Results from 2 phase 3 trials showed better response rates, progression-free survival, and overall survival when a BRAF inhibitor was combined with a MEK inhibitor, compared with a BRAF inhibitor alone.
For patients with advanced melanoma that is BRAF-mutation positive, the combination of a BRAF and MEK inhibitor works better than a BRAF inhibitor alone. The data come from 2 phase 3 trials presented here at the presidential session of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2014.
Experts here say that such combinations should be the new standard of care in this patient population, which accounts for about 40% of all melanoma.
At present, the first-line treatment for these patients is a BRAF inhibitor used alone, but while these drugs can elicit dramatic responses, they do not last, and after about 5 or 6 months, patients relapse. The tumor develops resistance to the drug via the MAPK pathway, and this is blocked by a MEK inhibitor. Adding a MEK inhibitor to the BRAF inhibitor from the beginning of treatment blocks this resistance pathway and improves outcomes.
The 2 new trials are known as COMBI-v and coBRIM.
Link to the Medscape report: http://bit.ly/1v1yjVh