Dr. Ryan Sullivan on Treating BRAF-Mutant Patients With Melanoma

Ryan Sullivan, MD
Published: Monday, Nov 07, 2016



Ryan Sullivan, MD, assistant in medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School, discusses the need for the development of biomarkers to predict an optimal therapy for patients with BRAF-mutant unresectable melanoma.

Since 2011, a host of new therapies have gained approval for the treatment of BRAF-mutant melanoma, including the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and MEK inhibitor trametinib and the combination of the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab and the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab. In addition to these therapies, other BRAF and MEK combinations have also gained approval along with other immunotherapies.

Given the large amount of available therapies, it is important for researchers and doctors to identify which patients will benefit from which drugs, and how best to sequence these agents. Until markers are identified to show which patients should receive immunotherapy versus combination BRAF and MEK inhibition, it is left up to the treating physician and the patient to decide which option is best. The ability to make data-driven decisions, Sullivan says, will lead to better care and outcomes.

<<< View more from the 2016 SMR Annual Meeting


Ryan Sullivan, MD, assistant in medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School, discusses the need for the development of biomarkers to predict an optimal therapy for patients with BRAF-mutant unresectable melanoma.

Since 2011, a host of new therapies have gained approval for the treatment of BRAF-mutant melanoma, including the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and MEK inhibitor trametinib and the combination of the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab and the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab. In addition to these therapies, other BRAF and MEK combinations have also gained approval along with other immunotherapies.

Given the large amount of available therapies, it is important for researchers and doctors to identify which patients will benefit from which drugs, and how best to sequence these agents. Until markers are identified to show which patients should receive immunotherapy versus combination BRAF and MEK inhibition, it is left up to the treating physician and the patient to decide which option is best. The ability to make data-driven decisions, Sullivan says, will lead to better care and outcomes.

<<< View more from the 2016 SMR Annual Meeting

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Medical Crossfire®: Evolving Roles for Targeted Melanoma Therapies: Assessing Rapid Progress in the Field and Looking Toward Future CombinationsFeb 28, 20191.5
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