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Open Access Case report

Overwhelming response to Dabrafenib in a patient with double BRAF mutation (V600E; V600M) metastatic malignant melanoma

Giovanni Ponti1*, Aldo Tomasi1 and Giovanni Pellacani2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Medicine and Public Health, University Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, via del Pozzo 7, 41100, Modena, Italy

2 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Dermatology, University Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2012, 5:60  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-60

Published: 2 October 2012

Abstract

The recent findings brought the necessity of testing the mutational status of a series of genes which had been already identified as responsible for melanomas development and progression, such as BRAF, CKIT and PTEN: the consequent results are, in fact, essential to guide the assessment of the novel treatment protocols based on tailored targeted therapies. We present here the case of a 66 year-old male patient, diagnosed with an advanced melanoma in June 2011, and treated with Dabrafenib for double mutant metastatic disease. The patient was referred to our attention for a large exophytic malignant melanoma on the left shoulder. After complete surgical excision and elective lymph node dissection for presence of metastatic sentinel lymph node, the patient has started high-dose interferon alfa-2b injections as adjuvant therapy for a complete negative staging. The treatment was interrupted in August 2011 due to the appearance of metastatic lymph nodes. Tumor burden was rapidly growing reaching in few months the size of a tennis ball for the tumor mass located in the shoulder. Mutational study of the tumor revealed a double BRAF mutation on V-600E and V600M. This finding incited us to enroll the patient in compassionate Dabrafenib clinical trial. The therapy was started on may 2012 at 150 mg bid dosage. Almost surprisingly for the rapidity of the effect, one week later the lesion on the shoulder has reduced its size by 60% and one month later it has completely disappeared from sight. CT scan of June 2012 documented the astonishing clinical response.