Lynn M Schuchter

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (74)694.64 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sorafenib is an inhibitor of VEGFR, PDGFR, and RAF kinases, amongst others. We assessed the association of somatic mutations with clinicopathologic features and clinical outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma treated on E2603, comparing treatment with carboplatin, paclitaxel +/- sorafenib (CP vs. Pre-treatment tumor samples from 179 unique individuals enrolled on E2603 were analyzed. Genotyping was performed using a custom iPlex panel interrogating 74 mutations in 13 genes. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher's exact test, logistic regression, and Cox's proportional-hazards models. Progression free survival and overall survival were estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods. BRAF and NRAS mutations were found at frequencies consistent with other metastatic melanoma cohorts. BRAF-mutant melanoma was associated with worse performance status, increased number of disease sites, and younger age at diagnosis; NRAS-mutant melanoma was associated with better performance status, fewer sites of disease, and female gender. BRAF and NRAS mutations were not significantly predictive of response or survival when treated with CPS vs. CP. However, patients with NRAS-mutant melanoma trended towards a worse response and PFS on CP than those with BRAF-mutant or WT/WT melanoma, an association that was reversed for this group on the CPS arm. This study of somatic mutations in melanoma is the last prospectively collected phase III clinical trial population prior to the era of BRAF targeted therapy. A trend towards improved clinical response in patients with NRAS-mutant melanoma treated with CPS was observed, possibly due to sorafenib's effect on CRAF.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2014; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanomas that result from mutations in the gene encoding BRAF often become resistant to BRAF inhibition (BRAFi), with multiple mechanisms contributing to resistance. While therapy-induced autophagy promotes resistance to a number of therapies, especially those that target PI3K/mTOR signaling, its role as an adaptive resistance mechanism to BRAFi is not well characterized. Using tumor biopsies from BRAFV600E melanoma patients treated either with BRAFi or with combined BRAF and MEK inhibition, we found that BRAFi-resistant tumors had increased levels of autophagy compared with baseline. Patients with higher levels of therapy-induced autophagy had drastically lower response rates to BRAFi and a shorter duration of progression-free survival. In BRAFV600E melanoma cell lines, BRAFi or BRAF/MEK inhibition induced cytoprotective autophagy, and autophagy inhibition enhanced BRAFi-induced cell death. Shortly after BRAF inhibitor treatment in melanoma cell lines, mutant BRAF bound the ER stress gatekeeper GRP78, which rapidly expanded the ER. Disassociation of GRP78 from the PKR-like ER-kinase (PERK) promoted a PERK-dependent ER stress response that subsequently activated cytoprotective autophagy. Combined BRAF and autophagy inhibition promoted tumor regression in BRAFi-resistant xenografts. These data identify a molecular pathway for drug resistance connecting BRAFi, the ER stress response, and autophagy and provide a rationale for combination approaches targeting this resistance pathway.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 02/2014; · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a cytokine critical to inflammation, immunological activation, response to infection, and bone marrow hematopoiesis. Cyclophosphamide downmodulates immune suppressor cells and is cytotoxic to a variety of tumors. A phase I trial of IL-1 and cyclophosphamide was conducted by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. This study evaluated 3 dose levels and 3 schedules in patients with solid tumors. The goal was to evaluate the hematopoietic supportive care effect and possible antitumor effect. Toxicity was fever, chills, hypotension, nausea/emesis, hepatic, and neutropenia. Toxicity increased with dose increases of interleukin-1. Treatment at all dose levels resulted in significant increases in total white blood cell (WBC) counts above baseline. Nadir WBC and nadir absolute neutrophil counts were not significantly different by dose level of IL-1 or schedule of IL-1. Toxicity due to IL-1 at higher doses prohibited further evaluation of this agent for hematopoietic support, particularly in view of the activity and tolerability of more lineage-specific hematopoietic cytokines. Therapeutic interventions in the role of IL-1 in inflammatory conditions and cancer may be further informed by our definition of its clinical and biological effects in this evaluation of dose and schedule.
