Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD, Discusses Results From the COMBI-AD Trial

Data from the COMBI-AD Trial evaluating dabrafenib and trametinib to treat melanoma was analyzed by Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

CancerNetwork spoke with Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD, to learn more regarding the results of the COMBI-AD trial presented at the SMR Conference examining dabrafenib and trametinib to treat resected stage 3 melanoma.


Clearly, when we find evidence of activity in the metastatic setting, we ask the question ‘can we bring it earlier into the disease and into earlier stages in which we may be able to cure patients, a larger proportion of patients?’ COMBI-AD was a study that was designed for patients with resected stage III melanoma that have evidence of BRAF mutation and was a 1 year of treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib compared to placebo. The study was positive, it showed a significant impact of dabrafenib and trametinib on decreasing the rate of relapse by almost a half, and the hazard ratio from the first time it was presented until now was basically between 0.47 and 0.52. So, there’s a very stable benefit over placebo and has been FDA approved and is the current standard of care.

What we’ve seen recently is more of the longer-term follow-up and some of the overall survival data being kind of complimented by the longer follow-up now. Simply stated, I think it does show that if you treat patients with dabrafenib and trametinib in the adjuvant setting, you decrease the risk of distant metastases, not just any recurrence but distant metastases, and that translates into what looks like a survival benefit. Again, it remains the standard of care and it remains quite comparable to immunotherapy in that setting.