Mark G. Kris, MD, chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses a phase I/II trial examining the combination of two investigational targeted therapies for patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma.

Kris believes this trial showcases the changes taking place in cancer care, as a result of the molecular revolution. Traditionally, adding two therapies together was thought to also combine and increase the side effects. However, this trial demonstrated that the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and the MEK inhibitor trametinib actually resulted in fewer adverse events. More importantly, Kris feels, the secondary cancers that are common with BRAF inhibitors were also decreased.

Kris notes that these findings are the exact opposite of what has been observed in the past and calls for reeducation of what is now possible.

The combination trial was presented by Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD, at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and was one of many trials presented at the meeting that highlighted molecular advances. View Coverage From ASCO 2012.