National Cancer Institute Spearheads Largest Precision Medicine Trial

Allison Shelley

June 02, 2015

CHICAGO — The largest precision medicine trial in American history will begin enrolling patients with intractable cancers next month, it was announced at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. The plan, promised in President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address, will involve 2400 clinics across the country. The aim is to find treatments for cancers that have not responded to traditional therapies.

"This is the largest, most rigorous precision oncology trial in history," James Doroshow, MD, deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, told reporters attending a news conference.

The MATCH trial is designed to find evidence that treating patients on the basis of the molecular profile of their tumor, rather than tumor type, will have clinical benefit.

McCormick Place, Chicago

The genetic platform for the study is the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine. That system, with a custom panel of 143 genes, was developed at the National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

ASCO will join the effort with its first-ever clinical trial, the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry. This will offer patients with advanced cancer access to targeted molecular therapies and collect data on clinical outcomes to help inform the best uses for these treatments outside indications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, explained Richard Schilsky, MD, the society's chief medical officer.

"It will help us learn from the real-world practice of prescribing targeted therapies to patients whose tumors harbor a genomic variant known to be a drug target," he said.

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