Common cutaneous side effects of BRAF inhibitors in the treatment of metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600E mutation include rash, photosensitivity, hand-foot skin reaction, alopecia, pruritis and more, according to a review published in 2016 in Dermatology Research and Practice.1
Dermatologists are most likely to recommend free BRAF mutation testing through the Know Now program, according to Dr. Leachman, if a dermatology exam demonstrates that a stage I or II melanoma patient has developed progressive disease, or when a survivor, released from surgical or medical oncologic care, exhibits recurrence.
WHAT THE TESTING DOES AND DOESN’T DO
BRAF inhibitors target the common and specific metastatic melanoma mutation V-600.
“This test allows you to know if patients’ tumors have this mutation and will be more likely to respond to a BRAF inhibitor. If they don’t have that mutation, a different class of drug or immunotherapy would be more appropriate,” Dr. Leachman says. “It’s vital that we have that genetic information, but the problem is that not every insurance company wants to pay, and not every patient has insurance.”
The Know Now Testing Program takes care of cost concerns for testing. And the downstream benefit for patients and research quality is that this particular test might help standardize testing.