Cancer Commons Researchers Publish Molecular Disease Model for Lung Cancer

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cancer Commons, an open‐science initiative to personalize cancer treatments and accelerate research, announces the publication of a molecular disease model (MDM) for lung cancer. The paper, by Lisandra West, Ravi Salgia, and others will appear in the February 21st issue of PLoS ONE (http://www.plosone.org).

The lung cancer MDM classifies the disease into subtypes based on a tumor’s histology and its molecular profile. Each subtype is then linked to published clinical treatment guidelines and other proposed therapy options, including investigational agents available through clinical tests. This information can help physicians understand therapy options for individual patients based on their tumor’s molecular subtype. Going forward, the resulting clinical responses can be used to refine the model. The MDM is a living review article, maintained by experts and continually updated based on input from the entire cancer community. The most recent version is available online at:

Lung Cancer Molecular Disease Model

Cancer Commons has assembled an elite group of volunteer clinical and translational scientists to create MDMs for lung and other common cancers under the leadership of George Lundberg, MD, Cancer Commons Senior Advisor. The editorial process ensures a lack of bias and conflict of interest in the construction of these models from a scientific and medical perspective. Cancer Commons relies on organizations such as Pfizer Inc. for the financial support required to develop the models and make them freely available, as an educational and scientific resource.

“This molecular disease model for such a common serious cancer provides the opportunity for patients (even late stage) and their physicians to work together to access promising new therapies,” said Dr. George Lundberg, MD, former editor‐in‐chief of JAMA, and a member of the Cancer Commons Advisory Board.

“The Lung Cancer model supplies doctors and their patients with a clear, high‐level guide to how tumor genetics can be leveraged to inform treatment decisions. The model helps physicians evaluate options in designing an optimal treatment plan for their patients,” said Ravi Salgia, M.D., Chief Editor of the Lung Cancer MDM, and a Cancer Commons Advisory Board Member.

“CollabRx is very excited to have been a collaborator on this important open science initiative. Using technology to make the best science readily accessible to patients and their physicians in the rapidly emerging field of personalized medicine is the very reason we were founded,” said James Karis, CEO of CollabRx, a cancer informatics company that collaborated on the development of the MDM.

“Pfizer is committed to improving the standard of care for patients with lung cancer, and central to that commitment is our belief that each patient’s tumor is genetically unique,” said Dr. Martine George, Vice President of Global Medical Affairs, Pfizer Oncology. “In providing financial support for this important open-science initiative, we are aiming to help physicians and patients understand the therapeutic options that best fit the patient’s molecular profile, with the goal of delivering more effective, personalized care.”

About Cancer Commons 

Cancer Commons is a non‐profit open science initiative dedicated to improving outcomes for today’s cancer patients. Our goals are to: 1) give each patient the best possible outcome by individualizing their treatment based on their tumor’s genomic subtype; 2) learn as much as possible from each patient’s response, and 3) rapidly disseminate what is learned in time to help the next patient. More information is available at wwwold.cancercommons.org.


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Dr. Tenenbaum was a Speaker and Chairperson at Molecular Med Tri-Con’s 2012, Inagural Bioinformatics and Cancerinformatics Session on February 23, 2012, entitled:  ”Translating Biomarker Driven Cancer Treatments into Practice” at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA.  Dr. Tenenbaum’s session was entitled:  ”Cancer Commons – A Rapid Learning Community for Cancer”.

Molecular Med Tri-Con 2012


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View the Burrill Personalized Medicine Meeting Agenda.


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Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum is featured in a news segment that aired on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. CNN’s Dan Simon reports on how Tenenbaum developed Cancer Commons as a way for patients, clinicians, and scientists to come together to tackle cancer. Watch now:

See video at cnn.com.