Background: The combination of cobimetinib with vemurafenib improves progression-free survival compared with placebo and vemurafenib in previously untreated patients with BRAF(V600)-mutant advanced melanoma, as previously reported in the coBRIM study. In this Article, we report updated efficacy results, including overall survival and safety after longer follow-up, and selected biomarker correlative studies.
Methods: In this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, multicentre study, adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with histologically confirmed BRAF(V600) mutation-positive unresectable stage IIIC or stage IV melanoma were randomly assigned (1:1) using an interactive response system to receive cobimetinib (60 mg once daily for 21 days followed by a 7-day rest period in each 28-day cycle) or placebo, in combination with oral vemurafenib (960 mg twice daily). Progression-free and overall survival were primary and secondary endpoints, respectively; all analyses were done on the intention-to-treat population. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01689519, and is ongoing but no longer recruiting participants.
Findings: Between Jan 8, 2013, and Jan 31, 2014, 495 eligible adult patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to the cobimetinib plus vemurafenib group (n=247) or placebo plus vemurafenib group (n=248). At a median follow-up of 14·2 months (IQR 8·5-17·3), the updated investigator-assessed median progression-free survival was 12·3 months (95% CI 9·5-13·4) for cobimetinib and vemurafenib versus 7·2 months (5·6-7·5) for placebo and vemurafenib (HR 0·58 [95% CI 0·46-0·72], p<0·0001). The final analysis for overall survival occurred when 255 (52%) patients had died (Aug 28, 2015). Median overall survival was 22·3 months (95% CI 20·3-not estimable) for cobimetinib and vemurafenib versus 17·4 months (95% CI 15·0-19·8) for placebo and vemurafenib (HR 0·70, 95% CI 0·55-0·90; p=0·005). The safety profile for cobimetinib and vemurafenib was tolerable and manageable, and no new safety signals were observed with longer follow-up. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events occurring at a higher frequency in patients in the cobimetinib and vemurafenib group compared with the vemurafenib group were γ-glutamyl transferase increase (36 [15%] in the cobimetinib and vemurafenib group vs 25 [10%] in the placebo and vemurafenib group), blood creatine phosphokinase increase (30 [12%] vs one [<1%]), and alanine transaminase increase (28 [11%] vs 15 [6%]). Serious adverse events occurred in 92 patients (37%) in the cobimetinib and vemurafenib group and 69 patients (28%) in the vemurafenib group. Pyrexia (six patients [2%]) and dehydration (five patients [2%]) were the most common serious adverse events reported in the cobimetinib and vemurafenib group. A total of 259 patients have died: 117 (47%) in the cobimetinib and vemurafenib group and 142 (58%) in the vemurafenib group. The primary cause of death was disease progression in most patients: 109 (93%) of 117 in the cobimetinib and vemurafenib group and 133 (94%) of 142 in the vemurafenib group.
Interpretation: These data confirm the clinical benefit of cobimetinib combined with vemurafenib and support the use of the combination as a standard first-line approach to improve survival in patients with advanced BRAF(V600)-mutant melanoma.
Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche-Genentech.
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