NCI-MATCH, also known as MATCH, is a precision medicine cancer treatment clinical trial. In this trial, patients are assigned to receive treatment based on the genetic changes found in their tumors through genomic sequencing and other tests. Genomic sequencing is a laboratory method that is used to determine the genetic makeup of cancer cells. Patients whose tumors have genetic changes that match one of the treatments in the trial may receive that treatment, if they meet other eligibility criteria. The trial seeks to determine whether treating cancer based on these specific genetic changes is effective.
There are 14 treatment arms that are currently open to patients, each enrolling patients whose tumors have a specific genetic change. Most treatment arms will enroll 35 patients. However, a few treatment arms address more common genetic changes, and for those up to 70 patients per arm will be enrolled. Several more treatment arms are expected to open later this year.
The drugs included in the trial have either been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for another cancer or are still being tested in other clinical trials but have shown some effectiveness against tumors with a particular genetic change.
Types of Cancers Studied
Patients with advanced solid tumors, lymphomas, or myeloma may be eligible for MATCH, once they have progressed on standard treatment for their cancer or if they have a rare cancer for which there is no standard treatment.
A goal for the study is for about 25% of patients to have rare or uncommon cancers. So far, the trial has exceeded this goal, with about 60% of the enrolled patients having cancers other than colon, rectal, breast, non-small cell lung, or prostate.
How Patients Are Identified for NCI-MATCH
Patients who might be eligible to enroll in a MATCH treatment arm will be identified by a participating gene sequencing lab through their usual genomic testing of patients’ tumors as part of their cancer care. Patients will not need a new tumor biopsy to take part in this trial.
Participating labs include:
Foundation Medicine, Inc.
Caris Life Sciences
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Foundation Medicine, Inc. and Caris Life Sciences will identify potential MATCH participants from the large numbers of cancer patients whose tumors they currently test from about 1,100 hospitals and clinics that are taking part in the MATCH trial. See the MATCH protocol summary for a list of these hospitals and clinics. MD Anderson and Memorial Sloan-Kettering will identify potential participants only from among their own patients.
When a participating lab identifies a genetic change that is being studied in a MATCH treatment arm, it will include that information in the patient’s report that goes to the patient’s oncologist. The report will identify MATCH as one of the options the oncologist can discuss with their patient. If the patient is not being treated at one of the nearly 1,100 hospitals and clinics participating in the trial, the patient can be referred by their oncologist to one of those sites.
Once enrolled in a treatment arm, patients will be treated with the targeted drug for as long as their tumor shrinks or remains stable.
Goals of NCI-MATCH
The primary goal for MATCH is to determine the percentage of patients whose tumors have a complete or partial response to treatment, meaning the tumors shrink by a certain amount. This is called the objective response rate. Treatments will be considered promising if at least 16% of the patients in an arm have tumor shrinkage. This threshold was chosen to reduce the chance that a treatment that is not working will appear promising while also improving the chance that a treatment that is working will appear promising.
A secondary goal for the trial is to determine the percentage of patients whose disease does not worsen for at least six months. This is known as progression-free survival.
In addition to assessing the objective response rate and progression-free survival, researchers will also determine time to progression of the cancer and evaluate the side effects of the treatments.