Genomic Analysis May Improve Treatment Strategies for Therapy-Resistant Melanoma

Source: Pharmacy Times, August 2023

Precision therapies, although effective in earlier stages, may not work later.

In a recent study from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, investigators analyzed genetic and transcriptomic changes in metastatic organs and tumor macroenvironment of recently deceased patients with melanoma who responded initially to MAPK inhibitors (MAPKi) and immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapies but later died due to acquired resistance. The researchers looked to understand how cutaneous melanoma progresses after initial responsiveness to targeted therapy. The findings indicate MAPKi and ICB are respective contributors to gene amplification and deletion, facilitating therapy resistance in patients.

“The findings from this study suggest potential new avenues for therapeutic interventions. These could aim at overcoming therapy resistance by targeting identified DNA repair pathways and immune evasion mechanisms,” said Wael Harb, MD, a hematologist and medical oncologist at MemorialCare Cancer Institute in Fountain Valley, California, and vice president for medical affairs at Syneos Health. “The study provides a foundation for developing more personalized, effective treatment strategies for metastatic melanoma.”