Yale Cancer Center was among the first 19 sites on Monday that launched a multi-center clinical trial for patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer that progressed after initial treatment. The trial, called the Lung Cancer Master Protocol is a public-private collaboration that includes the National Cancer Institute, Friends of Cancer Research, cancer centers across the U.S., and five pharmaceutical companies. Learn more about the trial by visiting www.Lung-MAP.org
Lung MAP was designed to take advantage of cancer gene sequencing technology to screen as many patients as possible to determine whether they are a match for the five experimental drugs in the trial said Roy S. Herbst, chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven in a press release. Herbst is co-chair of the Lung-MAP oversight committee and chair of the drug selection committee.
“With as many as 500 other partners expected to join this network, this trial offers us an exciting opportunity to work with enough patients to yield meaningful and actionable findings in terms of determining the best new drugs in the pipeline for these patients,” Herbst said in the release. “We think this trial will be a model for any cancer based on molecular profiles.”
The trial will be available to eligible patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven and the eight YNHH Cancer Care Centers in the community.
Squamous cell carcinoma represents about a quarter of all lung cancer diagnoses, but there are currently few treatment options beyond surgery for the disease. The trial will use genomic profiling to match patients for whom other treatments have failed to one of drugs designed to target the genomic alterations suspected of driving the growth of the cancer.
The first round of investigational drugs will include four targeted therapies and an anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy drug. It is anticipated that 500-1,000 patients annually will be screened for genomic alterations in more than 200 cancer-related genes. The results of screenings will be used to assign patients to the trial arm best matched to their cancer’s genomic profile.
Lung-MAP will be more flexible than traditional clinical trial models which require new protocols for each drug tested. In contrast, Lung-MAP uses a single “master protocol” that can be amended as drugs enter and exit the trial based on patient response.