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Upstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibition: MEK inhibitor followed by a BRAF inhibitor in advanced melanoma patients


Goldinger, Simone M; Zimmer, Lisa; Schulz, Carsten; Ugurel, Selma; Hoeller, Christoph; Kaehler, Katharina C; Schadendorf, Dirk; Hassel, Jessica C; Becker, Juergen; Hauschild, Axel; Dummer, Reinhard (2014). Upstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibition: MEK inhibitor followed by a BRAF inhibitor in advanced melanoma patients. European Journal of Cancer, 50(2):406-410.

Abstract

BRAF-mutant melanoma can be successfully treated by BRAF kinase inhibitors (BRAFi) and MEK kinase inhibitors (MEKi). However, the administration of BRAFi followed by MEKi did not generate promising response rate (RR). The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the time to progression (TTP) with a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway upstream inhibition strategy in BRAF mutated melanoma patients. BRAF mutation positive metastatic melanoma patients were identified within the Dermatology Cooperative Oncology Group (DeCOG) network and were treated first with a MEKi and upon progression with a selective BRAFi. A total of 23 melanoma patients (six females, 17 males, aged 47-80years) were retrospectively analysed for TTP. The total median TTP was 8.9months. The median TTP for MEKi was 4.8 (1.2-23.2) and subsequent for BRAFi 4.5 (1.2-15.7) months, respectively. A higher RR for MEKi (39%, nine partial responses and 0 complete responses) than previously reported was observed. Our analysis suggests that the reversed inhibition of the MAPK pathway is feasible in BRAF mutated melanoma. The median TTP (8.9months) is close to the promising BRAF- and MEKi combination therapy (median progression-free survival (PFS) 9.4months). The total treatment duration of the MAPK inhibition when a MEKi is administered first is similar compared to the reversed sequence, but TTP shifts in favour to the MEKi. This approach is feasible with reasonable tolerability. This clinical investigation encourages further studies in prospective clinical trials to define the optimal treatment schedule for the MAPK pathway inhibition and should be accompanied by molecular monitoring using repeated biopsies.

Abstract

BRAF-mutant melanoma can be successfully treated by BRAF kinase inhibitors (BRAFi) and MEK kinase inhibitors (MEKi). However, the administration of BRAFi followed by MEKi did not generate promising response rate (RR). The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the time to progression (TTP) with a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway upstream inhibition strategy in BRAF mutated melanoma patients. BRAF mutation positive metastatic melanoma patients were identified within the Dermatology Cooperative Oncology Group (DeCOG) network and were treated first with a MEKi and upon progression with a selective BRAFi. A total of 23 melanoma patients (six females, 17 males, aged 47-80years) were retrospectively analysed for TTP. The total median TTP was 8.9months. The median TTP for MEKi was 4.8 (1.2-23.2) and subsequent for BRAFi 4.5 (1.2-15.7) months, respectively. A higher RR for MEKi (39%, nine partial responses and 0 complete responses) than previously reported was observed. Our analysis suggests that the reversed inhibition of the MAPK pathway is feasible in BRAF mutated melanoma. The median TTP (8.9months) is close to the promising BRAF- and MEKi combination therapy (median progression-free survival (PFS) 9.4months). The total treatment duration of the MAPK inhibition when a MEKi is administered first is similar compared to the reversed sequence, but TTP shifts in favour to the MEKi. This approach is feasible with reasonable tolerability. This clinical investigation encourages further studies in prospective clinical trials to define the optimal treatment schedule for the MAPK pathway inhibition and should be accompanied by molecular monitoring using repeated biopsies.

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15 citations in Web of Science®
17 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:07 Jan 2014 16:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:10
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0959-8049
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2013.09.014
PubMed ID:24183461

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