According to a story from Newswise, Quest Diagnostics, a laboratory that specializes in diagnostic information, has announced plans to participate in a unique, large scale trial called NCI-MATCH, which stands for NCI-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice. This trial’s ultimate goal is the testing of precision medicine in patients with a diverse array of solid tumors, myelomas, or lymphomas. These precision medicines will be administered based on the genomic profile of the tumor or cancer involved, and the testing of tumor genes by a participating laboratory such as Quest is a requirement for a patient’s participation.
The NCI-MATCH trial is a unique endeavor. First of all, this phase 2 study is the largest ongoing trial that is focused on precision medicine with a total of 1,100 trial sites across the US. The trial is specifically geared towards rare cancers that currently do not have standardized therapies approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Patients are also permitted to participate in instances where they have failed to respond to regular approaches that were expected to improve the patient’s survival.
The study includes 40 distinct treatment arms that are geared towards a wide variety of malignancies and will test a number of different therapies. Quest Diagnostics will play a critical role in allowing patients to participate in the trial. For example, if a doctor at one of the trial sites determines that tumor profiling could be beneficial for informing a cancer patient’s treatment, Quest can analyze the results of the profile and then hopefully find a suitable treatment arm for the patient.
As precision medicine continues to develop and gain further prominence, tumor genetic profiling will play an increasingly critical role in cancer treatment. Research trials such as NCI-MATCH have the potential to help fill significant gaps of knowledge in cancer study and treatment and the nature of the research requires comparing data from multiple subsets of patients with different genetic profiles. Recruiting new laboratories like Quest Diagnostics will help ensure that patients with a wide variety of genetic tumor variants are able to be involved.