Dana-Farber Cancer Institute designers have reported in a new study that its computer platform makes the patient matching process easier, as well as faster.

With the new MatchMiner platform, clinicians and clinical researchers will be able to find potential matches between subjects and targeted treatment trials based on genetic alterations in their tumours.

The study authors found that MatchMiner, which has been developed by the Knowledge Systems Group at Dana-Farber, expedited the patient enrolling process in the trials by over 20%.

Tali Mazor is the co-lead author of the paper, with Dana-Farber colleague Harry Klein.

Mazor said: “Profiling patient tumours for genomic alterations has become a widespread part of cancer care, especially as new drugs targeting those alterations go into clinical trials or are approved as cancer therapies.

“The combination of this growing body of genomic data and increasing number of precision medicine trials has created a kind of disconnect: finding the right trial for each patient can be a difficult task. MatchMiner helps bridge that gap.”

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Launched in 2016, the platform draws on the institutes’ programmes in genomic analysis and clinical research.

MatchMiner can be used by a clinician or an oncologist to look up trial options for a patient, or by a trial team for identifying potential participants.

Investigators analysed patient enrollment data for precision medicine trials at Dana-Farber in the new study for determining whether MatchMiner expedited the process of finding an appropriate trial for patients whose tumours had been profiled genomically.

In this process, 166 instances were found in which the platform identified a potential match between a patient and a trial.

MatchMiner considers the molecular features of the patient’s tumour, its type, and age to link patients to trials and ignores other trial criteria such as the stage of the tumour, previous treatment, and a patient’s overall health.