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Posted by on Feb 5, 2019 in Melanoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study wanted to look at the different types of treatment for melanoma, and find out which was best and had the least side effects. The study found that the best treatment was to use MEK inhibitors and BRAF, as it worked the best and had the least side effects.

Some background

There are a number of treatments available for melanoma cancer. Many of these drugs target abnormal genes such as BRAF and MEK. Some use the body’s immune system to kill the cancer cells. Some use chemotherapy treatment to kill the cancer cells. It is not known which type of treatment will work best. It is also not known which kind of treatment has the least side effects.

Methods & findings

This study gathered information from 24 other smaller studies. Overall, information from 10,951 patients was looked at. All of the patients had advanced melanoma. All of the patients were treated with a combination of drugs. The list of different treatments is below.

  1. PDL1 blockers and chemotherapy
  2. CTLA-4 blockers and chemotherapy
  3. PDL1 blockers and CTLA-4 blockers
  4. CTLA-4 blockers plus surgery/radiotherapy
  5. PDL1 blockers plus surgery/radiotherapy
  6. BRAF inhibitor plus MEK inhibitor
  7. BRAF inhibitor plus MEK inhibitor plus PDL1 blockers
  8. BRAF inhibitor plus MEK inhibitor plus CTLA-4 blockers
  9. MEK inhibitors plus chemotherapy
  10. BRAF inhibitors plus chemotherapy

Overall, the patients treated with a combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors survived better overall. The patients treated with PDL1 blocker also survived better. The patients treated with BRAF and MEK inhibitors went for longer with the cancer not growing compared to the other treatments. The most side effects occurred in the patients treated with the combination of MEK inhibitors with chemotherapy.

The bottom line

The study concluded that treating advanced melanoma with a combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors had the best results.

The fine print

This is a very large study looking at lots of results.

What’s next?

Talk to your oncologist about your treatment plan.

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

Jan 09, 2019

Original Title :

Comparative efficacy and safety of combination therapies for advanced melanoma: a network meta-analysis.

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