David R. Gandara, MD, director, Thoracic Oncology Program, professor, senior advisor to director, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, treasurer, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), discusses the Lung Master Protocol (Lung-MAP) Trial and how it is an example of a rational clinical design that will impact patient care. Gandara shared this insight during an interview at the 2016 IASLC Multidisciplinary Symposium on Thoracic Oncology.
Since some genotypes are very rare, it is difficult for pharmaceutical companies and organizarions such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct a single assay on a group of patients in hopes of some of them testing positive for a BRAF mutation, for example. This also proves difficult for physicians and patients, Gandara adds.
A more effective strategy could involve a larger number of patients being tested for a higher number of abnormalities with drugs available to treat them. This is documented in the Lung-MAP trial, Gandara says. Here, novel agents that are associated with predictive biomarkers can be brought to patients faster in a cost-effective manner. The collaboration is made up of NCI researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and advocacy groups, such as the Friends of Cancer Research.
Most recently, 1000 patients have been enrolled on the trial. The goal of the Lung-MAP trial is to screen 1000 patients per year and researchers are on track to do that, he says.