Vemurafenib improves survival in melanoma with BRAF V600E mutation

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Published: 21 Oct 2011
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Dr Grant McArthur - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia
The BRIM-3 study was a Phase 3 randomised clinical trial which demonstrated that vemurafenib improves overall and progression-free survival in patients with BRAF V600E mutated melanoma. This study compared vemurafenib with the previous standard treatment, dacarbazine, in 675 patients with previously untreated, metastatic melanoma. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either vemurafenib or dacarbazine and at 6 months, overall survival was 84% in the vemurafenib group and 64% in the dacarbazine group. Response rates were 48% for vemurafenib and 5% for dacarbazine. After review of the interim analysis by an independent data and safety monitoring board, it was recommended that patients receiving dacarbazine should switch to vemurafenib.

Prof Grant McArthur discusses these results in addition to the long term Phase I results for vemurafenib; explains how he believes vemurafenib can be used in combination therapies to develop melanoma treatment; and stresses that these combinations will only become effective when we have identified accurate biomarkers for drugs such as ipilimumab.