The primary cause of death in melanoma patients is widespread metastases. Currently, there is no cure in cases of relapse or in advanced stages.
A recent article in Science Daily recognizes BRAF inhibitors as the gold standard treatment but the problem has been that the cancer cells can re-grow. BRAF stops the cancer cells but does not entirely eliminate them. These cells can also develop a resistance to BRAF inhibitors.
However, the recent development of small molecule BRAF inhibitors has shown promise in clinical trials.
Researchers at the IMIM, CIBERONC, Hospital del Mar and ICO-IDIBELL discovered that the combination of chemotherapy and a BRAF oncogene inhibitor proved to be effective against metastatic melanoma in mouse models.
About the Study
Doctors had been previously successful in blocking BRAF oncogene expression and preventing rectal and colon cancer cells from returning after chemotherapy treatment.
The new study was conducted by doctors from the Hospital del Mar and IMIM who analyzed the effect of the BRAF inhibitor plus chemotherapy on malignant melanoma. The low dose of chemotherapy avoids toxicity yet effectively disrupts the cell’s DNA. When it is combined with standard BRAF treatment it has a substantial effect on metastatic melanoma progression.
Fernando Gallardo, M.D. the author of the study, applauded the new combination as having the potential to eradicate certain cancer cells. Dr. Gallardo noted that the combination can be used on rare melanoma subtypes and other cancers with the goal of creating irreversible results.