    Journal of interferon & cytokine research: the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research 01/2014; · 1.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role for sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) in patients with thin melanoma (≤1 mm) remains controversial. We examined a large cohort of patients with thin melanoma to better define predictors of SLN positivity. From 1995 to 2011, 781 patients with thin primary melanoma and evaluable clinicopathologic data underwent SLNB at our institution. Predictors of SLN positivity were determined using univariate and multivariate regression analyses, and patients were risk-stratified using a classification and regression tree (CART) analysis. In the study cohort (n = 781), 29 patients (3.7 %) had nodal metastases. In the univariate analysis, mitotic rate [odds ratio (OR) = 8.11, p = 0.005], Clark level (OR 4.04, p = 0.003), and thickness (OR 3.33, p = 0.011) were significantly associated with SLN positivity. In the multivariate analysis, MR (OR 7.01) and level IV-V (OR 3.45) remained significant predictors of SLN positivity. CART analysis initially stratified lesions by mitotic rate; nonmitogenic lesions (n = 273) had a 0.7 % SLN positivity rate versus 5.6 % in mitogenic lesions (n = 425). Mitogenic lesions were further stratified by Clark level; patients with level II-III had a 2.9 % SLN positivity rate (n = 205) versus 8.2 % with level IV-V (n = 220). With median follow-up of 6.3 years, five SLN-negative patients developed nodal recurrence and four SLN-positive patients died of disease. SLN positivity is low in patients with thin melanoma (3.7 %) and exceedingly so in nonmitogenic lesions (0.7 %). Appreciable rates of SLN positivity can be identified in patients with mitogenic lesions, particularly with concurrent level IV-V regardless of thickness. These factors may guide appropriate selection of patients with thin melanoma for SLNB.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 10/2013; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An emerging concept in melanoma biology is that of dynamic, adaptive phenotype switching, where cells switch from a highly proliferative, poorly invasive phenotype to a highly invasive, less proliferative one. This switch may hold significant implications not just for metastasis, but also for therapy resistance. We demonstrate that phenotype switching and subsequent resistance can be guided by changes in expression of receptors involved in the non-canonical Wnt5A signaling pathway, ROR1 and ROR2. ROR1 and ROR2 are inversely expressed in melanomas and negatively regulate each other. Further, hypoxia initiates a shift of ROR1-positive melanomas to a more invasive, ROR2-positive phenotype. Notably, this receptor switch induces a 10-fold decrease in sensitivity to BRAF inhibitors. In melanoma patients treated with the BRAF inhibitor, Vemurafenib, Wnt5A expression correlates with clinical response and therapy resistance. These data highlight the fact that mechanisms that guide metastatic progression may be linked to those that mediate therapy resistance.
    Cancer Discovery 10/2013; · 10.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although BRAF and MEK inhibitors have proven clinical benefits in melanoma, most patients develop resistance. We report a de novo MEK2-Q60P mutation and BRAF gain in a melanoma from a patient who progressed on the MEK inhibitor trametinib and did not respond to the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib. We also identified the same MEK2-Q60P mutation along with BRAF amplification in a xenograft tumor derived from a second melanoma patient resistant to the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib. Melanoma cells chronically exposed to trametinib acquired concurrent MEK2-Q60P mutation and BRAF-V600E amplification, which conferred resistance to MEK and BRAF inhibitors. The resistant cells had sustained MAPK activation and persistent phosphorylation of S6K. A triple combination of dabrafenib, trametinib, and the PI3K/mTOR inhibitor GSK2126458 led to sustained tumor growth inhibition. Hence, concurrent genetic events that sustain MAPK signaling can underlie resistance to both BRAF and MEK inhibitors, requiring novel therapeutic strategies to overcome it.
