In this exclusive interview, Michael B. Atkins, MD, director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses some of the most important melanoma research to come out of this year’s ASCO meeting and talks about the future of melanoma therapies.
ASCO: MEK Inhibitors—Alone or Paired With a BRAF Inhibitor—Increase Options, Benefits for Patients With BRAF-Mutated Advanced Melanoma
At the ASCO annual meeting, researchers presented persuasive evidence that a new class of targeted agents—MEK inhibitors—may warrant inclusion in the growing armamentarium for patients with advanced BRAF-mutated melanoma.
ASCO: Phase II/III Data Establish Dabrafenib as Second BRAF Inhibitor With Proven Efficacy in Metastatic Melanoma
Data from the phase III BREAK-3 and the phase II BREAK-MB trials of dabrafenib establish the drug as the second BRAF inhibitor for BRAF V600E-mutated melanoma.
The class of agents that target the Programmed Death 1 (PD-1) pathway was described at ASCO as “likely the most exciting new agents recently developed in melanoma.”
ASCO: Expert Panel Explores Questions Regarding Drug Selection, Drug Sequencing in Advanced Melanoma
The new therapies that became available for advanced melanoma over the past year—the anti-CTLA4 antibody ipilimumab (Yervoy) and the selective BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib (Zelboraf)—represent promising new options for these patients, whose prognosis was heretofore almost universally dismal. However, the advent of new treatment strategies has made treatment decisions more complex.