I first learned about ICAN around the Christmas holidays of 2010 via volunteermatch.org when I was looking for a cancer charity where I could use my background in cancer drug discovery and interests in cancer biology. When I finally talked to Marcia in February of 2011, I was impressed by the way things are done at ICAN and I immediately knew that this is one cause (and place) that I can identify with and where I WANT to put all my energy in.
At ICAN, my role is to provide tools supporting the physician teams that handle patients’ therapy decisions. Whenever I am called in to help on a case, I help by identifying possible therapeutic interventions based on published data or scientific logic; identify potential clinical trials; or, sometimes locate relevant experts. I’m not an oncologist. The oncologists/physicians/surgeons on ICAN’s board may use some of the information that experts like me are able to collect and guide the care of patients. I don’t hear much about the patients or the outcome which is a good thing because it also reinforces the sensitivity and need for patient privacy in the current environment.
I also manage ICAN’s group on LinkedIn and post updates on cancer drug trials and cancer biology. I urge you to join and add to the discussions on this group.
I have found so much joy spending time on ICAN’s cause that I wouldn’t be surprised if the last one-and-half years extend to decades of volunteerism for this one-of-a-kind nonprofit.
-- Ajay Malik, Ph.D., San Francisco, Calif.
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Individual attention to the patients and their families, and great respect for the time all volunteers spend towards ICAN.