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NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH Trial Opens for Enrollment


A long-awaited and first-of-its-kind precision medicine clinical trial in childhood cancer is now open for enrollment.

NCI-COG Pediatric Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (Pediatric MATCH) will explore the effectiveness of targeted therapies in children and adolescents with brain and other solid tumors. This nationwide trial will focus specifically on pediatric patients whose tumors contain certain genetic mutations and have progressed despite standard treatments.

Developed and led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), Pediatric MATCH will investigate more than eight different study drugs. Each study drug will target a specific, predefined set of mutations to match patients with therapies based on their tumors’ genetic mutations. 

The trial “will also look at whether mutations found in tumors are detected in blood samples and hence were inherited,” explains COG study co-chair Will Parsons, M.D., Ph.D. “This will allow us to provide the treating physician with guidance for the patient’s family regarding the need for formal genetic testing, counseling, and follow-up care.”

Dr. Parsons is Co-Director of Texas Children’s Hospital’s neuro-oncology program, and Associate Professor, at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a member of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Research Advisory Network.

Pediatric MATCH is being offered at nearly 200 U.S. children’s oncology group sites. A total of 1000 patients (about 200-300 per year) will be screened to identify candidates for the trial. More than 160 genes in DNA samples from their tumors will be sequenced and examined for alternations. If an alteration is found that matches one targeted by a study drug, the patient may be eligible to enroll.

Cancer mutations that match one of the study drugs are expected to be found in about 10 percent of children and adolescents screened.

“This large-scale, groundbreaking collaboration between industry, academia and government sectors is essential to driving clinically meaningful progress on behalf of children battling cancer,” says Dr. Joanne Salcido, vice president of research and advocacy at the PBTF. 

Learn more about this clinical trial in the National Institutes of Health’s press release and the infographic below from the website of the National Cancer Institute.