SMP2 and NLMT network 2017 Review

12 Dec 2017

It has been yet another busy year for the Stratified Medicine Programme (SMP2) and the National Lung Matrix Trial (NLMT) so we would like to extend a huge thank you to all our colleagues for their continued hard work and support, as well as to all the patients and their families who signed up to this new, innovative trial.

The SMP2 and NLMT network have delivered a huge amount over 2017. Key highlights of this year include:

-          The implementation of several changes to the technology used to genetically screen patient’s tumour samples, with improvements made to the panel itself, providing better results out of the material we have, and to the results analysis pipeline, significantly improving the time taken to turn around the results in a clinically meaningful timeframe for our patients.

-          Our first Functional Group Meetings this year brought together operational staff from across the network, providing an honest forum to share experiences, challenges, as well as ideas for improvements at each site. Bringing together the community in this way provides support for the multi-disciplinary teams who are crucial to driving forward this study and allows the programme to grow and develop.

-          The SMP2 team have delivered several comprehensive audits across the year which provides sites with useful information that we hope they can utilise to make any appropriate changes to improve their ways of working. Our next audit will read out this December and we hope to be able to circulate this to sites in early 2018.

-          Both SMP2 and the NLMT are now open at all original 18 sites within the network as planned. To truly extend our reach to patients throughout the UK, a further 10 (minimum) sites are planned to open for recruitment to both trials in the coming year, providing equity of access. SMP2 have already delivered on this commitment by opening one of these new sites, Devon and Exeter, and before Christmas expect to bring on board the newly appointed ECMC Liverpool. NLMT have also opened Heart of England in Birmingham as a new treatment site this year and are looking forward to working with Devon and Liverpool.

-          In consortium, NLMT and SMP2 study teams have been working hard to add additional treatment arms to NLMT which we hope will come to fruition in 2018. It is important to both study teams to be able to give patients several target treatment options as well as remaining scientifically of interest.

-          It has equally been a challenging year for the programme, with the exciting recent advancements in immuno-oncology, leading to increasing demands on already limited tissue. However, even with these challenges, over 800 patients have been screened in 2017 alone, a credit to the hard work of our clinical hubs and technology hubs and a total of 197 patients have now been recruited to the NLMT.

Following on from this success, we are looking forward to the year ahead and look forward to working with you to bring precision medicine to more patients.