Dr. Flaherty on the Significance of the NCI-MATCH Precision Medicine Trial

Keith T. Flaherty, MD, discusses the significance of the NCI-MATCH study.

Keith T. Flaherty, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as the director of the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapy, and director of clinical research at the Cancer Center of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the significance of the NCI-MATCH study.

NCI-MATCH represents an important milestone in the broad area of public/private collaboration, Flaherty says. The trial was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored trial and conducted in the National Clinical Trial Network; it was led by ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, of which Flaherty has been a career-long member, and the NCI. 

Additionally, the universal enthusiastic engagement from pharmaceutical companies was critical to the success of the trial, Flaherty adds. When designing the trial, investigators set out to survey the whole landscape of oncology drug development. They wanted to evaluate any drug that was ready for phase 2 testing, for which there was a strong scientific reason to believe that there is a molecular feature, a genetic alteration or otherwise, that would help to identify patients who would respond to treatment, irrespective of their tumor type, Flaherty concludes.