Elesclomol May Benefit Chemotherapy-Treated Melanoma Patients with Normal LDH Levels

A phase III trial showed that the combination of elesclomol and paclitaxel did not benefit most people with melanoma. Elesclomol is an experimental drug that can kill cancer cells and paclitaxel is a chemotherapy drug. The trial included 651 people; the combination treatment was stopped early when it became clear that most of those treated with paclitaxel alone survived longer. Most of these people also had high levels of an enzyme called lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Conversely, elesclomol did increase survival in people with normal levels of this enzyme, suggesting that LDH levels could be used to predict who would benefit from this combination treatment.


Plexxikon updates Zelboraf Phase 1 data on BRAF V600E mutation-positive melanoma

Plexxikon today announced that updated Phase 1 clinical data of Zelboraf (vemurafenib) were presented at the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) 2012 Congress, held November 8-11 in Los Angeles, CA.


Combined BRAF and MEK Inhibition Improves Outcome in Metastatic Melanoma

The combination of dabrafenib and trametinib is safe and effective in BRAF-mutant melanoma.


Watchdog approves skin cancer drugs ipilimumab and vemurafenib

Patients with an advanced form of skin cancer were given new hope today after the health watchdog recommended that two life-extending treatments should be available on the NHS.


PLOS ONE: The Prognostic Value of BRAF Mutation in Colorectal Cancer and Melanoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.


Progression of RAS-Mutant Leukemia during RAF Inhibitor Treatment

Vemurafenib, a selective RAF inhibitor, extends survival among patients with BRAF V600E–mutant melanoma. Vemurafenib inhibits ERK signaling in BRAF V600E–mutant cells but activates ERK signaling in BRAF wild-type cells. This paradoxical activation of ERK signaling is the mechanistic basis for the development of RAS-mutant squamous-cell skin cancers in patients treated with RAF inhibitors. This study reports the accelerated growth of a previously unsuspected RAS-mutant leukemia in a patient with melanoma who was receiving vemurafenib. Exposure to vemurafenib induced hyperactivation of ERK signaling and proliferation of the leukemic cell population, an effect that was reversed on drug withdrawal.


New melanoma trial initiated at Moffitt Cancer Center to investigate utility of immunotherapy biomarkers

Phase I melanoma patient trial will test whether the drug PV-10 works better in patients with a distinct immune biomarker signature in both blood and tumor tissue.


Circulating tumor cells may be predictive for recurrence and survival in melanoma patients

Circulating tumor cells detected in the blood of stage III melanoma patients may be a predictive blood biomarker helpful for deciding which patients could benefit from aggressive adjuvant therapy.


How necessary is a sentinel node biopsy for melanoma?

A new report weighs the pros and cons of a sentinel node biopsy for melanoma patients.