ICAN's Method and Goals
At ICAN, we aim to empower you, the patient, in your cancer management. Your cancer is unique and requires a personalized approach towards its management. Your optimal treatment may be different from someone else's, even though you both have been diagnosed with clinically similar cancers or even the same cancer subtype. Thus, we advocate on behalf of the concept and treatment paradigm of "Personalized Medicine," an optimized treatment protocol based on your genetics and the specific molecular changes that have occurred in your cancer at the subcellular level.
Exciting advances in biomedical research are changing how patients receive cancer treatment. The old formulaic and often cookie-cutter approach of assigning patients to treatments based on general clinical presentations and broad cancer type is rapidly being replaced by a new paradigm based on molecular profiling. Molecular profiling enables patients to obtain a scientific basis for how their tumor evolved, and how they might respond to available therapies.
Studies have shown that proactive patients--those who work with and ask probing and detailed questions of their oncologists--are far more likely to obtain optimized Personalized Medicine treatments, and are more likely to be enrolled in appropriate clinical trials. ICAN works with you to help you understand and evaluate molecular and cellular profiling tests that could provide invaluable information about how you may respond to different available therapies--whether those therapies have been already approved by the FDA and are mainstays of standard therapies or whether those treatments reside in the clinical trials arena where promising new cancer drugs are being evaluated for possible FDA approval.
Patient-by-patient, cancer-by-cancer, subtype-by-subtype, gene expression-by gene expression, and protein-by-protein, ICAN's Personalized Medicine Programs zero in on targeted therapeutics and promising treatment options in the approved and clinical trials pipelines. Our patients hail from all 50 states and 53 countries.
After a review of the complete medical record, we identify new strategic options and new therapeutic avenues. We encourage the patient to request that his/her medical team to order critically important diagnostic and prognostic testing. Toward that end, we carefully review the patient's reported
- IHC results (immunohistochemistries to detect relative protein abundance, markers for certain cancers and personalized therapies)
- FISH results (fluorescent in situ hybridization identifying gene copy number differences and chromosomal rearrangements in the tumor)
- DNA sequencing results, microarray, and PCR (monitoring changes that have occurred at the DNA and RNA levels in tumors, indicative of mutations within specific signaling pathways- important for evaluating targeted drug therapies)
- Chemosensitivity and chemoresistance assays in functional tumor profiling
- Proteomics (changes in protein expression and/or modification within biosamples)
- Circulating tumor cells (an emerging technology, still in development)
- Patient imaging studies (whether ultrasound, CT, PET/CT, MRI or any diagnostic imaging relevant to finding the presence of cancer, staging the cancer, and determining whether the cancer has spread, or assessing whether the cancer has recurred after a disease-free interval.
- Patient lab results
- Options suggested for the next phase of treatment by the patient's oncology team or teams