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Our Founder

Cancer Commons – Born from Necessity



In 1998, Marty Tenenbaum was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, a disease with no known effective therapies. After receiving various recommendations from leading oncologists (each with a dire prognosis), Marty set forth on a desperate quest. A search for clinical trials that appeared to have promising results. But nobody could answer the big question on any patient’s mind, “Which treatment or trial is likely to work best for me?” So Marty gathered all the information he could and bet his life on an experimental vaccine. While the trial ultimately failed, Marty was one of the fortunate few who responded well and survived. But this “modern miracle” only raised more questions with Marty. Why did this drug work for him but not others? Was cancer more personal he thought? Could one patient’s story help similar patients lost in a sea of treatment options? It was life saving knowledge. And it needed to be shared.


Welcome to Cancer Commons. We are a nonprofit collecting and learning from real cancer stories to give patients the information they need. Our mission is to apply the latest scientific knowledge to identify the best available resources, based on each patient’s distinct profile. Read more about our mission.