Dr. Bauman on Treatments for Patients With BRAF-Mutant NSCLC

Jessica Bauman, MD
Published: Tuesday, Jul 03, 2018



Jessica Bauman, MD, assistant professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, associate program director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses treatments for patients with BRAF-mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

BRAF is a commonly seen mutation in melanoma, but is also seen in 1% to 5% of patients with NSCLC. Of those patients, approximately half present with V600E mutations. The drugs that have been approved in melanoma for many years have also demonstrated activity in NSCLC, says Bauman.

The combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) has demonstrated durable response rates of 60% with progression-free survival benefit. Patients who have BRAF mutations can derive benefit from these targeted agents. Although targeted agents have become viable options for these patients, immunotherapy may induce better responses, says Bauman.

There are still a lot of questions regarding responses to immune therapy for patients who harbor targetable mutations. However, patients with BRAF mutations are known to have higher PD-L1 expression and tumor mutational burden, which may lend well to immunotherapy, says Bauman.


Jessica Bauman, MD, assistant professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, associate program director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses treatments for patients with BRAF-mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

BRAF is a commonly seen mutation in melanoma, but is also seen in 1% to 5% of patients with NSCLC. Of those patients, approximately half present with V600E mutations. The drugs that have been approved in melanoma for many years have also demonstrated activity in NSCLC, says Bauman.

The combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) has demonstrated durable response rates of 60% with progression-free survival benefit. Patients who have BRAF mutations can derive benefit from these targeted agents. Although targeted agents have become viable options for these patients, immunotherapy may induce better responses, says Bauman.

There are still a lot of questions regarding responses to immune therapy for patients who harbor targetable mutations. However, patients with BRAF mutations are known to have higher PD-L1 expression and tumor mutational burden, which may lend well to immunotherapy, says Bauman.



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