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About ICare
Who is ICare?

The International Cancer Alliance for Research and Education (ICARE) is a non-profit organization, 501(c) (3), that supports, initiates and directs cutting edge cancer research projects and provides high-quality, focused, user-friendly cancer information to each patient as well as their physician on an ongoing, personalized basis.

Our Mission

ICARE is devoted to creating investigative partnerships among patients, physicians, and cancer researchers. Toward this end, the mission of ICARE is threefold:

  • To increase the flow of new, life-saving therapy information to cancer patients and their doctors. To convene investigative teams (I-Teams), composed of the world's top doctors, scientists, students and patients/advocates, that will attempt to define all available therapy options for the specific cancers represented in that team.
  • To hasten the movement of new therapy research from the laboratory to the patient through support of clinical trials and research.
  • To serve as an active advocate for creativity and innovative thinking in cancer research.
The KEY is to Triangulate the best minds in science, medicine and society to think/act to create the best chance of survival for individual Cancer Patients
ICare is here to help YOU build YOUR triangle so you can make the most well-informed therapeutic decisions possible on your "road to recovery". 

 

ICare's NEW Approach to Cancer Patient Care and to Therapy Development Through the I-TEAM Process

In the traditional cancer treatment scenario, the physician is the principal and often the sole provider of information on therapy options. However, it is difficult even for the most diligent physician to keep up with treatment advances, promising clinical trials and new therapy options. ICARE seeks to work with you and your doctor to insure that all available and approved therapeutic options are considered in designing your treatment plan.  In addition, there are currently few mechanisms for community doctors and their cancer patients to provide feedback, support and inspiration to the very people who are responsible for new drug discovery --- the academic and industry scientist around the globe.

Therefore, the International Cancer Alliance for Research and Education (ICARE), a non-profit organization, 501(c) (3), was initiated in 1985 in Bethesda, MD by several prominent cancer scientists from around the world. ICARE was originally organized as a vehicle for cancer “think tanks” that focused on identifying obstacles to creativity and innovation in cancer research laboratories.  Over the years, ICARE created numerous information and research programs designed to increase patient survival by increasing the flow of therapy information to doctors and patients alike.  In general, ICARE’s symposia, its clinical trial matching programs, and its publications (Cancer Therapy Reviews, Pharmaceutical Updates, Etc.) targeted broad audiences of cancer patient and their families. 

In recent years however, ICARE’s programs began to shift in focus from just providing therapy information to patients to identifying, initiating, and funding cutting-edge research projects targeting the tumors of individual patients.  These innovative projects emphasized research strategies that could directly lead to discovery and faster development of therapies that had much higher efficacy and less toxicity.  This shift was accelerated in 2010 when some of the ICARE global scientists accepted the challenge of partnering with individual cancer patients and their doctors to form a type of “Manhattan Project” that would try and find viable solutions in “real time” for immediate clinical issues facing the doctor and patient.

In particular from 2010 to 2012, ICARE was recruited and funded to establish personalized medical research projects on behalf 3 individuals with advanced cancers --- the first with a rare form of liver cancer and the second and third with two different types of metastatic melanoma.  During that period, a ten-step innovative research process (the I-Team Process) evolved that led to the discovery and evaluation of more than thirty new drugs or approaches to be considered by the doctors of these three individuals.  

It should be noted that, in less than two years, with limited, but unrestricted funding, ICARE recruited a team of more than 40 world class scientists to focus their expertise and lab work on the urgent therapy needs of individual cancer patients.  As a result, over 30 new therapeutic approaches have been discovered and many of these are currently in the clinical pipeline.  Many of the new options are applicable to other types of cancer. In addition, new targets and ideas for new therapies continue to emanate from I-Team collaborative projects.  

 Thus, ICARE is currently addressing its mission objectives by creating “individual” investigative partnerships which begin with one patient, one doctor and one cancer researcher.  As global participants are added, these Investigative Teams (I-Teams)  allow individual patients and their doctors to participate in real-time, personalized academic research projects that are driven by patient needs and are not limited by institutional and national boundaries. These I-Team medical research projects, conducted under the full guidance of FDA human research policies, currently constitute the majority of ICARE efforts to achieve its three-part mission.  The discovery objectives of the  I-Team process are: 

The objectives of each I-Team are to:

 

1)      Identify ALL potential therapeutic options around the globe that might helf the doctor treat this particular patient. To the extent that time and money will allow, every option should at least be considered even if it has not been used for the I-Team cancer type.

The options can be drawn from four categories:

a.       Standard medicine (i.e. FDA approved) 

b.      Clinical Trial

c.       Cutting-Edge, pre-clinical research options that are currently in development

d.      Creation of new agents or technology options through insight gained from the personalized I-Team research collaboration. 

2)      Evaluate any supportive data and where possible, test each option in credible, informative, pre-clinical biological models.

3)      Personalize, through biological and genetic testing on fixed, frozen or living tumor specimens. Try to predict and prioritize which options are most likely to work for this particular patient.

4)      Accelerate rapid clinical development of, and access to agents which hold promise for the I-Team patient.

ICARE invites you to join and/or support the I-TEAM PROCESS and our campaign to test our hypothesis that "Creativity, and perhaps only creativity, will lead to treatment solutions for someone you love".




 
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