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Innovative national clinical trial offered at Massey utilizes precision medicine techniques to improve lung cancer treatment

Nov 10, 2014


VCU Massey Cancer Center is conducting a novel clinical trial in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute and cancer centers nationwide for patients with squamous cell lung cancer, a type of non-small cell lung cancer with different genetic changes driving the growth of cancerous cells. These genetic changes vary from person to person, and this clinical trial, named Lung-MAP, is unique in offering a targeted approach to better treat the patient.

Lung-MAP, short for “lung cancer master protocol,” is a phase 2/3 study consisting of five sub-studies that test various investigational treatments to target those different genetic changes, or mutations. It uses state-of-the-art genomic profiling to match participants to these sub-studies by testing and analyzing the DNA from the patient’s tumor.

The Lung-MAP clinical trial model is a first of its kind—participants are only tested once according to a “master protocol” that looks at over 200 cancer-related genes for genomic alterations. This approach improves a patient’s likelihood of receiving a drug that targets the genetic profile of their tumor while also allowing for new developing therapies to be added to their treatment as the trial progresses. Lung-MAP’s goal is to prove that such personalized treatments are more effective than the current approach involving surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy for treating lung cancer. At Massey, the clinical trial is led by Danielle Shafer, D.O., hematologist-oncologist and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at Massey Cancer Center and assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU School of Medicine.

The Lung-MAP trial is open at Massey’s downtown clinics and Stony Point clinic and at Massey’s research affiliates Lynchburg Hematology Oncology Clinic, Virginia Cancer Institute, and Hematology-Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg. Those interested in enrolling or learning more about Lung-MAP should contact Massey’s Clinical Trials Office at (804) 628-0616 and reference clinical trial S1400.

VCU Massey is currently conducting more than a dozen lung cancer clinical trials and more than 100 total trials on a variety of cancers. View a complete list of all active clinical trials available at Massey.

Written by: Melissa Mitchell

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