SMP1 proved both feasible within the NHS and acceptable to patients, with >99% of patients approached agreeing to take part in this research. Stratified Medicine Programme 2 represents an advancement to SMP1 and for the first time within the UK, links national pre-screening to a national trial in oncology. Through its Stratified Medicine Programme 2, Cancer Research UK is taking ambitious and significant steps towards making targeted therapies available to eligible cancer patients in the UK
SMP2 is a collaborative programme, launched in 2014 and focussed on lung cancer, between Cancer Research UK, the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres Network, NHS, University of Birmingham Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU), Illumina, Astra Zeneca and Pfizer, and provides a national pre-screening service to the National Lung Matrix Trial.
The clinical network has expanded from 8 to across all 18 ECMCs, and through a hub and spoke model is recruiting patients from >45 NHS sites in order to offer equity of access to as many patients as possible. Clinical sites (SMP2 Clinical Hubs (ECMCs) or SMP2 Feeder Sites) identify and consent eligible patients to allow for their excess diagnostic biopsy tissue to be sent for genetic testing using Next Generation Sequencing, at one of three central NHS molecular diagnostic laboratories (Technology Hubs).
SMP2 has been designed to harness local clinical pathways and processes in order to provide eligible patients with an additional treatment option. Genetic testing through SMP2 is designed to take place in parallel with the patient receiving first line treatment. The NGS results are returned electronically to the local clinical team and patients’ treating oncologist, in a clinically relevant timeframe. Eligible patients may then be consented to participate in the National Lung Matrix Trial.