Patients with BRAF-Mutant Advanced/Metastatic Melanoma: Original Research on the Treatment Reality in Germany and Austria in the Era of Choice

Sebastian Haferkamp*, Mareike Alter, Dirk Debus, Bastian Schilling, Andreas Pinter, Patrick Terheyden, Jochen S. Utikal, Michael Max Sachse, Thomas Haalck, Ingrid H. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Cutaneous melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of skin neoplasms and represents a major cause of neoplastic or cancer death in Europe. Without adequate therapy, the 5-year survival rate is 15% when the disease metastasizes to distant organs. The objective of our study was to evaluate the status quo of the current treatment standards in stage IV melanoma and rationale for therapy decisions in Germany and Austria between January 2016 and September 2018. Methods: In this retrospective, anonymized registry, data of male and female patients with unresectable advanced/metastatic BRAF-positive cutaneous melanoma treated in the first, second, and third line with registered substances were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: Ninety-nine patients (50.5% male) received a total of 172 treatment lines. The first (99 patients), second (56 patients), and third (17 patients) treatment lines were documented. Within the 80.8% of patients with stage IV melanoma, targeted therapy (TT) was more frequently administered as a first-line treatment than immunotherapy (IO) with checkpoint inhibitors (59.6% TT vs. 40.4% IO). Across all lines, patients received TT in 54.7% and IO in 43.0% of the cases. As targeted agents, dabrafenib plus trametinib was predominantly prescribed (72.3%), whereas the monotherapy with anti-programmed cell death protein 1 and anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 antibodies or their combination was prescribed similarly often (50.0% vs. 47.3%). Most commonly, the treatment type was switched from TT to IO or vice versa upon disease progression. The most frequent rationales for prescribing either TT or IO were remission pressure (72.9%) or physician’s preference (45.0%), respectively. Disease progression was a more frequent cause of treatment discontinuation than undesired events. Conclusion: Patients in Germany and Austria with unresectable advanced or metastatic BRAF-mutant melanoma predominantly receive guideline-recommended treatments. TT was more frequently administered than IO while the rationale for prescribing a specific treatment type differed between the two.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)3619-3629
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2020


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