Phase 1 Drug Reduce Melanoma Brain Metastasis
BRAF is an important protein that is part of a major pathway of proteins in our cells that leads to increased cell growth and decreased cell death, (among many other cellular processes that cancers love to exploit). A mutation at a single amino acid in RAF, which leads to the constitutive activation of this protein, is common in many cancers including melanoma.
Dabrafenib is a drug that targets this mutation. In a phase 1 trial, which normally is used to test safety, more than actual effectiveness of the drug, it was shown, surprisingly, that 25 out of 36 patients with late-stage melanoma exhibited reduced brain metastasis.
Although the data is still in its infancy, and more research will be needed, especially with regards to its effect on overall survival compared to other chemotherapy medications commonly used against melanoma, this research is quite exciting.
Even if a cure for cancer is not in our future, medication such as this may prove to be invaluable. By keeping the level of metastasis low, a deadly disease such as cancer may become a manageable chronic disease.
Pretty cool, if I do say.
Related Article: Phase I clinical trial shows drug shrinks melanoma brain metastases