The potential for BRAF V600 inhibitors in advanced cutaneous melanoma: rationale and latest evidence.
ABSTRACT Historically, patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. The discovery of selective v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) V600 mutation as an oncogenic mutation in cutaneous melanoma and the importance of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in its tumourigenesis have changed the treatment paradigm for melanoma. Selective BRAF inhibitors and now MEK inhibitors have demonstrated response rates far higher than standard chemotherapeutic options and we review the phase I-III results for these agents in this article. The understanding of mechanisms of resistance that may occur upstream, downstream, at the BRAF level or bypassing the MAPK pathway provides a platform for rational drug development and combination therapies.
Article: Basal and treatment-induced activation of AKT mediates resistance to cell death by AZD6244 (ARRY-142886) in Braf-mutant human cutaneous melanoma cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The majority of melanomas show constitutive activation of the RAS-RAF-MAP/ERK kinase (MEK)-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. AZD6244 is a selective MEK1/2 inhibitor that markedly reduces tumor P-MAPK levels, but it produces few clinical responses in melanoma patients. An improved understanding of the determinants of resistance to AZD6244 may lead to improved patient selection and effective combinatorial approaches. The effects of AZD6244 on cell growth and survival were tested in a total of 14 Braf-mutant and 3 wild-type human cutaneous melanoma cell lines. Quantitative assessment of phospho-protein levels in the Braf-mutant cell lines by reverse phase protein array (RPPA) analysis showed no significant association between P-MEK or P-MAPK levels and AZD6244 sensitivity, but activation-specific markers in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway correlated with resistance. We also identified resistant cell lines without basal activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway. RPPA characterization of the time-dependent changes in signaling pathways revealed that AZD6244 produced durable and potent inhibition of P-MAPK in sensitive and resistant Braf-mutant cell lines, but several resistant lines showed AZD6244-induced activation of AKT. In contrast, sensitive cell lines showed AZD6244 treatment-induced upregulation of PTEN protein and mRNA expression. Inhibition of AKT, TORC1/2, or insulin-like growth factor I receptor blocked AZD6244-induced activation of AKT and resulted in synergistic cell killing with AZD6244. These findings identify basal and treatment-induced regulation of the PI3K-AKT pathway as a critical regulator of AZD6244 sensitivity in Braf-mutant cutaneous melanoma cells and the novel regulation of PTEN expression by AZD6244 in sensitive cells, and suggest new combinatorial approaches for patients.Cancer Research 10/2010; 70(21):8736-47. · 7.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of the BRAF kinase inhibitor vemurafenib (PLX4032) have shown response rates of more than 50% in patients with metastatic melanoma with the BRAF V600E mutation. We conducted a phase 3 randomized clinical trial comparing vemurafenib with dacarbazine in 675 patients with previously untreated, metastatic melanoma with the BRAF V600E mutation. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either vemurafenib (960 mg orally twice daily) or dacarbazine (1000 mg per square meter of body-surface area intravenously every 3 weeks). Coprimary end points were rates of overall and progression-free survival. Secondary end points included the response rate, response duration, and safety. A final analysis was planned after 196 deaths and an interim analysis after 98 deaths. At 6 months, overall survival was 84% (95% confidence interval [CI], 78 to 89) in the vemurafenib group and 64% (95% CI, 56 to 73) in the dacarbazine group. In the interim analysis for overall survival and final analysis for progression-free survival, vemurafenib was associated with a relative reduction of 63% in the risk of death and of 74% in the risk of either death or disease progression, as compared with dacarbazine (P<0.001 for both comparisons). After review of the interim analysis by an independent data and safety monitoring board, crossover from dacarbazine to vemurafenib was recommended. Response rates were 48% for vemurafenib and 5% for dacarbazine. Common adverse events associated with vemurafenib were arthralgia, rash, fatigue, alopecia, keratoacanthoma or squamous-cell carcinoma, photosensitivity, nausea, and diarrhea; 38% of patients required dose modification because of toxic effects. Vemurafenib produced improved rates of overall and progression-free survival in patients with previously untreated melanoma with the BRAF V600E mutation. (Funded by Hoffmann-La Roche; BRIM-3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01006980.).New England Journal of Medicine 06/2011; 364(26):2507-16. · 53.30 Impact Factor