ICAN Mission Overview

Expediting the Anticancer Drug Pipeline at All Levels

 Cancer Patient Advocacy Programs

The diagnosis of cancer can leave a patient and his/her family frightened and confused, despite their level of education or financial circumstances.Well-meaning friends and family may bombard the patient with treatment options, some of which might be sound and helpful, others downright dangerous. An objective source of reliable information can be a tremendous benefit in this situation. ICAN’s forte is aggressive and effective patient advocacy, outlining the most promising treatment options for the patient to discuss with his/her medical team. Since its founding in 1997, IFADD (now ICAN) has assisted patients who have been diagnosed with cancers ranging from the more common solid tumors to cancers that are seldom diagnosed.

 Clinical Trials Advocacy Programs

Under 5% of the nation's cancer patients enroll in clinical trials, yet effective new drugs will not be approved without completing the clinical trials process. Of the 95% of cancer patients who do not enter clinical trials, four out of five say they never knew about a trial that would have been relevant to their particular cancer. For that reason, ICAN strives to make patients aware of the most relevant clinical trials being conducted as well as the most promising drugs available via Expanded Access Programs and Physician Requests for a Single Patient Investigational New Drug (IND) Application for Compassionate or Emergency Use, thereby expanding the number of viable options for patients to discuss with their physicians and support groups. This process also moves clinical trials forward, improving the chances for new, highly-effective anticancer drugs to become available to patients whose survival may depend on them.

 Analysis of Bottlenecks in the Drug Pipeline

Anticancer drugs that have been around for 20 to 40 years are still being used because many newer, more effective anticancer drugs or drug combinations are still bottlenecked in the drug pipeline. What's causing these potentially efficacious new drugs to get held up at the preclinical, advanced preclinical, or clinical trials stages? Working with the medical, scientific, and political communities, ICAN applies a laser-like focus in order to help identify and eliminate such bottlenecks in the anticancer drug pipeline.

 Drug Discovery and Development Projects

From 1997 to 1999, before IFADD (now ICAN) began to focus exclusively on Cancer Patient Advocacy Programs and Clinical Trials Advocacy Programs, IFADD funded four state-of-the-art organic chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry laboratories as well as the Babette Rosen Lobby at the Arizona State University Cancer Research Institute.

 Lobbying and Legislation at All Levels

ICAN is well known for its lobbying prowess at both the federal and state levels. The organization spearheaded the bill (with the expertise of our sponsor, Representative - now Arizona State Senator - Barbara Leff) that resulted in the largest appropriation ever - $10 million - for cancer research by the Arizona State Legislature in 1998. ICAN is an active member of the prestigious National Coalition for Cancer Research, the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, and the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

 Public Education about New Anticancer Drugs in the Pipeline

In addition to patient advocacy, ICAN handles numerous inquiries from the public about new cancer drugs (such inquiries are often in response to heavy media or investor hype). By closely following the progress of anticancer drugs at every stage in the pipeline, ICAN is able to provide the most current information about how the patient may gain access to a particular experimental drug, and if it might be appropriate.

 Pharmaceutical Licensing Expertise, Emphasizing the Public Interest

Beginning in 1999, IFADD (now ICAN) has donated licensing advice to Arizona State University and the ASU Cancer Research Institute through our pro bono patent counsel, C. Owen Paepke.

 Joint Efforts with Other Cancer 
Organizations and other Nonprofits

ICAN works with other Arizona and national cancer organizations on major cancer research lobbying issues.

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