Dr. Luke on the Importance of BRAF in Melanoma

Jason J. Luke, MD, FACP, discusses the importance of BRAF in melanoma.

Jason J. Luke, MD, FACP, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and director of the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Center Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center, discusses the importance of BRAF in melanoma.

BRAF, found in half of all patients with melanoma, is a foundational mutation that was 1 of the seminal targets for early targeted agents, says Luke. BRAF mutations also have to occur in conjunction with other mutations or dysregulations of the tumor.

In melanoma, half of the treatment paradigm is targeting BRAF mutations with 3 different FDA-approved BRAF/MEK inhibitor combinations. Now, BRAF/MEL inhibitors are even being combined with PD-1 antibodies, Luke adds.

BRAF is very important biologically, as it drives the development of about half of the melanoma cases, says Luke; it is almost important therapeutically, as it is integrated into the treatment paradigm for half of patients with the disease and dictates how treatments are selected and sequenced, concludes Luke.