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Dana-Farber Develops Platform to Improve Cancer Clinical Trials

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The open-source platform, MatchMiner, allows clinical professionals and researchers to find trials that target a particular tumor mutation.

Countless cancer trials are continuously underway and often identify participants through genomics-driven precision medicine. At the same time, patients often undergo genomic tumor profiling, however, matching patients to the right trial can be a daunting task. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have developed a program, called MatchMiner, to match patients with a therapeutic trial targeting their tumor’s genomic alterations.

Matching genes from tumors to studies

“Profiling patient tumors for genomic alterations has become a widespread part of cancer care, especially as new drugs targeting those alterations go into clinical trials or are approved as cancer therapies," said Tali Mazor, PhD, the co-lead author of the paper with Dana-Farber colleague Harry Klein, PhD. "The combination of this growing body of genomic data and increasing number of precision medicine trials has created a kind of disconnect: finding the right trial for each patient can be a difficult task. MatchMiner helps bridge that gap."

The open-source platform, MatchMiner, allows clinical professionals and researchers to find trials that target a particular tumor mutation. Users can also search by age and type of tumor. Since the platform is open to multiple institutions, and they can add information that is then validated by Dana-Farber.

Faster time to find clinical trials

The matchmaking system, which was begun in 2016, was developed by Dana-Farber’s Knowledge Systems Group. The platform was building on the center’s genomic research that includes profiling of more than 40,000 patients’ tumors for more than 400 identified cancer genes.

In a recent paper published in npj Precision Oncology, Dana-Farber reported that across a 5-year period, the platform led to about 1 out of 5 consents to join a clinical trial and decreased the amount of time to find an appropriate trial by 55 days or 22%, according to researchers.

 

 

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