Discontinuation of BRAF/MEK-directed targeted therapy after complete remission of metastatic melanoma — a retrospective multicenter ADOReg study

  • Simple Summary: The introduction of BRAF/MEK-directed targeted therapy (TT) has significantly improved the management of patients with advanced BRAF-V600-mutant melanoma. Although resistance occurs, there is a subgroup of patients showing a complete response (CR) to TT and who maintain durable disease control. For these patients with durable CR, it is not clear whether it is safe to cease therapy. In this retrospective, multicenter study we have analyzed 37 patients who received TT and achieved a CR upon treatment. We identified 15 patients with a durable CR to TT. Overall, patients who discontinued TT (n = 26) were at higher risk of tumor progression compared to patients receiving ongoing TT. Sustained CR was however not restricted to patients with ongoing TT (n = 11) but was also found in patients who ceased TT (n = 4). Finally, our analysis indicated which patients with an initial CR might be most likely to maintain durable CR upon discontinuation of TT. Abstract: The advent of BRAF/MEK inhibitors (BRAFi/MEKi) has significantly improved progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for patients with advanced BRAF-V600-mutant melanoma. Long-term survivors have been identified particularly among patients with a complete response (CR) to BRAF/MEK-directed targeted therapy (TT). However, it remains unclear which patients who achieved a CR maintain a durable response and whether treatment cessation might be a safe option in these patients. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of treatment cessation on the clinical course of patients with a CR upon BRAF/MEK-directed-TT. We retrospectively selected patients with BRAF-V600-mutant advanced non-resectable melanoma who had been treated with BRAFi ± MEKi therapy and achieved a CR upon treatment out of the multicentric skin cancer registry ADOReg. Data on baseline patient characteristics, duration of TT, treatment cessation, tumor progression (TP) and response to second-line treatments were collected and analyzed. Of 461 patients who received BRAF/MEK-directed TT 37 achieved a CR. TP after initial CR was observed in 22 patients (60%) mainly affecting patients who discontinued TT (n = 22/26), whereas all patients with ongoing TT (n = 11) maintained their CR. Accordingly, patients who discontinued TT had a higher risk of TP compared to patients with ongoing treatment (p < 0.001). However, our data also show that patients who received TT for more than 16 months and who discontinued TT for other reasons than TP or toxicity did not have a shorter PFS compared to patients with ongoing treatment. Response rates to second-line treatment being initiated in 21 patients, varied between 27% for immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) and 60% for BRAFi/MEKi rechallenge. In summary, we identified a considerable number of patients who achieved a CR upon BRAF/MEK-directed TT in this contemporary real-world cohort of patients with BRAF-V600-mutant melanoma. Sustained PFS was not restricted to ongoing TT but was also found in patients who discontinued TT.

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Author:Henner Maximilian Stege, Maximilian Haist, Michael Schultheis, Maria Isabel Fleischer, Peter Mohr, Friedegund MeierGND, Dirk Schadendorf, Selma Ugurel, Elisabeth Livingstone, Lisa Zimmer, Rudolf HerbstORCiD, Claudia Ursula PföhlerORCiDGND, Katharina Kähler, Michael Weichenthal, Patrick Terheyden, Dorothée Nashan, Dirk Debus, Martin Kaatz, Fabian ZillerORCiDGND, Sebastian Haferkamp, Andrea Lydia ForschnerORCiDGND, Ulrike Leiter, Alexander KreuterORCiDGND, Jens Ulrich, Johannes KleemannORCiDGND, Fabienne Bradfisch, Stephan Grabbe, Carmen LoquaiGND
Parent Title (English):Cancers
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/05/12
Date of first Publication:2021/05/12
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/08/11
Tag:advanced melanoma; complete response; discontinuation; disease progression; second-line immunotherapy; targeted therapy
Issue:10, art. 2312
Page Number:19
First Page:1
Last Page:19
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0