and thousands of other patients and physicians. If you are interested in joining our mission by contributing data, participating in discussions, or volunteering in other ways, email us at email@example.com