Stratified Medicine Programme

Our pioneering initiative will bring the benefits of genetic testing to cancer patients and researchers across the UK.

Stratified Medicine Programme 2

Working closely with our funding partners and network of hospitals and genetics labs developed in Stratified Medicine Programme 1 , we will:

  • Genetically screen up to 2,000 non-small cell lung cancer patients a year to identify the key genetic faults driving the growth of their cancer
  • Continue to pioneer the use of Next Generation Sequencing technology in the NHS
  • Use this information to match patients to the best treatment option from the multiple “arms” of The National Lung Matrix Trial

The National Lung Matrix Trial

Led by the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in Birmingham, this will be a nationwide trial conducted through the network of 18 Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres.

Each arm of the trial will test a different drug that targets a specific genetic fault.

Treatments will be supplied by our funding partners AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

As patients undergo treatment, the trial will adapt. Successful arms can become independent trials and new arms can be added as treatments are discovered.

Why lung cancer?

  1. Survival rates for lung cancer are still too low and treatment options too limited.
  2. The patient pathway for lung cancer is challenging– if we can succeed here, we can roll out to other tumour types.
  3. With targeted therapies already available or in the pipeline for lung cancer, we can get new treatments to patients straight away.

Who can take part?

Only patients already receiving care at the participating Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres can be recruited for the programme by their clinical care team.

There is more information about what stratified medicine is and related research on our patient information website, About cancer.


Stratified Medicine Programme 1

Working with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and the UK government's Technology Strategy Board, we wanted to demonstrate how the NHS can provide genetic testing for cancer patients.

Patients at one of eight Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres were asked for permission to use tissue samples left over from routine surgery.

Their samples were sent to one of three labs where their DNA was extracted and tested for a set of genetic faults commonly seen in cancer.

Key outcomes

In the two years up to July 2013, over 9,000 people with melanoma, breast, bowel, lung, prostate and ovarian cancer, had their tumours tested.

Over 8,000 patient records are now securely stored in a research database, with access for researchers planned for 2014.

We have made the switch from individual gene tests to Next Generation Sequencing, which tests multiple genes at the same time, saving time and money.

Importantly, we now have a dedicated, nationwide network of hospitals and individuals experienced in providing genetic testing, and have laid the foundations from SMP2.


Find out more about the Programme

More information on the SMP can be found on our science blog:

Get in touch

Are you a company interested in collaboration or partnership with the programme? Or a researcher wanting to know more about accessing the data or linking your study to the programme?

Find out more by contacting the Stratified Medicine Team:

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