Cancer Commons Leadership to Speak at Precision Medicine World Conference—Patients Welcome!

Cancer Commons leadership, including founder Marty Tenenbaum, executive director Erika Vial Monteverdi, and editor in chief George Lundberg, are speaking at the 2019 Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) in Silicon Valley. Every year, the conference attracts doctors, innovators, and patients “to learn first-hand about the latest developments and advancements in precision medicine and cutting-edge new strategies and solutions that are changing how patients are treated.”

On January 22 at 8:45 am, Marty will lead a panel discussing the potential of real-world evidence to inform research and clinical decision making: “Traditionally, the majority of evidence regarding the benefits and risks of cancer treatments is derived from clinical trial populations. However, the vast majority of cancer patients receive treatment outside the context of clinical trials. There is tremendous motivation to evaluate the benefits and risks of cancer treatments delivered in the context of ‘real world’ care. Real-world evidence (RWE) is typically defined as treatment that is not delivered in accordance with an investigational protocol and therefore lacks clearly specified endpoints and assessment intervals for determining benefit. This session will cover opportunities and challenges in using real-world evidence to inform clinical decision making in cancer. The session will review opportunities and challenges in defining real world endpoints and the development of methods and analytical tools capable of generating insights from RWE.” Continue reading…


Happy Holidays from Cancer Commons


Erika Vial Monteverdi

The holiday season is an excellent time to reflect on the successes of the past year while looking forward to opportunities in the rapidly approaching new year.

We want to express our deepest appreciation to the Cancer Commons community; everyone’s involvement and support have been integral to our progress and success this year.

Our mission of leveraging the world’s best cancer knowledge to help advanced cancer patients and their physicians make optimal treatment decisions is particularly relevant in today’s rapidly evolving oncology landscape. Almost every day, we hear about some new molecular pathway that may hold the potential to inspire a novel therapeutic strategy. Too often, no one knows the optimal way to use available therapies, as there are too few patients and too many combinations of therapies possible. Continue reading…


Marty Tenenbaum to Speak at NYC Oncology Investor Conference

Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum, PhD, will speak at the NYC Oncology Investor Conference on October 30. Marty, who founded Cancer Commons after his own battle with melanoma, will discuss the potential for artificial intelligence to help find better cancer treatments.

Read the synopsis of Marty’s presentation, “Can AI Cure Cancer?”:
No one knows the optimal way to treat any cancer with currently available therapies. When clinical advances are made, it can take years for you and your doctor to find out about them. Getting access to breakthrough therapies, in a clinical trial or through expanded access, is problematic. Developing a new drug from scratch can take a decade or more and cost upwards of a billion dollars. AI can help. I will outline a plan, with the potential to save many thousands of lives, and a strategy for funding it through philanthropy and impact investing.

The NYC Oncology Investor Conference brings together “leading life science and oncology venture capitalists, family offices, lawyers, pharma executives, startup public and private cancer companies, and cancer foundations for a discussion of trends, opportunities, and risks in oncology investing, corporate presentations by a select group of public and private oncology companies, and updates on cutting edge science.”

Marty’s talk takes place on October 30 at 1:30pm Eastern time. Learn more about the NYC Oncology Investor Conference.


Patient Foundation Collaboration to Advance ONC201 in DIPG and other H3 K27M-mutant Gliomas

Musella Foundation, Cancer Commons, xCures and Oncoceutics announced the initiation of a collaboration to develop ONC201 as a new treatment for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and other H3 K27M-mutant gliomas.

Critical to the collaboration is $1M in funding from The Musella Foundation, Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation and The Cure Starts Now Foundation. Cancer Commons and xCures will contribute additional resources to the success of the collaboration. “The Musella Foundation, Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation and The Cures Starts Now Foundation are excited to partner with Oncoceutics to translate a new molecularly-targeted therapeutic concept,” said Al Musella, DPM, President and Founder of the Musella Foundation.

Due to the tumor location within the midline region of the brain, as well as patients with a specific mutation called H3 K27M, patients often have significant neurological symptoms from their disease. There are no proven therapeutic options other than palliative radiotherapy. However, emerging clinical results have shown that some patients with H3 K27M-mutant glioma treated with single agent ONC201 have had their tumor stabilize or shrink and have had improvements in neurological symptoms, such as paralyses of peripheral and cranial nerves. Continue reading…


Tomstock: 5 Years of “Rockin’ for a Cure”

Last Saturday, Cancer Commons joined nearly 2,000 guests in Independence, MO, for a day full of music and celebration. Called Tomstock, this private, annual music festival raised more than $100,000 for the H8 Cancer Foundation, which in turn generously supports Cancer Commons.

Tomstock began five years ago when longtime friends Tom and Carman Duvall, and Kiers and Steve Rowley decided to host an event to support patients dealing with cancer. Since then, the festival has grown in both size and impact; since its first year, it has raised more than $500K.

