Study using Biocartis’ liquid biopsy BRAF assay shows new option for retreatment of melanoma patients

Last updated: 03rd February, 2022

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Biocartis is pleased to announce the publication of an important study [1] by Prof. Dr. Bart Neyns from the University Hospital in Brussels (Belgium) in the clinical oncology journal The Lancet Oncology: ