In 1998, I was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, a disease with a dire prognosis and no known effective therapies. I set forth on a desperate quest, consulting over a dozen leading oncologists. They agreed on only one thing – the dire prognosis.
When pushed for treatment options and clinical trials, their recommendations for a “miracle cure” varied widely. No one could answer the big question on any patient’s mind, “Which treatment option or trial is likely to work best for me?”
Since there was no data, I gathered all the information I could and bet my life on an experimental vaccine. While that trial ultimately failed, I was among the fortunate few who responded and survived. But winning that lottery only raised more questions:
Why did this therapy work for me but not for others? Was response to cancer therapies more personal than was generally thought, and if so, how could that response be predicted? Could my experience help similar patients find the cure they need?
It was life-saving knowledge. And it needed to be shared.
Welcome to Cancer Commons.
Marty Tenenbaum, Founder