This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Drug news

Zelboraf (Roche) for Metastatic Melanoma nearly doubles median survival

Read time: 1 mins
Last updated:24th Feb 2012
Published:24th Feb 2012
Source: Pharmawand
A new study shows that Zelboraf (vemurafenib), from Roche, a newly approved drug for patients with Metastatic Melanoma, nearly doubles median survival time. The data comes from an international Phase II study of Zelboraf that included 132 patients followed for at least one year. Patients with this advanced form of Melanoma that has spread to other organs typically survive about nine months. Patients taking Zelboraf, which blocks a mutated BRAF protein, survived an average of 15.9 months, said study senior author Dr. Antoni Ribas, a professor of hematology/oncology and a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center. About 50 percent of patients with Metastatic Melanoma have the BRAF mutation and can be treated with Zelboraf, a pill taken twice a day. Of those, 53 percent have an objective response to the drug, meaning their tumors shrink by more than 30 percent. An additional 30 percent of patients have tumor responses of lesser magnitude. Only 14 percent of patients with the BRAF mutation failed to respond to Zelboraf. The drug, which was approved by the FDA for use in Metastatic Melanoma in August 2011, represents a breakthrough in treatment. Prior to this, 10 percent or less of patients with this advanced form of the disease responded to any of the available conventional treatments. The study appears Feb. 23, 2012 in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine. See: "Survival in BRAF V600�Mutant Advanced Melanoma Treated with Vemurafenib" Jeffrey A. Sosman, et al. N Engl J Med 2012;366:707-714

Learning Zones

The Learning Zones are an educational resource for healthcare professionals that provide medical information on the epidemiology, pathophysiology and burden of disease, as well as diagnostic techniques and treatment regimens.