Dr. Luke on the Role of Targeted Therapy in Melanoma

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>UPMC Hillman Cancer Center</b>

Jason J. Luke, MD, FACP, discusses the role of targeted therapy 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 role of targeted therapy in melanoma.

Genomic profiling can help to inform the optimal treatment strategy for a patient with metastatic melanoma, Luke says. 

BRAF mutations are present in about 50% of all patients with melanoma, Luke explains. Additionally, about 25% and 15% of patients harbor a RAS mutation and NF1 mutation, respectively. Patients with can also harbor KIT mutations, HER2 amplifications, or other rarer genetic aberrations, explains Luke.

Currently, BRAF mutations are the only targetable alteration per an FDA-approved therapy, Luke says. However, ongoing research efforts are developing therapies to target cKIT mutations in patients with acral or mucosal melanoma, as well as HER2 amplifications.

Other clinical trials are evaluating MET and ERK inhibitors alone or in combination with CDK inhibitors in patients with NRAS– and NF1–mutant melanomas, Luke concludes.