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      Phase II randomised discontinuation trial of the MET/VEGF receptor inhibitor cabozantinib in metastatic melanoma

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          A phase II randomised discontinuation trial assessed cabozantinib (XL184), an orally bioavailable inhibitor of tyrosine kinases including VEGF receptors, MET, and AXL, in a cohort of patients with metastatic melanoma.


          Patients received cabozantinib 100 mg daily during a 12-week lead-in. Patients with stable disease (SD) per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) at week 12 were randomised to cabozantinib or placebo. Primary endpoints were objective response rate (ORR) at week 12 and postrandomisation progression-free survival (PFS).


          Seventy-seven patients were enroled (62% cutaneous, 30% uveal, and 8% mucosal). At week 12, the ORR was 5% 39% of patients had SD. During the lead-in phase, reduction in target lesions from baseline was seen in 55% of evaluable patients overall and in 59% of evaluable patients with uveal melanoma. Median PFS after randomisation was 4.1 months with cabozantinib and 2.8 months with placebo (hazard ratio of 0.59; P=0.284). Median PFS from study day 1 was 3.8 months, 6-month PFS was 33%, and median overall survival was 9.4 months. The most common grade 3/4 adverse events were fatigue (14%), hypertension (10%), and abdominal pain (8%). One treatment-related death was reported from peritonitis due to diverticular perforation.


          Cabozantinib has clinical activity in patients with metastatic melanoma, including uveal melanoma. Further clinical investigation is warranted.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Combined vemurafenib and cobimetinib in BRAF-mutated melanoma.

          The combined inhibition of BRAF and MEK is hypothesized to improve clinical outcomes in patients with melanoma by preventing or delaying the onset of resistance observed with BRAF inhibitors alone. This randomized phase 3 study evaluated the combination of the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib and the MEK inhibitor cobimetinib. We randomly assigned 495 patients with previously untreated unresectable locally advanced or metastatic BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma to receive vemurafenib and cobimetinib (combination group) or vemurafenib and placebo (control group). The primary end point was investigator-assessed progression-free survival. The median progression-free survival was 9.9 months in the combination group and 6.2 months in the control group (hazard ratio for death or disease progression, 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 0.68; P<0.001). The rate of complete or partial response in the combination group was 68%, as compared with 45% in the control group (P<0.001), including rates of complete response of 10% in the combination group and 4% in the control group. Progression-free survival as assessed by independent review was similar to investigator-assessed progression-free survival. Interim analyses of overall survival showed 9-month survival rates of 81% (95% CI, 75 to 87) in the combination group and 73% (95% CI, 65 to 80) in the control group. Vemurafenib and cobimetinib was associated with a nonsignificantly higher incidence of adverse events of grade 3 or higher, as compared with vemurafenib and placebo (65% vs. 59%), and there was no significant difference in the rate of study-drug discontinuation. The number of secondary cutaneous cancers decreased with the combination therapy. The addition of cobimetinib to vemurafenib was associated with a significant improvement in progression-free survival among patients with BRAF V600-mutated metastatic melanoma, at the cost of some increase in toxicity. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; coBRIM ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01689519.).
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            Accelerated metastasis after short-term treatment with a potent inhibitor of tumor angiogenesis.

            Herein we report that the VEGFR/PDGFR kinase inhibitor sunitinib/SU11248 can accelerate metastatic tumor growth and decrease overall survival in mice receiving short-term therapy in various metastasis assays, including after intravenous injection of tumor cells or after removal of primary orthotopically grown tumors. Acceleration of metastasis was also observed in mice receiving sunitinib prior to intravenous implantation of tumor cells, suggesting possible "metastatic conditioning" in multiple organs. Similar findings with additional VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors implicate a class-specific effect for such agents. Importantly, these observations of metastatic acceleration were in contrast to the demonstrable antitumor benefits obtained when the same human breast cancer cells, as well as mouse or human melanoma cells, were grown orthotopically as primary tumors and subjected to identical sunitinib treatments.
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              Mutations in GNA11 in uveal melanoma.

              Uveal melanoma is the most common intraocular cancer. There are no effective therapies for metastatic disease. Mutations in GNAQ, the gene encoding an alpha subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins, are found in 40% of uveal melanomas. We sequenced exon 5 of GNAQ and GNA11, a paralogue of GNAQ, in 713 melanocytic neoplasms of different types (186 uveal melanomas, 139 blue nevi, 106 other nevi, and 282 other melanomas). We sequenced exon 4 of GNAQ and GNA11 in 453 of these samples and in all coding exons of GNAQ and GNA11 in 97 uveal melanomas and 45 blue nevi. We found somatic mutations in exon 5 (affecting Q209) and in exon 4 (affecting R183) in both GNA11 and GNAQ, in a mutually exclusive pattern. Mutations affecting Q209 in GNA11 were present in 7% of blue nevi, 32% of primary uveal melanomas, and 57% of uveal melanoma metastases. In contrast, we observed Q209 mutations in GNAQ in 55% of blue nevi, 45% of uveal melanomas, and 22% of uveal melanoma metastases. Mutations affecting R183 in either GNAQ or GNA11 were less prevalent (2% of blue nevi and 6% of uveal melanomas) than the Q209 mutations. Mutations in GNA11 induced spontaneously metastasizing tumors in a mouse model and activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Of the uveal melanomas we analyzed, 83% had somatic mutations in GNAQ or GNA11. Constitutive activation of the pathway involving these two genes appears to be a major contributor to the development of uveal melanoma. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).

                Author and article information

                Br J Cancer
                Br. J. Cancer
                British Journal of Cancer
                Nature Publishing Group
                14 February 2017
                19 January 2017
                14 February 2017
                : 116
                : 4
                : 432-440
                [1 ]University of California, San Francisco Medical Center at Parnassus , 1600 Divisadero Street, MZ Bldg A, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
                [2 ]Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine , 333 Cedar Street, PO Box 208028, New Haven, CT 06520-8028, USA
                [3 ]University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center , 3855 Health Sciences Drive, MC #0658, La Jolla, CA 92093-0658, USA
                [4 ]Exelixis Inc. , 210 E. Grand Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA
                [5 ]Department of Hematology/Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Florida , 2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd, Weston, FL 33331, USA
                [6 ]Cancer Care Associates , 1810 E 15th Street, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA
                [7 ]Pinnacle Oncology Hematology , 9055 E. Del Camino, Suite 100, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, USA
                [8 ]Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Early Drug Development Center , 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
                Author notes

                These authors are no longer employees of Exelixis.

                Copyright © 2017 The Author(s)

                This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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