Patterns of treatment and BRAF testing with immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapy in patients with metastatic melanoma presumed to be BRAF positive

Melanoma Research, October 9, 2018

Patients with BRAF V600 (BRAF) mutated metastatic melanoma are eligible for therapy with both immune checkpoint inhibitors and targetedtherapies, making treatment choice a complex decision. The present study aimed to describe patterns of treatment with immunotherapy and targeted therapy and BRAF testing in patients with metastatic melanoma presumed to have BRAF mutations (BRAF+) in the years following the approval of the newer generation of immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies (2014-2016). Two large US commercial claims databases [Truven Health Analytics MarketScan and IQVIA Real-World Data Adjudicated Claims - USA (IQVIA RWD Adjudicated Claims - USA)] were used. Patients were presumed BRAF+ if they received at least 2 lines of therapy of which at least 1 included targeted therapy. Sequence of lines of therapy and regimens used in first (1L), second (2L), and third (3L), as well as timing of BRAF testing by sequence of therapy were described. In the Truven sample (n=162), targeted therapy was used by 66% in 1L and by 54% in 2L, and 62% had a BRAFtest; in the IQVIA RWD Adjudicated Claims - USA sample (n=247), targeted therapy was used by 62% in 1L and by 50% in 2L, and 68% had a BRAF test. Among those with a claim for a BRAF test prior to 1L, over two-thirds were initiated on targeted therapy. These findings suggest that the rate of BRAF testing remained low in the years following the approval of BRAF-targeted regimens for metastatic disease. Given the recently approved adjuvant treatment options for stage III melanoma, improving the rates of BRAF testing becomes increasingly important.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. 

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Ghate S, Ionescu-Ittu R, Burne R, Ndife B, Laliberté F, Nakasato A, Duh MS