    Cell reports. 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin D1-CDK4/6 dysregulation is a major contributor to melanomagenesis. Clinical evidence has revealed that p16(INK4A), an allosteric inhibitor of CDK4/6, is inactivated in over half of human melanomas and numerous animal models have demonstrated that p16(INK4A) deletion promotes melanoma. FBXO4, a specificity factor for the E3 ligase that directs timely cyclin D1 proteolysis, has not been studied in melanoma. We demonstrate that Fbxo4 deficiency induces Braf-driven melanoma that this phenotype depends on cyclin D1 accumulation in mice, underscoring the importance of this ubiquitin ligase in tumor suppression. Furthermore, we have identified a substrate-binding mutation, FBXO4 I377M, that selectively disrupts cyclin D1 degradation while preserving proteolysis of the other known FBXO4 substrate, TRF1. The I377M mutation and Fbxo4 deficiency result in nuclear accumulation of cyclin D1, a key transforming neoplastic event. Collectively, these data provide evidence that FBXO4 dysfunction, as a mechanism for cyclin D1 overexpression, is a contributor to human malignancy.
    Molecular and cellular biology 09/2013; · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and histological regression in primary melanoma are generally considered indicators of the local immune response but their roles as prognostic factors have been variably reported. We examined the prognostic role of these variables in patients with high risk (T4) primary melanomas in a large series of patients with long-term follow-up. From a prospectively maintained cohort of patients diagnosed between 1971 and 2004, 161 patients were retrospectively identified with primary thick melanomas (>4 mm), no clinical evidence of regional nodal disease (RND) at diagnosis and complete histopathologic data. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression models were performed to identify clinical and histopathologic predictors of disease-specific survival (DSS) and to identify subgroups with differential survival. Factors significantly associated with decreased DSS by univariate analysis included male gender, age ≥ 60 years, axial anatomic location, presence of ulceration, RND, absence of TIL, and presence of regression. In the final multivariate model, TIL and regression, as interacting variables, and RND status remained significantly associated with DSS. In the presence of TIL, concomitant regression was associated with significantly worse survival (p ≤ 0.0001). In the absence of TIL, there was no effect of regression on survival (p = 0.324). Primary TIL and regression status and RND status are independently associated with melanoma-specific survival in patients with T4 melanomas; presence of TIL in the primary melanoma with concomitant radial growth phase regression is associated with a poor prognosis and may reflect an ineffective local regional immune response.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 07/2013; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSETo assess pharmacodynamic effects and intrinsic and acquired resistance mechanisms of the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib in BRAF(V600)-mutant melanoma, leading to an understanding of the mechanism of action of vemurafenib and ultimately to optimization of metastatic melanoma therapy. METHODS In the phase II clinical study NP22657 (BRIM-2), patients received oral doses of vemurafenib (960 mg twice per day). Serial biopsies were collected to study changes in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, cell-cycle progression, and factors causing intrinsic or acquired resistance by immunohistochemistry, DNA sequencing, or somatic mutation profiling.ResultsVemurafenib inhibited MAPK signaling and cell-cycle progression. An association between the decrease in extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) phosphorylation and objective response was observed in paired biopsies (n = 22; P = .013). Low expression of phosphatase and tensin homolog showed a modest association with lower response. Baseline mutations in MEK1(P124) coexisting with BRAF(V600) were noted in seven of 92 samples; their presence did not preclude objective tumor responses. Acquired resistance to vemurafenib associated with reactivation of MAPK signaling as observed by elevated ERK1/2 phosphorylation levels in progressive lesions and the appearance of secondary NRAS(Q61) mutations or MEK1(Q56P) or MEK1(E203K) mutations. These two activating MEK1 mutations had not previously been observed in vivo in biopsies of progressive melanoma tumors. CONCLUSION Vemurafenib inhibits tumor proliferation and oncogenic BRAF signaling through the MAPK pathway. Acquired resistance results primarily from MAPK reactivation driven by the appearance of secondary mutations in NRAS and MEK1 in subsets of patients. The data suggest that inhibition downstream of BRAF should help to overcome acquired resistance.