Statin combo promising for melanoma

December 19, 2012

New Haven, Conn. - Combining statins with kinase inhibitors may be effective for treating melanomas driven by RAS or BRAF genetic mutations, results of a recent study indicate.

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and colleagues analyzed 150 anticancer agents and selected 40 to use in combination testing, Healio.com reports. Although targeted therapies have benefited patients with some types of cancers, resistance and partial responses to targeted monotherapy continue to be obstacles for other patients, authors noted.

Investigators identified several combinations that were effective for melanomas with BRAF mutations, including mutant BRAF melanomas resistant to vemurafenib, and mutant RAS melanomas that are resistant to many therapies, according to the abstract. Further, treatment-resistant BRAF mutant melanoma cultures developed sensitivity to vemurafenib when both EGF receptor and AKT were inhibited, Healio.com reports.

Several statin drug combinations killed RAS-driven melanoma cell lines, investigators noted. Melanomas with RAS mutations were sensitive to combinations of statins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in vitro and in vivo, the authors noted.

The authors concluded that combination drug screening maybe useful for discovering new treatment regimens for melanomas driven by RAS or BRAF genetic mutations.

The findings were published in the December issue of Cancer Discovery.