In a nutshell
This study wanted to see if using a different BRAF inhibitor was effective in the treatment of patients with melanoma. The study found that retreating with a slightly different BRAF inhibitor worked well.
Around 50% of patients with melanoma that has spread have a mutation in one of their genes. This gene is called the B-RAF gene. By using medication which targets this BRAF gene, it is possible to kill the cancer cells. BRAF inhibitors are often used in combination with another medicine called an MEK inhibitor for melanoma. This treatment works really well. However, sometimes the cancer cells can become resistant to the treatment, and it will stop working. It is not known if retreating at a later date with a similar BRAF inhibitor will work.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 60 patients. All of the patients had advanced melanoma. The melanoma was either unable to be operated on, or had spread throughout the body. All of the patients had the BRAF gene mutation. All of the patients had previously been treated with BRAF1. From treatment with BRAF1, 12% of the patients had a complete response and were entirely cancer-free. 58% had a partial response to the treatment, where the cancer shrunk, and 20% had no change in their disease. 3 months after treatment with BRAF1, treatment with BRAF2 began.
8% of patients who were treated with BRAF2 had a complete response (no signs of disease after treatment), while 20% had a partial response, and 28% had disease which did not change.
The bottom line
The authors found that retreating patients with BRAF2 after treatment with BRAF1 worked in killing cancer cells in advanced melanoma.
The fine print
This is a small study, and it has a lot of factors to consider.
Discuss with your oncologist if retreatment with a BRAF inhibitor might work for you.
Published By :
Sep 28, 2018