Elevated levels of BRAFV600 mutant circulating tumor DNA and circulating hepatocyte growth factor are associated with poor prognosis in patients with metastatic melanoma

William Lu, Luciana Burton, James Larkin, Paul B. Chapman, Paolo A. Ascierto, Antoni Ribas, Caroline Robert, Jeffrey A. Sosman, Grant A. McArthur, Ilsung Chang, Ivor Caro, Elicia Penuel, Yibing Yan, Matthew J. Wongchenko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose We performed a retrospective exploratory analysis to evaluate the prognostic and predictive effect of two circulating biomarkers, BRAFV600 mutant circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and circulating hepatocyte growth factor (cHGF), in metastatic melanoma. Materials and Methods This study evaluated patients from BRIM-3, a phase III trial comparing vemurafenib and dacarbazine in 675 patients with BRAFV600 mutated advanced melanoma. ctDNA was measured using droplet digital polymerase chain reaction, and cHGF was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Overall survival (OS) was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards modeling. Partitioning analysis was used to group patients into risk categories. Results Patients with elevated levels of baseline BRAFV600 ctDNA had significantly shorter median OS than those with undetectable levels of ctDNA (vemurafenib arm, 9.9 v 21.4 months, respectively, and dacarbazine arm: 6.1 v 21.0 months, respectively). Median OS was also shorter in patients with high levels of cHGF compared with those with low cHGF (vemurafenib arm, 11.9 v 17.3 months, respectively, and dacarbazine arm, 6.1 v 14.4 months, respectively). In a multivariable proportional hazards model with adjustment for lactate dehydrogenase, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group status, disease stage, and treatment, ctDNA and cHGF were both independent prognostic factors for OS, (HR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.35 to 2.28 for high v undetectable ctDNA; HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.53 for high v low cHGF). Using partitioning analysis, we found that patients with elevated ctDNA combined with elevated cHGF constituted the highest risk group with significantly shorter OS. Conclusion Here, we report that BRIM-3 patients with high levels of ctDNA and cHGF have worse OS regardless of treatment and that these factors are independent prognostic markers for metastatic melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJCO Precision Oncology
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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