Treatment beyond progression and locoregional approaches in selected patients with BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma
The clinical management of BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma had an important turning point after the introduction of the targeted therapy. Despite the efficacy and good tolerability of this treatment, the development of resistance mechanisms causes disease progression. The aim of this review is to investigate the role of treatment beyond progression and locoregional approaches in BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma and provide oncologists dealing with this malignancy a useful road map on when and why to choose this strategy.
The article is structured in the form of a narrative review reporting the most significant studies on the subject. Most of the available articles are represented by retrospective studies and case reports, leading to limitations in the final interpretations. Nevertheless, a correct analysis of the selected studies allows the drawing of some conclusions. In well-selected cases, treatment beyond progression could play an important role in the treatment sequence of patients with BRAF-mutated advanced melanoma and would seem to produce good disease control rates and positive survival outcomes. A careful evaluation of the radiological examinations and laboratory tests, based on the clinical conditions, allows the identification of which patients can benefit from this strategy. Such patients are those who, at the time of progression, have favourable features such as a lower performance status according to Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG-PS), normal lactate dehydrogenase levels and lower disease burden. The clinical benefit is also consolidated by the addition of locoregional approaches. Locoregional approaches can include electrochemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, and their use provides local disease control and a better quality of life for patients.