NEW HAVEN — Yale Cancer Center is among the first 19 sites to launch a multi-center clinical trial for patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer who progressed after initial treatment. The trial, called Lung-MAP (Lung Cancer Master Protocol) is public-private collaboration that includes the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Friends of Cancer Research, cancer centers across the U.S. and five pharmaceutical companies.

Roy S. Herbst, MD, chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, said Lung MAP was designed to take advantage of cancer gene-sequencing technology to screen as many patients as possible to determine whether they are a match for the five experimental drugs in the trial. Herbst is co-chair of the Lung-MAP oversight committee and chair of the drug selection committee.

“With as many as 500 other partners expected to join this network, this trial offers us an exciting opportunity to work with enough patients to yield meaningful and actionable findings in terms of determining the best new drugs in the pipeline for these patients,” Herbst said. “We think this trial will be a model for any cancer based on molecular profiles.”

The trial will be available to eligible patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital and the eight YNHH Cancer Care Centers in the community.

Squamous cell carcinoma represents about a quarter of all lung cancer diagnoses, but there are currently few treatment options beyond surgery for the disease. The trial will use genomic profiling to match patients for whom other treatments have failed to one of drugs designed to target the genomic alterations suspected of driving the growth of the cancer.

To learn more about the trial visit Lung-MAP.org.