Paclitaxel with or without trametinib or pazopanib in advanced wild-type BRAF Melanoma (PACMEL): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled phase II trial.
Urbonas V., Schadendorf D., Zimmer L., Danson S., Marshall E., Corrie P., Wheater M., Plummer E., Mauch C., Scudder C., Goff M., Love SB., Mohammed SB., Middleton MR.
Backround: Advanced melanoma treatments often rely on immunotherapy or targeting mutations, with few treatment options for wild-type BRAF (BRAF-wt) melanoma. However, the MAPK pathway is activated in most melanoma, including BRAF-wt. We assessed whether inhibiting this pathway by adding kinase inhibitors trametinib or pazopanib to paclitaxel chemotherapy improved outcomes in patients with advanced BRAF-wt melanoma in a phase II, randomised, open-label trial. Patients and Methods: Patients were randomised (1:1:1) to paclitaxel alone or with trametinib or pazopanib. Paclitaxel was given for a maximum of 6 cycles, while 2 mg trametinib and 800 mg pazopanib were administered orally once daily until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Participants and investigators were unblinded. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Key secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS) and objective response rate (ORR). Results: Participants were randomised to paclitaxel alone (n = 38), paclitaxel and trametinib (n = 36), or paclitaxel and pazopanib (n = 37). Adding trametinib significantly improved 6-month PFS; (time ratio (TR), 1.47; 90% confidence interval (CI): 1.08 to 2.01, P = 0.04) and ORR (42% versus 13%; P = 0.01), but had no effect on OS (P = 0.25). Adding pazopanib did not benefit 6-month PFS; (TR, 1.36; 90% CI: 0.96 to 1.93, P = 0.14), ORR, or OS. Toxicity increased in both combination arms. Conclusion: In this phase II trial, adding trametinib to paclitaxel chemotherapy for BRAF-wt melanoma improved PFS and substantially increased ORR but did not impact OS. This study was registered with the EU Clinical Trials Register, number EudraCT 2011-002545-35, and with the ISRCTN registry, number 43327231.