Objective: Pediatric low-grade gliomas (pLGGs) frequently exhibit dysregulation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Targeted therapies, including mutant BRAF inhibitors (dabrafenib) and MEK inhibitors (trametinib), have shown promise in patients in whom conventional chemotherapy has failed. However, few studies have investigated the use of targeted therapy as a first-line treatment for pLGG. Here, the authors reviewed their institutional experience with using a personalized medicine approach to patients with newly diagnosed pLGGs.
Methods: All pediatric patients at the authors' institution who had been treated with dabrafenib or trametinib for pLGG without first receiving conventional chemotherapy or radiation were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic, clinical, and radiological data were collected.
Results: Eight patients underwent targeted therapy as a first-line treatment for pLGG. Five patients had a BRAF alteration (1 with a BRAFV600E mutation, 4 with a KIAA1549:BRAF fusion), and 3 patients had an NF1 mutation. One of the 8 patients was initially treated with dabrafenib, and trametinib was added later. Seven patients were initially treated with trametinib; of these, 2 later transitioned to dual therapy, whereas 5 continued with trametinib monotherapy. Six patients (75%) demonstrated a partial response to therapy during their treatment course, whereas stable disease was identified in the remaining 2 patients (25%). One patient experienced mild disease progression after completing a course of trametinib monotherapy, but ultimately stabilized after a period of close observation. Another patient experienced tumor progression while on dabrafenib, but subsequently responded to dual therapy with dabrafenib and trametinib. The most common adverse reactions to targeted therapy were cutaneous toxicity (100%) and diarrhea (50%).
Conclusions: Targeted therapies have the potential to become a standard treatment option for pLGG due to their favorable toxicity profile and oral route of administration. This case series provides preliminary evidence that targeted therapies can induce an early disease response as a first-line adjuvant treatment; however, large-scale studies are required to assess long-term durability and safety.
Keywords: BRAF; MAPK; MEK; chemotherapy; low-grade glioma; pediatric; targeted therapy.