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The TAPUR study by ASCO

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), genomic medicine plays a prominent role in our commitment to delivering innovative, personalized treatments to our patients. The TAPUR clinical trial offers an important new approach.

TAPUR Clinical Trial Infographic

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“This trial changes the entire language of clinical research in cancer. Rather than base treatments on large populations of patients, the study looks at the individual patient's tumor. This is the future of cancer research. It changes the thought processes for how oncologists treat cancer.”

What is the TAPUR study?

The Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) study is a clinical trial that aims to improve our understanding of how commercially available anti-cancer drugs perform on a broader range of cancers, by matching the drugs to tumors with specific genomic mutations that the drugs are designed to target. CTCA enrolls qualified patients at all five of our hospitals.

The trial, led by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), will collect data on the drugs’ effectiveness, adverse side effects and other patient outcomes, providing insights that may lead to new uses for approved drugs.

While the targeted therapies under study have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat specific cancers, this trial will collect data on how the drugs perform on patients with cancer types that they are not yet approved to treat. Such treatments, used outside their FDA-approved indications, are often not covered by insurance companies, putting the drugs out of reach of many patients and physicians. By actively studying these drugs, which are provided at no cost to the study participant, the trial aims to offer new insights on the drugs’ potential uses.

"What we have here is not just one drug or one molecular abnormality. We have multiple molecular abnormalities, multiple drugs, multiple companies participating in this trial,” says Dr. Maurie Markman, President of Medicine & Science at CTCA. “This ASCO-led trial focuses on what we can find within an individual patient's cancer that can help identify a new treatment option.”

The TAPUR trial data will be collected in an extensive database, and results will be widely shared, potentially benefiting the cancer community, federal regulators and the drug makers alike.

Who is involved?

As part of the study, seven pharmaceutical companies are making 17 anti-cancer drugs available at no cost to participating patients. Qualified candidates are those with advanced cancer who meet the eligibility criteria, who have exhausted conventional treatment options and whose genomic test reveals a tumor mutation that may be targeted with an anti-cancer drug made available in the trial, as long as the drug has not been approved for their cancer type. For a full listing of participating companies, please go to TAPUR.org.

Hospitals around the country, including all five CTCA hospitals, are enrolling patients. At CTCA, our cancer experts recognize the promise of precision cancer treatment and are proud to offer this comprehensive clinical trial to qualifying patients.

asco logo

For a full list of drugs, visit ASCO’s TAPUR site.

Do I qualify for participation?

Generally speaking, qualifying participants must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Not be pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the trial timeline
  • Not be bed-ridden
  • Have been diagnosed with an advanced solid tumor, multiple myeloma or B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Have exhausted available standard treatment options
  • Have had a genomic or molecular test performed on their tumor
  • Have genomic test results that reveal their tumor has a mutation that may be targeted with a drug included in the trial and not approved for that cancer type

In other words, if the trial includes a targeted therapy approved to treat melanoma and designed to attack a specific mutation, a lung cancer patient with that mutation would qualify, but a melanoma patient with the same mutation would not, because the drug is already approved for this therapy.

Why now?
The genomic medicine era

The science of cancer care is changing, moving to a truly personalized, precision approach, and this trial is part of an effort to uncover evidence-based insights that may lead to new, individualized treatments. Traditionally, cancer treatments attack the disease based on where it appears in the body: Breast cancer treatments are for cancers that develop in the breast; lung cancer treatments attack cancers in the lung.

Advances in cancer research have broadened our understanding of the disease, on a molecular level, leading to the potential for a more targeted, precision approach—a core element of the CTCA approach to cancer care.

Now, advanced genomic tests on some tumors are used to map out the cancer’s DNA profile, revealing abnormalities that may be responsible for driving the malignancy’s growth and behavior. Scientists are discovering that common mutations are found across cancer types, meaning that several patients may have the same mutation, even though their cancers were found in different areas of the body. Some lung cancers may look and behave like breast cancers with the same mutation, for example—and both may benefit from the same treatment.

Today’s generation of targeted therapies is designed to favorably impact these mutations, known as “actionable genomic variants.” Recent studies on patients with advanced cancer suggest these variants are found in 20 percent to 40 percent of tumors, according to ASCO’s TAPUR website. But the field is still evolving, and the cancer world is hungry for more data on how these drugs perform on more cancer types.

At CTCA, advanced genomic testing of certain tumors is integral to our commitment to providing our patients with innovative, precision cancer treatment options. The TAPUR trial offers an exciting opportunity, for the science of cancer care in general and our patients in particular, to learn more about how those drugs perform on more cancer types.

What is special about TAPUR?

There are several reasons the CTCA and cancer community at large are excited about the TAPUR trial’s possibilities:

It may lead to more treatment options. This trial aims to amass a broad pool of data that may help uncover new uses for existing drugs in more cancer types, based on specific abnormalities.

It’s truly precision medicine. Rather than targeting all cells in the body, hoping to impact the cancer cells most, precision medicine identifies the specific mutations that cause a specific type of cancer to develop. TAPUR is testing drugs that the FDA has concluded are safe and effective to treat specific mutations in specific cancer types. The TAPUR study aims to learn whether using these drugs in other cancer types with the same mutations will also yield safe and effective therapies. Therefore, TAPUR focuses on the mutations and is open to a wide range of cancer types.

It is more inclusive. Unlike studies with very rigid qualifications for eligibility, this trial is designed to include a wider patient population. As a result, TAPUR is learning from the experience of a wider array of cancer patients.

"This is the future of cancer research," says Dr. Markman. "It cannot be overstated how important this trial is. It changes the trajectory, the future, the thought processes for how oncologists treat cancer.”

Have questions?

To learn more about the TAPUR trial, how to determine eligibility and how to enroll for participation in the trial at a CTCA hospital, call (888) 552-6760. If you are onsite at one our hospitals, please visit the Precision Medicine Center for more information.