What is the International Cancer Alliance for Research and Education (ICARE)?
ICARE is a multinational, 501(c)3 non-profit network of global cancer scientists, doctors, and patients who work in collaboration to identify, evaluate, personalize, and accelerate access to emerging therapeutic options or technologies. ICARE does this by creating personalized exploratory or Investigative Teams (I-Teams) which begin locally with one patient, one doctor and one cancer researcher. As global participants join the ICARE network, these Investigative Teams (I-Teams) allow individual patients and their local doctors to participate in real-time, personalized academic research projects and these projects are driven solely by patient needs and are not limited by institutional and national boundaries.
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 to 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 ensure 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.
Origin of the 10-Step Investigational Team (I-Team) Process
Between 2010 to 2015, ICARE scientists were recruited and funded to establish personalized medical research projects on behalf of several individuals with metastatic cancers, including liver, melanoma, and breast, lung and others. During that period, a ten-step innovative research process (the I-Team Process) evolved that led to the discovery and evaluation of more than sixty novel treatments, approaches, technologies to be considered by the doctors of these individuals.
Thus, ICARE is currently looking for “miracles” for each new patient 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. It should be noted that each of these N-Of-1 medical research projects is uniformly conducted under the guidance of FDA and NIH human research policies.
The objectives of each 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 that is credible, informative, 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.