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, 121 (9), 1495-500

Dramatic Efficacy of Vemurafenib in Both Multisystemic and Refractory Erdheim-Chester Disease and Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Harboring the BRAF V600E Mutation

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Case Reports

Dramatic Efficacy of Vemurafenib in Both Multisystemic and Refractory Erdheim-Chester Disease and Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Harboring the BRAF V600E Mutation

Julien Haroche et al. Blood.

Abstract

Histiocytoses are rare disorders of unknown origin with highly heterogeneous prognosis. BRAFV600E gain-of-function mutations have been observed in 57% of cases of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) and 54% of cases of Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD), but not in other types of histiocytoses. Targeted therapy with an inhibitor of mutated BRAF (vemurafenib) improves survival of patients with melanoma. Here, we report vemurafenib treatment of 3 patients with multisystemic and refractory ECD carrying the BRAFV600E mutation; 2 also had skin or lymph node LCH involvement. The patients were assessed clinically, biologically (CRP values), histologically (skin biopsy), and morphologically (positron emission tomography [PET], computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging). For all patients, vemurafenib treatment led to substantial and rapid clinical and biologic improvement, and the tumor response was confirmed by PET, computed tomography, and/or magnetic resonance imaging 1 month after treatment initiation. For the first patient treated, the PET response increased between months 1 and 4 of treatment. The treatment remained effective after 4 months of follow-up although persistent disease activity was still observed. Treatment with vemurafenib, a newly approved BRAF inhibitor, should be considered for patients with severe and refractory BRAFV600E histiocytoses, particularly when the disease is life-threatening.

Comment in

  • Saving Orphans: BRAF Targeting of Histiocytosis
    ML Heaney. Blood 121 (9), 1487-8. PMID 23449613.
    In this issue of Blood, Haroche and colleagues report significant therapeutic activity of the BRAF inhibitor, vemurafenib, in 3 patients with rare histiocytic conditions, …

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