Author(s): Luke JJ, Hodi FS
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Abstract The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved vemurafenib for the treatment of BRAF valine in exon 15, at codon 600 (V600E) mutant metastatic melanoma. Vemurafenib is a competitive small-molecule serine-threonine kinase inhibitor that functions by binding to the ATP-binding domain of mutant BRAF. Compared with dacarbazine chemotherapy, vemurafenib significantly improved the 6-month overall survival of patients from 64\% to 84\% and exhibited a response rate of approximately 50\%. Median progression-free survival was also significantly improved with vemurafenib as compared with dacarbazine (5.3 versus 1.6 months, respectively), and this was consistent among groups analyzed, including age, sex, geography, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group status, disease stage, and serum lactate dehydrogenase. The success of targeting melanoma genomics has created a paradigm shift for future drug development. Currently, the elucidation of resistant mechanisms to vemurafenib therapy remains an important area of active investigation that will shape rational drug treatments for melanoma. The development of vemurafenib, the role of BRAF targeting, and the changing landscape of treatment for melanoma provide a new foundation for clinical investigation. © 2011 AACR.
This article was published in Clin Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis