This morning, J. Sossman gave an update on the Novartis trial testing a combination of a MEK inhibitor with a cell cycle inhibitor in patients with NRAS mutated Melanoma.
15-20 % of all Melanomas carry a NRAS mutation and currently, there is so far no approved targeted therapy (like Vemurafenib or Dabrafenib for BRAF mutant Melanoma) available for these patients.
Analysis of NRAS mutant Melanomas has shown that they have an overactive MAPK pathway as well as cell-cycle check point dysregulation (cell-cycle check points usually control that cells don’t divide uncontrollably) which was the motivation for this trial.
There were only 22 patients on this study, so one needs to be cautious with the results but so far, 33% of patients had a partial response and 68% had clinical benefit from the treatment. So while this is maybe not the BIG success, it is an encouraging start so that maybe one day, we'll have an equally efficient targeted therapy available for patients with NRAS mutant Melanoma like we have in BRAF mutant Melanoma today.