Dr. Ascierto on the COLUMBUS Trial in Melanoma

Paolo A. Ascierto, MD
Published: Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018



Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, director of the Unit of Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy at the National Tumor Institute Fondazione G. Pascale in Naples, discusses the COLUMBUS trial in melanoma.

COLUMBUS was a phase III trial of encorafenib plus binimetinib versus vemurafenib (Zelboraf) or encorafenib in patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma. Median overall survival was 33.6 months (95% CI, 24.4-39.2) with encorafenib plus binimetinib, 23.5 months (95% CI, 19.6-33.6) with encorafenib, and 16.9 months (95% CI, 14.0-24.5) with vemurafenib.

The trial compared a new combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors with vemurafenib monotherapy, says Ascierto. Encorafenib was shown to be superior to vemurafenib, giving physicians a new and more potent class of BRAF inhibitors.

Physicians now know that adding binimetinib to encorafenib improves survival in patients with BRAF-mutant advanced, unresectable or metastatic melanoma. In terms of the safety profile, encorafenib was associated with less fever and photosensitivity. This will allow patients to stay on treatment longer, says Ascierto.


Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, director of the Unit of Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy at the National Tumor Institute Fondazione G. Pascale in Naples, discusses the COLUMBUS trial in melanoma.

COLUMBUS was a phase III trial of encorafenib plus binimetinib versus vemurafenib (Zelboraf) or encorafenib in patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma. Median overall survival was 33.6 months (95% CI, 24.4-39.2) with encorafenib plus binimetinib, 23.5 months (95% CI, 19.6-33.6) with encorafenib, and 16.9 months (95% CI, 14.0-24.5) with vemurafenib.

The trial compared a new combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors with vemurafenib monotherapy, says Ascierto. Encorafenib was shown to be superior to vemurafenib, giving physicians a new and more potent class of BRAF inhibitors.

Physicians now know that adding binimetinib to encorafenib improves survival in patients with BRAF-mutant advanced, unresectable or metastatic melanoma. In terms of the safety profile, encorafenib was associated with less fever and photosensitivity. This will allow patients to stay on treatment longer, says Ascierto.

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TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: Precision Medicine for Community Oncologists: Assessing the Role of Tumor-Testing Technologies in Cancer CareNov 30, 20181.0
35th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium: Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow® Clinical Vignette SeriesJan 31, 20192.0
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