Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Discov. 2014 May;4(5):538-45. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-13-1038. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Efficacy of intermittent combined RAF and MEK inhibition in a patient with concurrent BRAF- and NRAS-mutant malignancies.

Author information

1Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, 2Leukemia Service, 3Gastrointestinal Oncology Service, 4Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service, Department of Medicine, 5Molecular Diagnostics Service, Department of Pathology, 6Department of Radiology, 7Center for Molecular Oncology, 8Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, and 9Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and 10Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.


Vemurafenib, a RAF inhibitor, extends survival in patients with BRAF(V600)-mutant melanoma but activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling in RAS-mutant cells. In a patient with a BRAF(V600K)-mutant melanoma responding to vemurafenib, we observed accelerated progression of a previously unrecognized NRAS-mutant leukemia. We hypothesized that combining vemurafenib with a MAP-ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor would inhibit ERK activation in the melanoma and prevent ERK activation by vemurafenib in the leukemia, and thus suppress both malignancies. We demonstrate that intermittent administration of vemurafenib led to a near-complete remission of the melanoma, and the addition of the MEK inhibitor cobimetinib (GDC-0973) caused suppression of vemurafenib-induced leukemic proliferation and ERK activation. Antimelanoma and antileukemia responses have been maintained for nearly 20 months, as documented by serial measurements of tumor-derived DNA in plasma in addition to conventional radiographic and clinical assessments of response. These data support testing of intermittent ERK pathway inhibition in the therapy for both RAS-mutant leukemia and BRAF-mutant melanoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center