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying adaptive resistance of melanoma to targeted therapies remain unclear. By combining ChIP sequencing with microarray-based gene profiling, we determined that ERBB3 is upregulated by FOXD3, a transcription factor that promotes resistance to RAF inhibitors in melanoma. Enhanced ERBB3 signaling promoted resistance to RAF pathway inhibitors in cultured melanoma cell lines and in mouse xenograft models. ERBB3 signaling was dependent on ERBB2; targeting ERBB2 with lapatinib in combination with the RAF inhibitor PLX4720 reduced tumor burden and extended latency of tumor regrowth in vivo versus PLX4720 alone. These results suggest that enhanced ERBB3 signaling may serve as a mechanism of adaptive resistance to RAF and MEK inhibitors in melanoma and that cotargeting this pathway may enhance the clinical efficacy and extend the therapeutic duration of RAF inhibitors.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 04/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSEThe landscape of managing potential conflicts of interest (COIs) has evolved substantially across many disciplines in recent years, but rarely are the issues more intertwined with financial and ethical implications than in the health care setting. Cancer care is a highly technologic arena, with numerous physician-industry interactions. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recognizes the role of a professional organization to facilitate management of these interactions and the need for periodic review of its COI policy (Policy). METHODS To gauge the sentiments of ASCO members and nonphysician stakeholders, two surveys were performed. The first asked ASCO members to estimate opinions of the Policy as it relates to presentation of industry-sponsored research. Respondents were classified as consumers or producers of research material based on demographic responses. A similar survey solicited opinions of nonphysician stakeholders, including patients with cancer, survivors, family members, and advocates.ResultsThe ASCO survey was responded to by 1,967 members (1% of those solicited); 80% were producers, and 20% were consumers. Most respondents (93% of producers; 66% of consumers) reported familiarity with the Policy. Only a small proportion regularly evaluated COIs for presented research. Members favored increased transparency about relationships over restrictions on presentations of research. Stakeholders (n = 264) indicated that disclosure was "very important" to "extremely important" and preferred written disclosure (77%) over other methods. CONCLUSIONCOI policies are an important and relevant topic among physicians and patient advocates. Methods to simplify the disclosure process, improve transparency, and facilitate responsiveness are critical for COI management.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 03/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Little is known about the impact of knowledge of CDKN2A and MC1R genotype on melanoma prevention behaviors like sun avoidance and skin examination in the context of familial melanoma. METHODS: A total of 73 adults with a family history of melanoma were randomly assigned to be offered individualized CDKN2A and MC1R genotyping results in the context of a genetic counseling session, or the standard practice of not being offered counseling or disclosure of genotyping results. Mixed effects or longitudinal logistic models were used to determine whether the intervention affected change in sun protection habits, skin examinations and perception and beliefs related to melanoma risk, prevention, and genetic counseling. RESULTS: All participants in the intervention group who attended genetic counseling sessions chose to receive their test results. From baseline to follow-up, participants in the intervention group reported an increase in the frequency of skin self-examinations compared to a slight decrease in the control group (p=0.002). Participants in the intervention group reported a smaller decrease in frequency of wearing a shirt with long sleeves than did participants in the control group (p =0.047). No effect of the intervention was noted for other outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: It is noteworthy that feedback of CDKN2A and MC1R genotype among families without known pathogenic CDKN2A mutations does not appear to decrease sun protection behaviors. Because of the limited number of families with known pathogenic CDKN2A mutations in this study, it is difficult to interpret the results as demonstrating a positive benefit of the intervention.
    Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers &amp Prevention 02/2013; · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSEThe primary objective of this study was to determine whether carboplatin, paclitaxel, and sorafenib (CPS) improve overall survival (OS) compared with carboplatin and paclitaxel (CP) in chemotherapy-naive patients with metastatic melanoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase III study, all patients received carboplatin at area under the [concentration-time] curve 6 and paclitaxel 225 mg/m(2) intravenously once every 21 days with random assignment to sorafenib 400 mg orally twice per day on days 2 through 19 every 21 days or placebo. The primary end point was OS, and secondary end points included progression-free survival, objective tumor response, and toxicity.ResultsIn all, 823 patients were enrolled over 34 months. At final analysis, the median OS was 11.3 months (95% CI, 9.8 to 12.2 months) for CP and 11.1 months (95% CI, 10.3 to 12.3 months) for CPS; the difference in the OS distribution was not statistically significant by the stratified log-rank test, stratified on American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status, and prior therapy (P = .878). Median progression-free survival was 4.9 months for CPS and 4.2 months for CP (P = .092, stratified log-rank test). Response rate was 20% for CPS and 18% for CP (P = .427). More patients on the CPS arm had grade 3 or higher toxicities (84% v 78%; P = .027), with increased rash, hand-foot syndrome, and thrombocytopenia accounting for most of the difference. CONCLUSION Sorafenib does not improve OS when given in combination with CP for chemotherapy-naive patients with metastatic melanoma. This study establishes benchmark end points for the CP regimen in first-line therapy of metastatic melanoma.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 12/2012; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Resistance to therapy with BRAF kinase inhibitors is associated with reactivation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. To address this problem, we conducted a phase 1 and 2 trial of combined treatment with dabrafenib, a selective BRAF inhibitor, and trametinib, a selective MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Methods In this open-label study involving 247 patients with metastatic melanoma and BRAF V600 mutations, we evaluated the pharmacokinetic activity and safety of oral dabrafenib (75 or 150 mg twice daily) and trametinib (1, 1.5, or 2 mg daily) in 85 patients and then randomly assigned 162 patients to receive combination therapy with dabrafenib (150 mg) plus trametinib (1 or 2 mg) or dabrafenib monotherapy. The primary end points were the incidence of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma, survival free of melanoma progression, and response. Secondary end points were overall survival and pharmacokinetic activity. Results Dose-limiting toxic effects were infrequently observed in patients receiving combination therapy with 150 mg of dabrafenib and 2 mg of trametinib (combination 150/2). Cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma was seen in 7% of patients receiving combination 150/2 and in 19% receiving monotherapy (P=0.09), whereas pyrexia was more common in the combination 150/2 group than in the monotherapy group (71% vs. 26%). Median progression-free survival in the combination 150/2 group was 9.4 months, as compared with 5.8 months in the monotherapy group (hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.25 to 0.62; P<0.001). The rate of complete or partial response with combination 150/2 therapy was 76%, as compared with 54% with monotherapy (P=0.03). Conclusions Dabrafenib and trametinib were safely combined at full monotherapy doses. The rate of pyrexia was increased with combination therapy, whereas the rate of proliferative skin lesions was nonsignificantly reduced. Progression-free survival was significantly improved. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01072175 .).
    New England Journal of Medicine 09/2012; · 51.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) sought to provide an evidence-based guideline on the use of lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in staging patients with newly diagnosed melanoma. A comprehensive systematic review of the literature published from January 1990 through August 2011 was completed using MEDLINE and EMBASE. Abstracts from ASCO and SSO annual meetings were included in the evidence review. An Expert Panel was convened to review the evidence and develop guideline recommendations. Seventy-three studies met full eligibility criteria. The evidence review demonstrated that SLN biopsy is an acceptable method for lymph node staging of most patients with newly diagnosed melanoma. SLN