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Have you got an iPhone? Or maybe an iPad? Now it may help you and your physician identify appropriate diagnostic tests for melanoma, options for optimum treatment and clinical trials for this most serious of all skin cancers — options and trials that are keyed to an individual patient’s specific melanoma subtype and several specific patient characteristics.

Here’s how it works. Either a patient or his/her physician enters information about the individual’s melanoma stage, origin, metastases and any genetic mutations. The Targeted Therapy Finder-Melanoma’s hyperlinks connect to more information about available drugs, research studies, specific disease mutations and terms’ definitions.

So, how trustworthy is this app? The Targeted Therapy Finder-Melanoma is the result of a collaboration between the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and CollabRX, a company founded by Jay (Marty) Tenenbaum, a melanoma cancer survivor, former chief scientist for Commerce One and a renowned Internet commerce pioneer. Dr. Tenenbaum is currently focusing on transforming healthcare and accelerating new therapy development through collaborative, open-source e-science.

As part of this collaboration, ASCO has provided ColabRx access to all its published melanoma content, including abstract data (from the Society’s annual meetings), as well as study results from peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Moreover, ASCO’s public website’s Melanoma Associate Editor, Lynn M. Shuchter, MD will provide content curator expertise for the targeted therapy finder by identifying the most relevant tests, treatments and clinical trials for each molecular subtype, based on the best current knowledge. Finally, the melanoma tool also includes molecular disease model data published recently in PLoSOne, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access research publication website.

ASCO reports the Targeted Therapy Finder-Melanoma will be available to its 30,000 members via the organization’s website. Public access is available through ASCO’s patient information website.

The ASCO-CollabRX collaboration leaders view the melanoma web-based application as only the first of a series of technology-fueled decision tools that will assist individual oncology practices (and their patients) to get timely access to more personalized treatments and current cancer research information, without immediate and costly IT investments.