Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum wrote a letter to the editor that has now been published in The Economist. His piece discusses the importance of using data to accelerate improvement of cancer treatment. From the letter:
“The oncology drug pipeline is full of promising immunotherapies and targeted treatments (Technology Quarterly on cancer, September 16th). Unfortunately, no one knows the optimal way to use them. Doctors and patients alike struggle with conflicting expert opinions and the information overload. Moreover, a cure will probably involve intelligent combinations of remedies, and there are far more plausible regimens than there are patients available to test them in clinical trials. Treatments, outcomes and quality of life vary widely across institutions, falling off sharply from elite cancer centres to rural, disadvantaged and third-world communities. Continue reading…
A little more than four years ago, longtime friends Tom and Carman Duvall, and Kiers and Steve Rowley reminisced at dinner about their lives in the 1980s, long before their schedules had grown complicated and filled with endless trips driving children to various activities.
Tom, a child of 1980s rock and roll, wondered aloud whether Def Leppard might perform for them on his next birthday. Conversation meandered during the evening, and when the check arrived, Tom and Steve advised Kiers and Carman that a date had been set for a rock concert on the Duvall property in Independence, Missouri, and that it would be a fundraising event to support patients suffering with cancer. Kiers, who’d struggled with lung cancer for the past five years, and Carman announced “We’re in.” So began an all-day-long summer music festival and tradition resembling Woodstock, that the four friends named Tomstock. Continue reading…
In the PMWC 2017 discussion, Dr. Tenenbaum focused on the question: When faced with certain death, is it acceptable to accept less than 100% proven safety and efficacy? Patients with glioblastoma and certain other cancers with dire prognoses do not have the time to wait for new treatments to be fully approved by the FDA. Is it time to add ‘conditional approval’ as an additional pathway to approval for these patients? In the session, he described a plan that will be proposed by which the FDA could “conditionally approve” a treatment that has been proven safe in a clinical trial(s) with at least 25 patients, and has demonstrated biologic activity. Therefore, this treatment could not be denied by insurance as being “experimental.”
Last week, Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum spoke at the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) in Durham, NC. He presented a proposal to significantly accelerate patient access to promising investigational drugs, using a new pathway to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The proposed Conditional Approval pathway aims to help cancer patients who may have exhausted existing options access new, promising treatments.
“It’s an idea whose time has come, and the conference provided strong validation, including some personal communications from several prominent FDA officials (past and present) who were in attendance,” Marty says. “We are currently in discussions with the FDA, and hope to be able to pilot Conditional Approval in brain cancer where the prognosis is dire.”
Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum, Ph.D., will speak at the upcoming Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) in Durham, NC, which runs May 24–25. Marty, who founded Cancer Commons after his own battle with melanoma, will discuss the organization’s ongoing efforts to address challenges to knowledge-sharing in precision oncology.
Read the synopsis of Marty’s presentation, entitled “Is An Additional Path to FDA Approval Possible?”:
This talk will explore the question: When faced with certain death, it is acceptable to accept less than 100% proven safety and efficacy?Patients with glioblastoma and certain other cancers with dire prognoses do not have the time to wait for new treatments to be fully approved by the FDA. Is it time to add “conditional approval” as an additional pathway to approval for these patients? In this session, a plan will be proposed by which the FDA could conditionally approve a treatment that has been proven safe in a clinical trial(s) with at least 25 patients, and has demonstrated biologic activity. Therefore, this treatment could not be denied by insurance as being “experimental”. However, the requires patients using these drugs to participate in a registry through which their physicians submit details on the treatments, side effects and outcomes. The FDA’s periodic review of the registry data would lead to a range of outcomes from full approval to the conditional approval being revoked.
Marty’s talk takes place on May 24 at 2:45 pm. For more information, visit the PMWC website.
We’re thrilled to announce that South by Southwest (SXSW) has named Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum a 2016 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award Honoree. Marty joins nine other remarkable honorees, all of whom use digital technology to help others. They were selected based on their qualities of “community, compassion, care, education and positive energy.”
Marty—along with the other awardees—will share his story on March 13, 2016 in Austin, TX.
Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum spoke last weekend at Medicine X, Stanford University’s conference for new ideas in medicine and healthcare. He told the story of his personal melanoma fight, and how difficult it was to find the information he needed to beat his cancer. This experience led him to found Cancer Commons, with the goal of developing a rapid learning platform to help patients explore their options and make the best, most personalized decisions about their cancer care.
The Arizona Capitol Times tells the story of how Marty Tenenbaum’s personal experience with cancer led him to found Cancer Commons:
The result of Tenenbaum’s quest for effective personalized medicine is the nonprofit network of patients, doctors and scientists known as Cancer Commons. The organization’s mission is to ensure that patients and physicians have the knowledge they need to make the best possible personalized treatment decisions while continuously updating that knowledge based on each patient’s response.
The project is ongoing for Tenenbaum and his staff, since the more information they gather from individual cancer patients, the more specific – and effective – their treatments can be.
“It’s what gets me up every morning. It’s huge,” he said.
Update: This event has passed, but you can watch the full conversation here:
See Cancer Commons founder Marty Tenenbaum discuss “Big Questions, Big Data, and Big Science” on March 19 in Phoenix, Arizona. The event is hosted by AZBio, and will feature Marty in conversation with Joshua LaBaer, MD, PhD, of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. Visit the event page to learn more and register to attend.