NCI-MATCH Trial (Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice)

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The Trial

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 18 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.

Treatment Arms that Are Open and Enrolling Patients

Arm Targeted Genetic Change Drug(s)
A EGFR mut Afatinib
C1 MET amp Crizotinib
C2 MET ex 14 sk Crizotinib
E EGFR T790M AZD9291
F ALK transloc Crizotinib
G ROS1 transloc Crizotinib
H BRAF V600 Dabrafenib+trametinib
L mTOR mut TAK-228 (formerly MLN0128)
M TSC1 or TSC2 mut TAK-228 (formerly MLN0128)
R BRAF nonV600 or BRAF fusion Trametinib
S2 GNAQ/GNA11 mut Trametinib
T SMO/PTCH1 mut Vismodegib
U NF2 loss Defactinib
V cKIT mut Sunitinib
X DDR2 mut Dasatinib
Z1B CCND1,2,3 amp Palbociclib
Z1C CDK4 or CDK6 amp Palbociclib
Z1E NTRK fusions Larotrectinib (LOXO-101)

Trial Costs

If patients enroll in a treatment arm, the trial covers the drug used in that arm.

Unless patients are informed that certain tests are being done at no charge, they or their health insurance company will need to cover all other costs, including the cost of tests, procedures, or medicines to manage any side effects of treatment. Participants will not be paid to take part in this study.

Trial Collaborators

NCI-MATCH is supported by NCI and is coordinated by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. Personnel from NCI, ECOG-ACRIN, and the other adult trial groups in the NCI-supported National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN)—the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, NRG Oncology Group, and SWOG—have collaborated in the development of NCI-MATCH. The NCTN includes researchers, physicians, and health care professionals at public and private institutions across the United States. They conduct clinical trials on all types of adult cancers.

In addition to the institutions belonging to the NCTN, NCI-MATCH will be open to all institutions and sites that participate in the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

For clinical trial tracking purposes, the NCI-MATCH trial is also referred to as EAY131 and as NCT02465060.

Ancillary Trial: COMET

A limited time option for 500 newly enrolling patients to NCI-MATCH is to also enroll in a study called COMET (COMmunication and Education in Tumor Profiling). Patients will complete a survey before and after they undergo tumor gene testing in MATCH. The COMET study will gather data to determine whether increasing knowledge about the limitations and benefits of genetic testing could reduce a patient’s level of distress about the process. COMET will not directly inform MATCH, nor will it affect how a patient is treated while in the MATCH trial.

To Learn More about NCI-MATCH

To learn more about MATCH, patients should start by speaking with their doctors or healthcare team. More details about MATCH are available in the protocol summary. As the trial progresses, new clinical sites will be added.

Patients, families, and clinicians can also contact NCI’s Cancer Information Service to learn more about the COMET study. The CIS can be reached at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) for assistance in English and Spanish or via NCI's LiveHelp service. Clinicians and organizations that are interested in participating in either trial should contact NCI's Cancer Trials Support Unit.