October 2016

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Health Capsule

Volunteers Needed for Cancer Study

Cancer develops when old or damaged cells survive too long or grow where they shouldn’t. No matter where tumors start in the body, each builds a unique combination of genetic changes. These changes can affect how well the cancer will respond to various types of therapies.

NIH is working to learn more about how to target cancer therapy to the specific tumors and genetic changes in each patient. This is called targeted therapy, or precision medicine.

A clinical trial called NCI-MATCH (National Cancer Institute-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice) is exploring how to match a tumor’s genetic changes with drugs that target these changes.

Volunteers are needed for this nationwide clinical trial. You may be eligible to participate if you’ve been diagnosed with a solid tumor or lymphoma that has stopped responding to treatment. You may also qualify if you have a rare cancer for which there’s no standard treatment.

Patients interested in NCI-MATCH must first be tested for abnormal genes. If the tumor matches a targeted drug under study, the patient might be eligible to enroll in the trial. Treatment with the matched drug will continue as long as the tumor shrinks or remains stable.

Start by speaking with your healthcare team. You can learn more about NCI-MATCH at cancer.gov/nci-match or by calling NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

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