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Encouraging First Data on New Targeted Treatment for Patients With Melanoma - the Deadliest Form of Skin Cancer
Date:6/1/2009

ith PLX4032.

"PLX4032 has shown both tumour shrinkage and delay in tumour progression in patients whose tumours harbour a BRAF mutation, as well as improved quality of life for symptomatic patients," stated Keith T. Flaherty, M.D., assistant professor at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and principal investigator for the PLX4032 phase I clinical trial. "Seven years after BRAF mutations were first identified we have validation that this mutation is a cancer driver and therapeutic target. In addition to a new and important chapter in the story of targeted therapy development in cancer, we are especially excited for our melanoma patients for whom there are few treatment options."

PLX4032 works by targeting and destroying tumour cells carrying the BRAF mutation. BRAF is an important mediator of cell growth and division, but when mutated is known to cause 60% of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer, and approximately eight percent of all solid tumours. PLX4032's potency and selectivity is expected to result in a treatment that is both effective and well tolerated.

Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, with about 160,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide each year. Melanoma is treatable if caught early but patients who develop metastatic disease are rarely cured with available treatments. Only a small proportion of people (<2%) live more than two years once systemic metastases become evident[ii].

About the study

ASCO Abstract #9000: Monday 1 June 2009, 16:30-18:00, EDT Level 4, Valencia Room, W415A

Promising preliminary findings reported in BRAF mutation-positive melanoma patients include:

        - PLX4032 has been well tolerated at therapeutic doses

        - Partial responses in nine mutation-positive melanoma patients and
          minor responses in four mutation-positive m
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SOURCE Roche
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