Cessation of targeted therapy after a complete response in BRAF-mutant advanced melanoma: A case series

Matteo S. Carlino, Vito Vanella, Christina Girgis, Diana Giannarelli, Alex Guminski, Lucia Festino, Richard F. Kefford, Alexander M. Menzies, Georgina V. Long, Paolo A. Ascierto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background:It is unknown whether melanoma patients achieving complete response (CR) with targeted therapy can safely discontinue treatment.Methods:All patients treated with BRAF/MEK inhibitors achieving CR and ceasing treatment before progression were identified. Clinical data at treatment initiation, cessation and progression were examined.Results:A total of 12 eligible patients were identified, with median follow-up of 16 months, of whom 6 (50%) recurred at a median of 6.6 months after treatment cessation. One patient lost to follow-up until presentation with symptomatic recurrence was the only relapser to die. At relapse, the remaining five patients had an LDH <1.2 times ULN, four were ECOG 0 and one ECOG 1. Baseline characteristics and time to CR and to discontinuation did not influence the rate of relapse.Conclusions:A large proportion of patients achieving CR with BRAF/MEK inhibitors relapse after treatment cessation. The optimal treatment duration in such patients is unclear, particularly where alternative treatments are available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1280-1284
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016


  • melanoma
  • BRAF inhibitors
  • MEK inhibitors
  • complete response
  • duration of response
  • treatment cessation


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