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Published on October 08, 2015

Gibbs Cancer Center Involved in Most Scientifically Rigorous Precision Medicine Trial in Cancer To Date

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, part of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, is taking part in the National Cancer Institute-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH) phase-II Precision medicine cancer trials.

“The availability of this cutting edge trial is a tremendous opportunity for patients in the South Carolina Upstate,” said hematology/oncology physician Melanie Thomas, MD, MS, of Gibbs Cancer Center. “These trials were developed by experts from across the United States.”

The NCI-Match is the largest, most scientifically rigorous precision medicine trial in cancer to date and is now opening at cancer centers and community hospitals across the country.

“From the moment a patient walks in the door, we are looking at the complex biology of their tumor so that we can look at all opportunities for treatment,” said Timothy Yeatman, MD, Director and President of Gibbs Cancer Center. “This includes using the best technology, next generation sequencing therapies. This gives them the best opportunity to enroll in clinical trials, such as MATCH.”

Physicians at Gibbs look at all possible treatment options from their first meeting with a patient, making clinical trials an option from the beginning. This allows patients to be enrolled in competitive trials sooner.

“Gibbs looks at 600 genes across the genome, rather than 1 or 2 genes, which gives more detailed information on the patient’s individual tumor,” said James Bearden, MD, MATCH principal investigator and Gibbs hematologist-oncologist. “Due to Gibbs’s approach of looking at next generation sequencing up-front in the patient’s cancer care, this allows us to move our patients to the head of the line for the MATCH trials. These trials are a key weapon in the arsenal we use to fight against cancer.”

The MATCH trial, also known as EAY131, seeks to determine whether matching certain drugs or drug combinations to people whose tumors have specific gene abnormalities will effectively treat their cancer, regardless of their cancer type. Treatment for this trial focuses on molecular abnormalities of a patient’s tumor instead of the organ site of the cancer.

The NCI-MATCH trial seeks to enroll adults ages 18 and older with any type of solid tumor or lymphoma that has returned or worsened after standard systemic therapy. Patients may also be eligible if they have a rare type of cancer for which there is no standard treatment.

Trial researchers expect that more than 1,000 patients will have one or more molecular abnormalities that match one of the 22 treatment options being studied

This trial will allow Gibbs to leverage its membership in the Guardian Research Network, a national consortium of community cancer centers allowing patients to receive their cancer care in local healthcare systems rather than traveling to university institutions.

NCI-MATCH was co-developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, one of five NCI-sponsored National Clinical Trial Network Groups. ECOG-ACRIN is leading the trial.

“Patients that are interested in the MATCH trials are encouraged to come to the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute for a second opinion to see if they are eligible,” Yeatman said. “We anticipate competitive interest across the nation. Gibbs having access to the trials gives our local patients a higher advantage.”

For more information on the trials, call 1-800-DNA-Gibbs.

About Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute is a nationally recognized cancer treatment and research facility associated with the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center program and the Medical University of South Carolina. Named for benefactors Marsha and Jimmy Gibbs and with locations in Spartanburg, Gaffney and Greer, Gibbs is a proven leader in providing effective cancer treatment through advanced technology, professional expertise and an exceptional level of personalized care. Gibbs’ oncology program, which also includes the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health, has been recognized by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as offering high-quality cancer care. In 2012, Gibbs joined forces with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System to expand world-class oncology services and clinical research in the Upstate. In 2013, the Gibbs expanded its research efforts by opening a 7,500-square-foot state-of-the-art facility at Pelham Medical Center.

About Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services. SRHS provides unparalleled oncological care through the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. The multidisciplinary Medical Group of the Carolinas has more than 300 physicians across seven counties in two states. SRHS employs nearly 6,000 associates and offers outpatient surgery centers, a vibrant post-acute division, a Level I Trauma Center, and Advicare, a licensed Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Advicare provides Medicaid services to residents throughout the state of South Carolina. U.S. News and World Report ranked Spartanburg Medical Center the No. 1 regional hospital in South Carolina in 2014-15. The Commission on Cancer gave Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute its Outstanding Achievement Award.

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