Background: Combined BRAF and MEK inhibition (BRAF-MEK) is a standard therapy for patients with BRAF V600-mutant melanoma, but to the authors' knowledge, the tolerance, adverse event (AE) profile, and efficacy have not been well defined in the post-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) setting.
Methods: Patients with BRAF V600-mutant melanoma who received combined BRAF-MEK after prior PD-1-based therapy were assembled from 4 tertiary care centers in the United States and Australia. Dose modification was defined as a treatment break, dose reduction, or intermittent dosing. Rates of hospitalization and discontinuation due to AEs were collected, and overall survival (OS) was calculated using Kaplan-Meier methods from the time of the initiation of BRAF-MEK therapy.
Results: A total of 78 patients were identified as having received a BRAF-MEK regimen at a median of 34 days after the last dose of PD-1-based therapy. The majority of patients (86%) received the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib. Approximately 80% of patients had American Joint Committee on Cancer M1c or M1d disease. Sixty-five regimens (83%) had ≥1 dose modification. The median time to the first dose modification was 14 days; 86% occurred within 90 days and 71% involved pyrexia. Dose modifications were more common in patients receiving BRAF-MEK <90 days after the last dose of PD-1 and who were not receiving steroids. Of the dose modifications, 25 (31%) led to an AE-related hospitalization. Among 55 BRAF-naive patients, the median time receiving BRAF-MEK therapy was 5.8 months and the median OS was 15.6 months.
Conclusions: The majority of patients receiving BRAF-MEK inhibition after PD-1 therapy require dose interruptions, and a significant minority require hospitalization for AEs. In this higher risk population, the median time receiving therapy and OS may be inferior to those presented in published phase 3 trials.
Keywords: BRAF; MEK; efficacy; melanoma; programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1); toxicity.
© 2018 American Cancer Society.