Atezolizumab in addition to cobimetinib and vemurafenib is in development for the treatment of BRAF mutated metastatic melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which arises from the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin and is the most aggressive and life-threatening form of skin cancer. BRAF is a type of gene that drives rapid tumour growth and approximately half of all melanomas have mutations in the BRAF gene. Factors associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma include fair skin, exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet energy, and a history of sunburn or moles.
Atezolizumab is a type of immunotherapy that helps the body’s immune system attack the cancer and interferes with the ability of tumour cells to grow and spread. Cobimetinib and vemurafenib are targeted therapies that block specific pathways to stop the growth of tumour cells in BRAF mutated melanoma. The addition of atezolizumab to cobimetinib and vemurafenib has the potential to optimize the sequencing of targeted therapy and immunotherapy for patients with BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma.
Selpercatinib is in clinical development for the treatment of metastatic RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer and at the metastatic stage the disease has already spread from the lungs to other sites. Around 2% of these patients will have tumours that contain fusion mutations in the RET gene. Cells in these tumour produce altered RET signalling receptors that allow uncontrolled cancer growth. Currently the only treatment options that attempt to inhibit RET fusion-positive tumour activity are nonselective multikinase inhibitors.