biopsy is recommended for patients with intermediate-thickness melanomas (Breslow thickness, 1 to 4 mm) of any anatomic site; use of SLN biopsy in this population provides accurate staging. Although there are few studies focusing on patients with thick melanomas (T4; Breslow thickness, > 4 mm), SLN biopsy may be recommended for staging purposes and to facilitate regional disease control. There is insufficient evidence to support routine SLN biopsy for patients with thin melanomas (T1; Breslow thickness, < 1 mm), although it may be considered in selected patients with high-risk features when staging benefits outweigh risks of the procedure. Completion lymph node dissection (CLND) is recommended for all patients with a positive SLN biopsy and achieves good regional disease control. Whether CLND after a positive SLN biopsy improves survival is the subject of the ongoing Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial II.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 07/2012; 30(23):2912-8. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) sought to provide an evidence-based guideline on the use of lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in staging patients with newly diagnosed melanoma. A comprehensive systematic review of the literature published from January 1990 through August 2011 was completed using MEDLINE and EMBASE. Abstracts from ASCO and SSO annual meetings were included in the evidence review. An Expert Panel was convened to review the evidence and develop guideline recommendations. Seventy-three studies met full eligibility criteria. The evidence review demonstrated that SLN biopsy is an acceptable method for lymph node staging of most patients with newly diagnosed melanoma. SLN biopsy is recommended for patients with intermediate-thickness melanomas (Breslow thickness, 1-4 mm) of any anatomic site; use of SLN biopsy in this population provides accurate staging. Although there are few studies focusing on patients with thick melanomas (T4; Breslow thickness, >4 mm), SLN biopsy may be recommended for staging purposes and to facilitate regional disease control. There is insufficient evidence to support routine SLN biopsy for patients with thin melanomas (T1; Breslow thickness, <1 mm), although it may be considered in selected patients with high-risk features when staging benefits outweigh risks of the procedure. Completion lymph node dissection (CLND) is recommended for all patients with a positive SLN biopsy and achieves good regional disease control. Whether CLND after a positive SLN biopsy improves survival is the subject of the ongoing Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial II. Copyright © 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology and Society of Surgical Oncology. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Society of Surgical Oncology.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 07/2012; 19(11):3313-24. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Vemurafenib, a novel selective small molecule inhibitor of BRAF, has recently been shown to be effective in the treatment of melanomas harboring the BRAF V600E mutation. Similar to the broad-spectrum RAF inhibitor sorafenib, vemurafenib induces development of squamous cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas as a side effect of therapy. OBJECTIVE: We sought to detail additional cutaneous adverse effects of vemurafenib and a similar BRAF inhibitor, dabrafenib. METHODS: We evaluated the clinical and histologic feature of skin side effects developing on vemurafenib or dabrafenib therapy in 14 patients. RESULTS: Eight patients developed one or more squamous cell carcinomas, and 11 patients formed benign verrucous keratoses. Eight patients developed single lesions and/or widespread eruptions with histopathologic findings of acantholytic dyskeratosis, consistent with warty dyskeratomas and Darier- or Grover-like rashes, respectively. One patient developed palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, and darkening of existing nevi and new nevi within 2 months of starting vemurafenib. Side effects presented as early as 1 week after beginning therapy, with a mean time of onset of 12.6 weeks in our cohort. LIMITATIONS: This study was limited by the small number of cases, all from a single institution. CONCLUSION: Selective BRAF inhibitor therapy is associated with the development of malignant and benign growths, including keratoacanthoma-like squamous cell carcinomas, warty dyskeratomas, and verrucous keratoses, along with widespread eruptions with histologic features of acantholytic dyskeratosis. Given the potential for malignant lesions to develop on treatment, awareness of potential adverse effects of these agents is necessary, and a low threshold for biopsy of new growths is recommended.
    Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 05/2012; · 4.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Patients with thin primary melanomas (#1 mm) generally have an excellent prognosis. However, the presence of a vertical growth phase (VGP) adversely impacts the survival rate. We report on the rate of occurrence of nodal metastasis in patients with thin primary melanomas with a VGP who are offered sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy.Methods: Among 235 patients with clinically localized cutaneous melanomas who underwent successful SLN biopsy, 71 had lesions 1 mm or smaller with a VGP. The SLN was localized by using blue dye and a radiotracer. If negative for tumor by using hematoxylin and eosin staining, the SLN was further examined by immunohistochemistry.Results: The rate of occurrence of SLN metastasis was 15.2% in patients with melanomas deeper than 1 mm and 5.6% in patients with thin melanomas. Three patients with thin melanomas and a positive SLN had low-risk lesions, based on a highly accurate six-variable multivariate logistic regression model for predicting 8-year survival in stage I/II melanomas. The fourth patient had a low- to intermediate-risk lesion based on this model. At the time of the lymphadenectomy, one patient had two additional nodes with metastasis.Conclusions: VGP in a melanoma 1 mm or smaller seems to be a risk factor for nodal metastasis. The risk of nodal disease may not be accurately predicted by the use of a multivariate logistic regression model that incorporates thickness, mitotic rate, regression, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, sex, and anatomical site. Patients with thin lesions having VGP should be evaluated for SLN biopsy and trials of adjuvant therapy when stage III disease is found.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 04/2012; 7(4):262-267. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 50% of melanomas harbor activating (V600) mutations in the serine-threonine protein kinase B-RAF (BRAF). The oral BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib (PLX4032) frequently produced tumor regressions in patients with BRAF V600-mutant metastatic melanoma in a phase 1 trial and improved overall survival in a phase 3 trial. We designed a multicenter phase 2 trial of vemurafenib in patients with previously treated BRAF V600-mutant metastatic melanoma to investigate the efficacy of vemurafenib with respect to overall response rate (percentage of treated patients with a tumor response), duration of response, and overall survival. The primary end point was the overall response rate as ascertained by the independent review committee; overall survival was a secondary end point. A total of 132 patients had a median follow-up of 12.9 months (range, 0.6 to 20.1). The confirmed overall response rate was 53% (95% confidence interval [CI], 44 to 62; 6% with a complete response and 47% with a partial response), the median duration of response was 6.7 months (95% CI, 5.6 to 8.6), and the median progression-free survival was 6.8 months (95% CI, 5.6 to 8.1). Primary progression was observed in only 14% of patients. Some patients had a response after receiving vemurafenib for more than 6 months. The median overall survival was 15.9 months (95% CI, 11.6 to 18.3). The most common adverse events were grade 1 or 2 arthralgia, rash, photosensitivity, fatigue, and alopecia. Cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas (the majority, keratoacanthoma type) were diagnosed in 26% of patients. Vemurafenib induces clinical responses in more than half of patients with previously treated BRAF V600-mutant metastatic melanoma. In this study with a long follow-up, the median overall survival was approximately 16 months. (Funded by Hoffmann-La Roche; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00949702.).
    New England Journal of Medicine 02/2012; 366(8):707-14. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This proof-of-concept study was designed to determine if functional, pharmacodynamic profiles relevant to targeted therapy could be derived from live human melanoma samples using a novel automated platform. A series of 13 melanoma cell lines was briefly exposed to a BRAF inhibitor (PLX-4720) on a platform employing automated fluidics for sample processing. Levels of the phosphoprotein p-ERK in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway from treated and untreated sample aliquots were determined using a bead-based immunoassay. Comparison of these levels provided a determination of the pharmacodynamic effect of the drug on the MAPK pathway. A similar ex vivo analysis was performed on fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy samples from four murine xenograft models of metastatic melanoma, as well as 12 FNA samples from patients with metastatic melanoma. Melanoma cell lines with known sensitivity to BRAF inhibitors displayed marked suppression of the MAPK pathway in this system, while most BRAF inhibitor-resistant cell lines showed intact MAPK pathway activity despite exposure to a BRAF inhibitor (PLX-4720). FNA samples from melanoma xenografts showed comparable ex vivo MAPK activity as their respective cell lines in this system. FNA samples from patients with metastatic melanoma successfully yielded three categories of functional profiles including: MAPK pathway suppression; MAPK pathway reactivation; MAPK pathway stimulation. These profiles correlated with the anticipated MAPK activity, based on the known BRAF mutation status, as well as observed clinical responses to BRAF inhibitor therapy. Pharmacodynamic information regarding the ex vivo effect of BRAF inhibitors on the MAPK pathway in live human melanoma samples can be reproducibly determined using a novel automated platform. Such information may be useful in preclinical and clinical drug development, as well as predicting response to targeted therapy in individual patients.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e52760. · 3.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
329 Downloads
694.64 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2011
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Division of Hematology/Oncology
      • • Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1996–2010
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • "Abramson" Cancer Center
      • • Department of Dermatology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2009
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2006–2007
    • Wistar Institute
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States