Multiple studies have examined the relationship between BRAF mutation and overall survival in patients with stage III and stage IV disease.1-6 In a prospective study of 197 metastatic melanoma patients, overall survival was significantly decreased in those with a BRAF mutation who had not received treatment compared with those patients with wild-type BRAF (see figure below).1
Adapted with permission from: Long GV et al. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(10):1239-46.
Additional data from retrospective studies provide further support for decreased survival in patients with BRAF mutations.2 One such study included metastatic melanoma patients with BRAF (49%) or NRAS (21%) mutation, or no mutation (wild-type, 30%), and found a similar survival detriment associated with untreated patients who have a BRAF mutation.2
Adapted with permission from: Jakob JA et al. Cancer. 2012;118(16):4014-23.
Recognising the difference in survival in patients with and without BRAF mutation suggests the activating mutation may make a patient more vulnerable to a worse prognosis. Thus, this highlights the importance of identifying BRAF mutations early in the disease to help inform treatment decisions.