Richard W. Joseph, MD, highlights clinical trial results showing that melanoma patients with NRAS mutations tend to have better response rates to immunotherapy compared with patients with wild-type NRAS. NRAS mutations may be valuable predictors of response in patients with melanoma, suggests Dr Joseph.
Dr Joseph discusses previous research that investigated whether response rates for patients treated with high-dose interleukin-2 varied based on whether the patient had an NRAS mutation, a BRAF mutation, or were wild-type for both NRAS and BRAF. The results showed that patients with NRAS mutations responded better to treatment than patients with BRAF mutations or patients who were wild-type for both NRAS and BRAF. More recent research has demonstrated that patients with NRAS mutations also respond better when treated with other types of immunotherapies, he adds.
Although these results are exciting, there is still no definitive answer as to why melanoma patients with NRAS mutations respond better than patients without such mutations, remarks Dr Joseph. He is hopeful that additional studies will provide additional insight into the role of NRAS mutations in melanoma.