Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will be one of the sites offering the landmark precision medicine trial, NCI-MATCH (Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice) – a trial that will open to patient enrollment in July. The announcement was made Monday, June 1, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, where several Sylvester physician-scientists were in attendance.

NCI-MATCH seeks to determine whether targeted therapies will be effective in patients whose tumors have specific genetic abnormalities, regardless of their cancer type. The study, co-developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), will incorporate more than 20 different study drugs or drug combinations, each targeting a specific gene mutation. Instead of prescribing a drug based on the tumor location, such as breast or lung, NCI-MATCH will determine each patient’s genetic abnormality and match that to the drug that will target the mutation in their tumor.

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“The NCI-MATCH trial is a big step toward bringing precision medicine to our patients,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester. “With more than 115 researchers and 130 physicians, Sylvester is uniquely positioned to be able to offer this breakthrough targeted approach to patients in South Florida and the region.”

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Enrollment will begin in July with approximately 10 sub-studies, moving to 20 or more within months. Each patient will have their tumor biopsied and its DNA sequenced to determine if there is a genetic mutation that is driving their tumor growth, and whether it is one of the abnormalities that might be targeted by a wide range of drugs being studied. Investigators plan to screen about 3,000 patients nationwide, many with rare cancers.

“This has the potential to revolutionize cancer care,” said Nimer. “As we conduct this trial, Sylvester researchers will continue studies to further identify more genetic drivers and develop more targeted therapies which will lead to better outcomes.”

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Above content is provided by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center