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Lung-MAP: Master Protocol for Squamous Cell Lung Cancer

The Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP) study is a clinical trial for patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer that has not responded to, or has stopped responding to, other routine therapies. Squamous cell carcinoma represents about one-fourth of all lung cancer diagnoses, but few treatment options exist once the disease has spread beyond the lungs. This trial will use genomic profiling to assign patients to either a new investigational treatment or a more standard approach. The investigational treatments are specifically selected to target the genomic alterations that may be driving the growth of their cancer.

Each year during the course of the study, the investigators will screen between 500 and 1,000 patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer for alterations in any of more than 200 cancer-related genes. The results of these tests will be used to assign each patient to the trial arm that is best matched to their tumor’s genomic profile. Within each trial arm, patients will be randomly assigned to receive either the current standard of care (docetaxel or erlotinib) or the investigational therapy for that arm.

Lung-MAP aims to establish a model of clinical testing that more efficiently meets the needs of both patients and drug developers. Whereas a typical clinical trial for a targeted therapy tests each potential patient for a single biomarker and enrolls only a portion—sometimes a very small portion—of patients tested, Lung-MAP will simultaneously test patients for several biomarkers to assess compatibility with several different experimental treatments. This approach provides patients with a greater likelihood of finding a treatment arm that is specifically studying the genetic alteration found in their tumor; it will also make it possible to add new targeted therapies that become available after the trial begins.

The trial will be conducted at over 200 medical centers by NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network, led by SWOG, and partly funded by NCI through its Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. Additional organizations participating in this unique public-private collaboration include Friends of Cancer Research, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), five pharmaceutical companies (Amgen, Genentech, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and AstraZeneca’s global biologics R&D arm, MedImmune), and Foundation Medicine.

About the Lung-MAP Trial

Dr. David Gandara of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Dr. David Gandara of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center talking about the Lung-MAP Trial

General Information

  • Lung Cancer

    NCI's gateway for information about lung cancer.

  • Targeted Cancer Therapies

    (Reviewed: April 25, 2014) - A fact sheet that describes targeted cancer therapies, which are drugs that interfere with specific molecules involved in cancer cell growth and survival.

  • Tumor Markers

    (Reviewed: December 7, 2011) - A fact sheet that defines tumor markers and describes how they can be used to aid diagnosis and treatment.

  • Posted: June 16, 2014

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