Association of BRAF V600E/K Mutation Status and Prior BRAF/MEK Inhibition with Pembrolizumab Outcomes in Advanced Melanoma: Pooled Analysis of 3 Clinical Trials

Igor Puzanov*, Antoni Ribas, Caroline Robert, Jacob Schachter, Marta Nyakas, Adil Daud, Ana Arance, Matteo S. Carlino, Steven J. O'day, Georgina V. Long, Kim A. Margolin, Reinhard Dummer, Dirk Schadendorf, Jose Lutzky, Paolo A. Ascierto, Ahmad Tarhini, Jianxin Lin, Robin Mogg, Blanca Homet Moreno, Nageatte IbrahimOmid Hamid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Importance: The optimal sequencing of immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapy for BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma is not well established. Objective: To assess the association of BRAF wild-type (WT) or BRAF V600E/K-mutant status and BRAF inhibitor (BRAFi) with or without MEK inhibitor (MEKi) therapy with response to pembrolizumab. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study is a post hoc subgroup analysis of pooled data from 3 multinational, multisite studies: KEYNOTE-001 (data cutoff September 1, 2017), KEYNOTE-002 (data cutoff May 30, 2018), and KEYNOTE-006 (data cutoff December 4, 2017). Patients included in this analysis were adults with advanced melanoma and known BRAF V600E/K tumor status who had received pembrolizumab. Interventions: Patients received pembrolizumab in dosages of 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks, 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks, or 10 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Main Outcomes and Measures: End points were objective response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS) assessed by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1, and overall survival (OS). Objective response rates, 4-year PFS, and OS rates were compared in the following patient subgroups: BRAF WT vs BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma and BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma with vs without previous treatment with BRAFi with or without MEKi therapy. Results: The overall study population (N = 1558) included 944 men (60.6%) and 614 women (39.4%). The mean (SD) age was 60.0 years (14.0). The ORR was 38.3% (596/1558), 4-year PFS rate was 22.0%, and 4-year OS rate was 36.9%. For patients with BRAF WT (n = 1124) and BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma (n = 434), ORR was 39.8% (n = 447) and 34.3% (n = 149), 4-year PFS rate was 22.9% and 19.8%, and 4-year OS rate was 37.5% and 35.1%, respectively. Patients with BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma who had (n = 271) vs had not (n = 163) previously received BRAFi with or without MEKi therapy had baseline characteristics with worse prognosis; ORR was 28.4% (n = 77) and 44.2% (n = 72), 4-year PFS rate was 15.2% and 27.8%, and 4-year OS rate was 26.9% and 49.3%, respectively. Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this subgroup analysis support the use of pembrolizumab for treatment of advanced melanoma regardless of BRAF V600E/K mutation status or receipt of prior BRAFi with or without MEKi therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1256-1264
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Merck Sharp and Dohme


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