Cancer comes in many forms: lung cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and so on. But each of these broad categories can be further divided into “molecular” subtypes. For example, one person’s lung cancer may have a mutation in a gene called EGFR, while another lung cancer patient may have a mutation in a different gene called ALK. Because these two patients have different subtypes of lung cancer, they may be prescribed different treatments.

Doctors and scientists have already sorted out many of these subtypes, but ongoing research continues to reveal newly discovered mutations that point to new subtypes and new treatments. Cancer Commons’ Chief Scientist has worked with other leading oncologists to review and compile the latest research into “consensus models” for lung cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer. These models describe the molecular underpinnings of these diseases, and how different mutations and other molecular-scale changes are used to develop different treatments. The consensus models are the scientific foundation of the information Cancer Commons provides to lung cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer patients, and they will be updated as new insights emerge.

Consensus Models

Lung Cancer


Prostate Cancer

Previously Published Consensus Models

A Novel Classification of Lung Cancer into Molecular Subtypes. West L, Vidwans SJ, Campbell NP, Shrager J, Simon GR, Bueno R, Dennis PA, Otterson GA, Salgia R. PLoS ONE. Feb 21, 2012. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031906

A Melanoma Molecular Disease Model. Vidwans SJ, Flaherty KT, Fisher DE, Tenenbaum JM, Travers MD, Shrager J. PLoS ONE. Mar 30, 2011. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018257

Founder’s Publications

Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum has published papers on a variety of methods to accelerate cancer research:

Rapid Learning for Precision Oncology. Tenenbaum JM and Shrager J. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. pp. 109-118. Jan 21, 2014.

The Cancer Megafund: A Catalyst for Disruptive Innovation. Tenenbaum JM. Nature Biotechnology. pp. 491-492. Jun 10, 2013.

Cancer: A Computational Disease That AI Can Cure. Tenenbaum JM and Shrager J. AAAI Magazine. pp. 14-26. Summer 2011.

Cancer Commons: Biomedicine in the Internet Age. Shrager J, Tenenbaum JM, and Travers M. Collaborative Computational Technologies for Biomedical Research, (Sean Elkins, Maggie Hupcey, and Antony Williams Eds). Wiley, 2010.

Health Commons: Therapy Development in a Networked World. Tenenbaum JM, Wilbanks J.  White paper. May, 2008.