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BACKGROUND: BRAF+MEK inhibitors extend life expectancy of patients with BRAFV600 mutant advanced melanoma. Acquired resistance limits duration of benefit, but preclinical and case studies suggest intermittent dosing could overcome this limitation. INTERIM was a phase 2 trial evaluating an intermittent dosing regimen. METHODS: Patients with BRAFV600 mutant advanced melanoma due to start dabrafenib+trametinib were randomised to receive either continuous (CONT), or intermittent (INT; dabrafenib d1-21, trametinib d1-14 every 28 days) dosing. A composite primary endpoint included progression-free survival (PFS) and quality of life (QoL). Secondary endpoints included response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS) and adverse events (AEs). Mutant BRAFV600E ctDNA was measured by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), using mutant allele frequency of > 1 % as the detection threshold. RESULTS: 79 patients (39 INT, 40 CONT) were recruited; median age 67 years, 65 % AJCC (7th ed) stage IV M1c, 29 % had brain metastases. With 19 months median follow-up, INT was inferior in all efficacy measures: median PFS 8.5 vs 10.7mo (HR 1.39, 95 %CI 0.79-2.45, p = 0.255); median OS 18.1mo vs not reached (HR 1.69, 95 %CI 0.87-3.28, p = 0.121), ORR 57 % vs 77 %. INT patients experienced fewer treatment-related AEs (76 % vs 88 %), but more grade > 3 AEs (53 % vs 42 %). QoL favoured CONT. Detection of BRAFV600E ctDNA prior to treatment correlated with worse OS (HR 2.55, 95 %CI 1.25-5.21, p = 0.01) in both arms. A change to undetected during treatment did not significantly predict better OS. CONCLUSION: INTERIM findings are consistent with other recent clinical trials reporting that intermittent dosing does not improve efficacy of BRAF+MEK inhibitors.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cancer

Publication Date





BRAF, Circulating tumour DNA, Continuous dosing, Dabrafenib, Intermittent dosing, Metastatic melanoma, Scheduling, Trametinib