What is an Investigative Team?
An Investigative Team (I-Team) is the triangulation of local doctors, patients, and research scientists. Upon formation, there are four objectives which is to (1) Identify, (2) Evaluate, (3) Personalize, and (4) Accelerate treatment options for the patient. These options not only come from standard of care, but also clinical trials and emerging technology and therapy. Moreover they are more comprehensive, for the team expands to include international scientists, advocates, and physicians. The I-Team conducts a top down approach, starting with many options and narrowing them down using the patient’s living tissue. Their personal tissue model will then be used for biological analyses and personalized drug testing. What remains are treatments that work best for the patient.
The objectives of each Investigative Team (I-Team) are to:
1. Identify ALL potential therapeutic options around the globe that might have 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.
2. Evaluate any supportive data and where possible, test each option in informative, credible and pre-clinical biological models.
3. Personalize these options to each patient and doctor team. This is done 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.
Where do we find options or technologies that may save your life?
The options can be drawn from four categories:
1. Standard of Care (i.e. FDA approved)
2. Clinical Trials (i.e. global clinical trial databases)
3. Cutting-Edge technology and pre-clinical research options that are currently in development
4. Creation of new agents or technology options through insights gained from the personalized I-Team research collaborations
How does the I-TEAM find all Therapeutic and Diagnostic Options?
By establishing global collaborations amongst local and international patients, doctors and academic research scientists, I-Teams, and following ICARE’s proprietary 10-Step I-Team Process.
The I-Team Process
It should be noted that through this I-Team process, in less than two years more than 40 world-class scientists focused 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.
Outline of the 10 Steps of the I-Team Process:
1. Assemble the initial I-Team Triangle composed of each patient, their doctor, and an ICARE scientist.
2. Expand the I-team to include international scientists, advocated, and physicians.
3. Create personalized living tissue models for biological analyses and personalized drug testing.
4. Freedom of pursuit funding.
5. Identify all Therapeutic options (both established and cutting-edge) currently available to the patient’s doctor.
6. Use novel mapping technologies to personalize and prioritize options.
7. Integrate the patient’s family, personal physician, and tumor tissues, into ICARE’s multi-national, personalized research program.
8. Create a communications network for the collaborations of I-Teams, patients, family members, and the international scientific community.
9. Create an action plan to accelerate the movement of new drug options into phase I/II clinical trials and match patients with existing trials.
10. Disseminate new I-Team information locally to patients and doctors through ICARE’s community and student bioinformatics outreach programs.