ICAN's History and Philosophy

ICAN continues to make its mark in the War on Cancer with tenacious cancer patient advocacy and cutting-edge clinical trials advocacy winning accolades worldwide from the many patients and families we’ve helped.

Your support will allow us to continue making a difference in the War on Cancer.

The International Cancer Advocacy Network (formerly IFADD) was launched in February, 1997 as a tribute to the many hundreds of thousands of people who prematurely die of cancer every year. Close to one hundred community leaders, corporate representatives, and interested individuals from metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson gathered together and resolved that the new 501(c)(3) would do all in its power to spare people the kind of ordeal that millions of cancer patients and their families had endured. Many had lost loved ones to cancer or had friends or family battling cancer.

One woman who was close to the hearts of all assembled, had recently died of squamous cell cancer of the head and neck after a valiant four and a half year battle which had involved two major surgeries, 46 rounds of chemotherapy, and countless radiation treatments.

The drug that might have prolonged her life was bottlenecked in the pipeline. By the time the signatures of 25 United States Senators had been secured to petition the National Cancer Institute to release that drug via "compassionate use" for this patient, as well as other similarly-situated patients, it was too late.

Many of those Senators ultimately joined IFADD as Honorary National Co-Chairmen, along with Vice President and Mrs. Dan Quayle, ICAN’s International Co-Chairs, as well as the entire Arizona congressional delegation, former Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull, and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

ICAN’s Program Services now encompass hundreds of Cancer Patient Advocacy Programs and Clinical Trials Advocacy Programs, ranging from the most frequently diagnosed solid tumors to extremely unusual blood cancers. ICAN’s patient base is comprised of advanced cancer patients with "Stage IV" diagnoses - who, in our judgment, have been prematurely "written off" by their physicians and sent home to die.

At the patients' request, we provide suggestions regarding new medical teams, including oncologists or other specialists (either locally or anywhere in the world) who will fight for their lives. We also provide strategic roadmaps - often including clinical trials recommendations - that patients may discuss with their medical teams.

On a day-to-day basis, ICAN provides aggressive cancer patient advocacy, focusing on cutting-edge information and program services concerning all aspects of relevant cancer treatment, including discussions of both FDA-approved and experimental anticancer drugs.

Currently, fewer than five percent of the nation's cancer patients are enrolled in clinical trials, yet statistics show that those who do enroll live longer and have a higher quality of life. The problem (which we view as a national challenge) is that nearly 80 percent of cancer patients, according to survey results, have never been informed that a particular clinical trial might be relevant to their specific cancer diagnosis or metastatic condition.

Working closely with surgical, radiation, and medical oncologists all over the world, ICAN outlines specific options for our patient contacts with respect to available standard therapies, cancer clinical trials, and the compassionate release of promising anticancer drugs.

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