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Cancer. 2011 May 15;117(10):2202-8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25766. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

A phase 2 trial of dasatinib in advanced melanoma.

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  • 1Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.



Inhibiting src kinases (non-receptor tyrosine kinase signaling intermediates) reduces melanoma cell proliferation and invasion. Dasatinib inhibits c-kit, PDGFβR, and EPHA2 and src kinases c-src, c-Yes, Lck, and Fyn. A phase 2 trial of dasatinib in melanoma was conducted to assess response rate (RR), progression-free survival (PFS), and toxicity.


Adults with stage 3/4 chemotherapy-naïve unresectable melanoma were eligible. Dasatinib was initially administered at 100 mg twice daily continuously to 17 patients. Due to toxicity, the starting dosage was decreased to 70 mg twice daily. Tumor assessments occurred every 8 weeks.


Thirty-nine patients were enrolled, 36 of whom were evaluable for activity and toxicity. Five, 4, and 3 patients had acral-lentiginous, ocular, or mucosal primaries, respectively. Two patients had confirmed partial responses lasting 64 and 24 weeks (RR 5%). Three patients had minor responses lasting 136, 64, and 28 weeks, and 1 patient who was responding discontinued due to noncompliance. The median PFS was 8 weeks; the 6-month PFS rate was 13%. One patient with an exon-13 c-kit mutation had a partial response, whereas disease in another patient with an exon-11 c-kit mutation progressed. Common toxicities were fatigue, dyspnea, and pleural effusion.


Daily dasatinib has minimal activity in unselected melanoma patients, excluding those with c-kit mutations. The study did not meet the prespecified endpoints of 30% response rate or 6-month PFS. Dasatinib was poorly tolerated overall, often requiring dose reduction or interruption. Because activity was observed in a small subset without c-kit mutations, identifying predictive biomarkers is important for future development of dasatinib in melanoma alone or in combination trials.

2010 American Cancer Society.

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