NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH
NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH is a nationwide cancer treatment clinical trial for children and adolescents, from 1 to 21 years of age, that is testing the use of precision medicine for pediatric cancers. In this trial, patients with solid tumors that are not responding to treatment are assigned to an experimental treatment based on the genetic changes found in their tumors rather than on their type of cancer or cancer site. The genetic changes are found through genomic sequencing, which is a laboratory method used to determine the genetic makeup of cancer cells.
The trial has two enrollment steps.
The first step involves screening the patient’s tumor sample to find out if it has a genetic change that could be targeted by one or more of the drugs being studied. Researchers plan to screen the tumors of 200 to 300 patients each year, until 1,000 have been screened. Current research suggests that 1 out of 10 (10%) patients who enroll in the screening step will have a genetic change that matches one of the targeted drugs being tested.
Those patients whose tumors have a genetic change that can be targeted by a drug on the study may go onto the second step, which is to enroll on a treatment arm, if they meet other eligibility criteria. Patients who enroll on a treatment arm will continue to receive the experimental treatment as long as their tumors are stable or getting smaller. At least 20 patients will be enrolled on each treatment arm.
Patients who are enrolled on the screening step will also undergo testing to determine whether any genetic change in their tumor was hereditary. Hereditary genetic changes are those that are passed from parent to child and can be found by testing a blood sample. The information gleaned from this portion of the trial can help physicians advise families about the possible need for additional genetic testing, genetic counseling, and follow-up care for the patient and other family members.
Types of Cancers Treated
This trial is for pediatric patients with advanced solid tumors—including non-Hodgkin lymphomas, brain tumors, and histiocytoses—whose cancer has gotten worse while on treatment or has come back after treatment.
Where the Trial Is Taking Place
Pediatric MATCH is taking place at around 200 children’s hospitals, university medical centers, and cancer centers across the United States that are part of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). To find a site, visit the Children’s Oncology Group institution locator page.
Goals of Pediatric MATCH
The trial seeks to find out whether it is effective to treat cancer in children and adolescents by targeting certain genetic changes in their tumors with specific targeted drugs, no matter the type of cancer or cancer site. Tumors will be tested for changes in more than 160 genes related to cancer.
Pediatric MATCH will also help doctors and researchers learn more about how often children with cancer have genetic changes that can be targeted by certain drugs. It will also help them learn more about the genetic changes in pediatric cancers that get worse or come back after standard treatment, informing future research to develop better treatments for these patients.
Drugs Used on the Treatment Arms
Each treatment arm in this study is testing a different drug, which have all been donated by pharmaceutical companies that have partnered with NCI. All the drugs are experimental in children and adolescents but have been tested in or in some cases approved for adults and have shown activity against tumors with specific genetic changes. The following chart lists the open treatment arms, the genes that are being targeted, and the experimental drugs. As the trial continues, new treatment arms will open as drugs become available and others will close as they reach enrollment.
The trial covers the cost of genomic sequencing of the tumor and blood sample. If patients are enrolled on a treatment arm, the study drugs will also be free of charge.
Unless informed that certain tests are being done at no charge, patients’ families or their health insurance plans will need to cover all other costs, including the cost of tests, procedures, or medicines to manage any side effects of the treatment. Patients will not be paid to take part in this study.
Other Treatment Options
Parents of patients who enroll on the screening step, but whose tumors do not have a genetic change that can be targeted by a drug in the study, should talk with their pediatric oncologist about other clinical trials that may be an option. If you want to search for trials on your own, visit NCI’s clinical trials search page. If you would like help with your search, contact NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and NCI’s cancer information specialists can assist you in English and Spanish or via NCI's LiveHelp service.
The study was developed and will be led jointly by the NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Children’s Oncology Group, part of the NCI-sponsored National Clinical Trials Network.