The Role of Biomarker Testing in Melanoma


Nikhil Khushalani, MD, explores the significance of biomarker testing in melanoma, emphasizing the pivotal role of BRAF in understanding and managing this type of skin cancer.

This is a video synopsis/summary of an OncLive Insights® discussion involving Afreen Shariff, MD, MBBS; Javid Moslehi, MD; and Nikhil Khushalani, MD.

This segment focuses on the role of biomarker testing and mutational status impact in patients with newly diagnosed melanoma.

Dr Khushalani emphasizes determining mutational status early on in the appropriate clinical context. For example, testing is not done routinely for early-stage disease, but should be done for stage III and definitely stage IV metastatic disease. Testing should include tumor mutational profiling and BRAF testing, as BRAF mutations occur in about 45% of melanomas. Additional molecular profiling or next-generation sequencing can identify other less common mutations like NRAS (second most common) and NF1 (third most common). Tumors lacking these mutations are termed “wild type.”

It is important to test for BRAF because there are MAP kinase pathway inhibitors targeting BRAF V600 mutations that are approved for metastatic melanoma and as adjuvant therapy for high-risk resected stage III disease.

Video synopsis is AI-generated and reviewed by OncLive® editorial staff.

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