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NCI Cancer Center News

BRAF inhibitor treatment causes melanoma cells to shift how they produce energy

  • Posted: March 11, 2013

A multi-institutional study has revealed that BRAF-positive metastatic malignant melanomas develop resistance to treatment with drugs targeting the BRAF/MEK growth pathway through a major change in metabolism. The findings, which will be published in Cancer Cell and have been released online, suggest a strategy to improve the effectiveness of currently available targeted therapies. In about half the cases of malignant melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer – tumor growth is driven by mutations in the BRAF gene. Research by investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and elsewhere has shown that treatment with drugs that block BRAF activity temporarily halts tumor growth.

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