BRAF+ melanoma
What makes it different, makes it vulnerable

Distinct patient characteristics help identify patients more likely to have BRAF mutation

Differences in patient and tumour characteristics (discussed in the following section) distinguish BRAF+ melanoma as a disease that is distinct from wild-type BRAF.

Age at diagnosis

Patients with BRAF mutation have been shown in multiple studies to be diagnosed with metastatic disease at an earlier age, which has been identified as a negative prognostic factor in melanoma.1-5

Earlier diagnosis of metastatic disease1-4

Sun exposure

In contrast to patients with wild-type BRAF, BRAF mutation is more frequently observed in patients who have had indirect, intermittent exposure to the sun.6

More frequent indirect, intermittent sun exposure6

Location and physical presentation of disease

The location at which primary tumours present has been associated with BRAF mutation status. Significantly more patients with BRAF mutation
present with localised disease on the truncal region (see figure below).1-3,6

Increased truncal presentation1-3,6

Additionally, BRAF mutation tumours are more than two times as likely to exhibit superficial spreading compared with wild-type BRAF disease (see figure below).1,2

Superficial spreading is more prevalent1-3

Source: National Cancer Institute.

Source: National Cancer Institute.

Recognising these characteristics associated with BRAF+ melanoma can help to identify patients and distinguish their disease from wild-type BRAF.

  1. Long GV, et al. Prognostic and clinicopathologic associations of oncogenic BRAF in metastatic melanoma. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(10):1239-46.
  2. Jakob JA, et al. NRAS mutation status is an independent prognostic factor in metastatic melanoma. Cancer. 2012;118(16):4014-23.
  3. Thomas NE, et al. Association between NRAS and BRAF mutational status and melanoma-specific survival among patients with higher-risk primary melanoma. JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(3):359-68.
  4. Hugdahl E, et al. BRAF-V600E expression in primary nodular melanoma is associated with aggressive tumour features and reduced survival. Br J Cancer. 2016;114(7):801-8.
  5. National Cancer Institute. SEER stat fact sheets: melanoma of the skin. Accessed August 28, 2019.
  6. Menzies AM, et al. Recent advances in melanoma systemic therapy. BRAF inhibitors, CTLA4 antibodies and beyond. Eur J Cancer. 2013;49(15):3229-41.