Dr. Davies on the Potential Utility of ERK Inhibitors in Melanoma

Michael A. Davies, MD, PhD, discusses the potential utility of ERK inhibitors in melanoma.

Michael A. Davies, MD, PhD, the Anne and John Mendelsohn Chair in Cancer Research, professor and chair, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, co-leader, Melanoma Moon Shot Program, Department of Moon Shots Program, and director of research activities, Department of Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the potential utility of ERK inhibitors in melanoma.

BRAF inhibitors and MEK inhibitors have demonstrated efficacy in patients with melanoma, Davies says. As such, there is clinical rationale to evaluate ERK inhibitors, which target the same signaling pathway further down the cascade than BRAF and MEK, says Davies.

Single-agent ERK inhibitors have yielded preclinical data that suggest these agents could be more efficacious compared with MEK inhibitors, Davies explains. However, like MEK inhibitors, effective dosing with ERK inhibitors could be challenging for patients to tolerate, Davies says.

Notably, the combination of a BRAF inhibitor and a MEK inhibitor appears to be better tolerated vs each inhibitor alone, so combination strategies with ERK inhibitors may be more tolerable for patients vs single-agent ERK inhibitors, concludes Davies.