Dr. Chapman on BRAF/MEK Combination for Melanoma

Dr. Paul Chapman, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, on Combining BRAF and MEK Inhibitors for Advanced Melanoma

Paul B. Chapman, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses combination therapy with dabrafenib and trametinib, two investigational agents for patients with advanced melanoma that have a V600 BRAF mutation.

An expanded Phase IB trial to be presented as ASCO shows that combination therapy with the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and the MEK inhibitor trametinib stalls cancer progression with fewer side effects than a single-agent BRAF-targeted therapy.

Based on the rational behind this trial, Chapman is optimistic that this combination will result in a prolonged response. With a single BRAF inhibitor, approximately half of patients develop resistant within five to six months. With the addition of the MEK inhibitor, ideally the time to resistance would be increased, but this data has not yet matured.

As more data becomes available, Chapman hopes that this combination results in a higher response rate or a higher incidence of complete responses. A larger trial is likely to follow, but the the phase IB trial has set the stage for the efficacy of this combination.


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