Review of the available data to best guide initial treatment choice and the sequence of treatments for patients with BRAF Val600 mutant melanoma.
Unlike other cancer types, melanoma tumors do not frequently have p53 gene mutations. Now, scientists have identified a microRNA that when overexpressed, targets the p53 pathway to re-activate p53. Targeting the microRNA has potential in diagnostic and prognostic biomarker applications for patients with melanoma according to the researchers.
A clinical trial found that dabrafenib, a BRAF inhibitor, was far more effective in treating melanomas that have BRAF mutations than the chemotherapy drug dacarbazine, according to a report at an American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. Patients treated with this drug lived without getting worse for 70% longer than those treated with dacarbazine (5.1 vs. 2.7 months, respectively). Moreover, compared to those treated with vemurafenib in other studies, dabrafenib-treated patients had less risk of another kind of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. This suggests that dabrafenib, which is experimental, could be safer than vemurafenib, which is FDA approved.