In May of this year, the Cancer Commons staff was deeply saddened to learn that Kiers, who had used our ASK Cancer Commons service for her own disease, had passed away from cancer. Last year at Tomstock 2017, Kiers had joined one of the performing bands in a duet of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” This year, her daughter Chandler sang the same song in a touching tribute.

In the spirit of “Don’t Stop Believin’,” we at Cancer Commons are extremely grateful to the H8 Cancer Foundation for its support, to the Rowley and Duvall families, and to every rocker who attended Tomstock 2018. We hope the Tomstock story inspires you to join the Cancer Commons family in contributing to better treatment options for all cancer patients.

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Click here to donate now.

For more photos of Tomstock 2018, see H8Cancer.org’s Facebook page.


Cancer Commons Welcomes New Executive Director Erika Vial Monteverdi

Cancer Commons is happy to announce that Erika Vial Monteverdi has accepted the new position of Executive Director. Erika has played a central role at the organization since 2016. As Executive Director, she is now responsible for overseeing the growth and operations of Cancer Commons, one of Silicon Valley’s only nonprofits focused on serving cancer patients globally through aligning incentives around the patient to produce better outcomes.

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity and confident I’ll make a significant and lasting impact on the organization as we work towards our vision of transforming oncology and delivering on our mission to give people who have cancer their lives back,” Erika says.

In her new position, Erika will work to maintain and advance Cancer Commons’ role as one of the leading cancer knowledge networks today. This network brings together the world’s top cancer experts, advisors, pharmaceutical innovators, oncologists, and patient communities, all focused on delivering the best treatment option to each person with cancer, at a global scale.

Erika earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, where she double majored in Political Science and Economics, and received her International MBA from SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy, one of the most prestigious business schools in the world. Erika is fluent in three languages, a mother of three, and is committed to helping the lives of others while making an impact on the organizations she serves.

See Erika on LinkedIn.


Marty Tenenbaum Speaks at MIT/Washington University Conference on Biomedical Innovation

Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum, Ph.D., spoke on May 31 at Washington University in St. Louis during an invitation-only conference focused on new approaches to biomedical innovation. Marty, who founded Cancer Commons after his own battle with melanoma, participated in the “Opportunities and Challenges in Oncology Therapeutic Development” session, which explored promising new innovations that have not yet received the attention they merit.

During the session, Marty discussed the promise of Virtual Trials and Conditional Approval. Virtual Trials capture treatment and outcome data at the point of care, and use that information to inform future treatment decisions, thereby transforming the everyday practice of oncology into a global adaptive search for better treatments and cures. Conditional Approval facilitates drug access by creating a new regulatory pathway whereby any physician can treat an advanced cancer patient with promising investigational drugs that have demonstrated safety and a biological effect in a small group of patients.


Marty Tenenbaum to Speak at Stanford AI Salon on May 11

Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum, Ph.D., will speak May 11 at the Stanford AI Salon, a regular event hosted by the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Marty, who founded Cancer Commons after his own battle with melanoma, will discuss the potential for artificial intelligence to help find better cancer treatments in a talk titled “How can AI cure cancer?”

According to the event website, “AI Salon is a roughly bi-weekly event on Fridays where the AI Lab gathers to discuss high-level topics in AI and machine learning. The goal is to encourage ourselves to think beyond our individual day-to-day research, and better see how our work fits into the long-term trajectory of scientific progress, and into society as a whole. Each Salon has a different topic for discussion, which is led by two speakers: typically one expert guest, and one AI Lab member. We hold the event in the spirit of Enlightenment-era salons, with no electronics or whiteboard allowed: only free-ranging discussion among attendees, starting with a 10-minute opening statement from the two speakers.”

Marty’s talk takes place on May 11 at 3:45 pm. Learn more about AI Salon.


Marty Tenenbaum to Speak at Bio-IT World Conference on May 16

Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum, Ph.D., will speak at the upcoming Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston, which runs May 15 to 18. Marty, who founded Cancer Commons after his own battle with melanoma, will discuss the potential for artificial intelligence to help find better cancer treatments.

Read the synopsis of Marty’s presentation, entitled “Can AI Beat Cancer?“:

AI can beat go and drive cars, but can it beat cancer? Every year, many thousands of cancer patients die unnecessarily because their doctors do not know the optimal way to treat them with currently available therapies. Physicians and patients alike struggle with information overload and conflicting expert opinions in making treatment decisions. Moreover, effective treatments increasingly involve intelligently designed, individually tailored, sequences and combinations, and there are far more plausible multi-drug regimens than can be efficiently tested in clinical trials. AI can help by connecting physicians and patients to the right information at the right time, and by planning and coordinating the thousands of formal and informal treatment experiments that take place daily in oncology, to optimize individual outcomes and maximize collective knowledge. We will describe a developing global collaboration to realize this bold vision, involving leading oncologists, cancer and data scientists, and AI experts from both academia and industry, and discuss opportunities for all to participate.

Marty’s talk takes place on May 16 at 11:00am. Learn more about the conference.