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NCI-MATCH Trial (Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice)


NCI-MATCH, also known as MATCH, is a precision medicine cancer treatment clinical trial. In this trial, people with cancer 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. People 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, no matter the cancer type.

There are several treatment arms that are open at any given time, each one enrolling people whose tumors have a specific genetic change. Most treatment arms will enroll 35 people. However, a few treatment arms enroll more people to make sure that an open arm is available to those with certain genetic changes. It also helps make sure that enough people are enrolled to get meaningful results from each arm.

As arms fill up, they will close to new patients. After an arm closes, researchers will study the findings and publish a paper that describes the results in detail. For a complete list of articles about the study, including results from closed arms, visit the NCI-MATCH Publications page.

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

You may be eligible for MATCH if you have an advanced solid tumor, lymphoma, or myeloma that has progressed on standard treatment or if you have a rare cancer for which there is no standard treatment.

When MATCH started, researchers aimed for at least 25% of people enrolled to have rare or uncommon cancers. So far, the trial has exceeded this number, with about 60% of those enrolled having cancers other than colon, rectal, breast, non-small cell lung, or prostate.

How to Enroll in NCI-MATCH

The only way you can enroll on a MATCH treatment arm is if all the following conditions are met:

  • You are under the care of an oncologist at a participating MATCH site. There are nearly 1,100 sites in the United States and Puerto Rico. If you are not being treated at one of these sites, your oncologist can refer you to one. See the protocol summary for a complete list.
  • Your oncologist orders routine tumor gene testing from a participating testing lab to help guide treatment decisions.
  • The lab finds a genetic change in the tumor that is being targeted in the MATCH study.

You will not need a new tumor biopsy to take part in this trial. Instead, your oncologist may submit tumor tissue from a prior biopsy.

Once enrolled in a treatment arm, you will be treated with the targeted drug for as long as your tumor shrinks or remains stable.

For more information about the referral process and participating labs, visit Genomic Testing and the Laboratory Referral Process.

Goals of NCI-MATCH

The primary goal for MATCH is to find out the percentage of people in each arm whose tumors have a complete or partial response to the treatment being tested, 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 people 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 find out the percentage of people whose disease does not get worse for at least six months. This is known as progression-free survival.

Besides these two goals, researchers will also find out the time to progression of the cancer and learn about the side effects of the treatments.

Treatment Arms that Are Open and Enrolling Patients

Arm Targeted Genetic Change Drug(s)
H BRAF V600E or V600K mut dabrafenib and trametinib

Trial Costs

If you enroll in a treatment arm, the trial covers the cost of the drug used in that arm.

Unless you are informed that certain tests are being done at no charge, you or your health insurance company will need to cover all other costs of being in the trial. These may include the costs of tests, procedures, or medicines to manage any side effects of treatment. You will not be paid to take part in this study.

Future Directions of NCI Precision Medicine Clinical Trials

NCI-MATCH is a ground-breaking study. It is one of the first major clinical trials to match people who have cancer with treatment based on genetic changes in their tumor rather than their type of cancer. This trial has shown that targeting genetic changes in a tumor may be an effective way to treat cancer. It has also shown that people with advanced cancer may benefit from genomic sequencing to help plan their treatment. 

Information learned from NCI-MATCH is leading to new precision medicine trials, such as ComboMATCH, MyeloMATCH, and ImmunoMatch (iMATCH). Where NCI-MATCH tested single drugs, ComboMATCH will test combinations of drugs. MyeloMATCH will test treatments based on genetic changes in the cancer cells of people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). These cancers were not included in NCI-MATCH. The iMATCH trial will study how the immune status of a tumor affects the response to targeted treatments with immunotherapy.

As researchers learn more about matching people with treatment based on the genetic changes in their cancer, we will continue to make progress against cancer.

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.

To Learn More about NCI-MATCH

To learn more about MATCH, you should start by speaking with your doctor or healthcare team. More details about MATCH are available in the protocol summary.