A Place for Hope

Melanoma starts in melanocytes, cell in our skin that make skin color.  When melanoma is removed early, the chance of cure is usually excellent, but if its not removed, it grows thicker and it can spread to nearby lymph nodes (stage 3 melanoma).  While surgery can still cure melanoma that has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the chance is high that some of the melanoma will escape surgery leading to recurrence, more widespread recurrence, and even death.  Interferon is the only FDA approved medicine to reduce the risk that resected stage 3 melanoma will come back, but the benefits of interferon are modest and the side effects can be debilitating.  We are currently enrolling patients in a randomized phase 3 trial for patients with stage 3 melanoma after surgery.  Patients will either receive dabrafenib and trametinib, drugs that are FDA approved to treat stage 4 melanoma, or placebos.  All patients will be followed very closely so that any melanoma recurrence can be treated as soon as possible.

Key Inclusion / Exclusion Criteria:

  • Stage 3 melanoma (lymph nodes involved with melanoma)
  • BRAF mutation positive
  • No prior treatment with a BRAF or MEK inhibitor
  • No distant or in transit metastases
  • Patients may not have certain heart or eye problems

Contact:  Dr. Alain Algazi, (415) 353-7552, alain.algazi@ucsf.edu

Clinicaltrials.gov link: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01682083