Melanoma Coverage from Every Angle

Survival Benefit Reported With Combination Therapy for BRAF-Mutant Melanoma

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2018

Compared with vemurafenib alone, the combination therapy of encorafenib plus binimetinib improved overall survival in patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma, in a study updating the phase III COLUMBUS trial and published in The Lancet Oncology. Reinhard Dummer, MD, of University Hospital Zurich, and colleagues also reported “favorable results” in terms of low rates of pyrexia and photosensitivity with the combination therapy.

“These data provide a new benchmark against which new BRAF–MEK inhibitor therapies for BRAF-mutant melanoma can be measured,” commented the investigators. “Together with a favourable tolerability profile, encorafenib plus binimetinib could become an important new treatment option for patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma.”

This trial was a randomized, open-label study conducted at 162 hospitals in 28 countries. Of 1,345 screen patients, 577 were assigned to receive encorafenib plus binimetinib (n = 192), encorafenib (n = 194), or vemurafenib (n = 191).

At a median follow-up of 36.8 months, the median overall survival was 33.6 months with the combination therapy and 16.9 months with vemurafenib. Both the combination therapy and encorafenib alone improved progression-free survival compared with vemurafenib. This overall survival benefit with the use of encorafenib (in combination and as monotherapy) was consistent with the progression-free survival benefits previously reported.

According to the authors, trials are ongoing to evaluate the use of encorafenib plus binimetinib as adjuvant therapy or in combination with immunotherapy.

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