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Posted by on Nov 4, 2018 in Melanoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study wanted to find out which treatment for melanoma cancer worked better, encorafenib (Braftovi) + binimetinib (Mektovi), encorafenib alone, or vemurafenib (Zelboraf) alone. The study found that encorafenib + binimetinib worked well and was safe, compared to vemurafenib and encorafenib.

Some background

In about 50% of patients with melanoma, the tumor has mutations in the gene called BRAF. This mutation makes the cancer progress quicker. Past studies have shown that using encorafenib + binimetinib together increased how long the patients survived without the cancer advancing. This was compared to other available treatments.

Methods & findings

This study consisted of 577 patients. The patients all had advanced melanoma with a mutation in the BRAF gene. They were split into three groups. The first group had 192 patients, who all received treatment with encorafenib + binimetinib. The second group had 194 patients, who all received treatment with encorafenib alone. The third group had 191 patients, who all received treatment with vemurafenib alone. The patients were followed for an average of 37 months after treatment.

On average, the patients who were treated with encorafenib + binimetinib survived for 34 months. The average survival time was 17 months for the patients who were treated with vemurafenib alone. The patients in the encorafenib alone group survived for 24 months on average. There were some side effects seen. It was found that 9% of patients in the encorafenib + binimetinib group had liver damage. It was found that 6% of patients in this group developed high blood pressure.

The bottom line

This study showed that overall survival in patients with advanced melanoma with BRAF mutations is higher in patients treated with encorafenib + binimetinib compared to encorafenib alone or vemurafenib alone.

The fine print

This was a fairly large study, which is being analysed in parts. This study was paid for by two different pharmaceutical companies called Novartis and Array BioPharma.

What’s next?

Discuss your treatment plan with your oncologist.

Published By :

The Lancet. Oncology

Date :

Sep 12, 2018

Original Title :

Overall survival in patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma receiving encorafenib plus binimetinib versus vemurafenib or encorafenib (COLUMBUS): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial.

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