Yesterday I linked you to a story about ongoing attempts to improve access to cancer research information,
Another Attempt To Link Cancer Researchers & Physicians.
Toward the end of the article, a new info sharing site was mentioned, http://www.cancercommons.org/.
I saw an interview with the site’s founder on MSNBC Tuesday morning. Here is an explanation about what the site is all about from Cancer Commons homepage:
Why Cancer Commons?
Modern molecular biology supports the hypothesis that cancer is actually hundreds or thousands of rare diseases, and that every patient’s tumor is unique. Although there is a rapidly growing arsenal of targeted cancer therapies that can be highly effective in specific subpopulations, the pharmaceutical industry continues to rely on large-scale randomized clinical trials that test drugs in heterogeneous populations. Such trials have an unacceptably high failure rate, approaching 70% because they don’t account for individual treatment responses. On the other hand, an estimated 70% of all cancer drugs are used off-label in cocktails based on each individual physician’s experience, as if the nation’s 30,000 oncologists are engaged in a gigantic uncontrolled and unobserved experiment, involving hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from an undetermined number of diseases. What if these informal experiments could be coordinated into a giant adaptive search for better, individualized treatments?
A worthwhile goal! Unfortunately, I navigated my way around the site and found it to be surprisingly basic. This is a good thing–except I guess I expected more.
To be fair, the site has just been launched. But to get pub from network television and the Washington Post, you would think the Cancer Commons.org site would “blow your socks off!”
Go to http://www.cancercommons.org/ and see what you think. I will re-visit the site in the near future and report back on their progress.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat