Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Drug combinations show promise against metastatic melanoma

In continuation of my update on Vemurafenib..

A Phase I study in 44 patients shows that the combination of the MEK inhibitor GDC-0973  (see structure) and vemurafenib can be delivered safely, Dr Rene Gonzalez of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Denver, and colleagues report.

"BRAF inhibition has resulted in high response rates and improved survival in patients with BRAF mutated melanoma," Dr Gonzalez said. "One of several mechanisms of resistance has been reactivation of the MAPK pathway. Preclinical models show that combined inhibition of BRAF and MEK can delay the acqusition of resistance compared to BRAF inhibitor monotherapy. Inhibition of the pathway downstream from BRAF with the MEK inhibitor GDC-0973 could theoretically overcome or delay this resistance mechanism and improve outcomes."

The study was not designed to evalate efficacy. "While early data in a small number of patients did show tumor reduction, it would be premature to comment on efficacy based on these preliminary results and further research is warranted," Dr Gonzalez said.

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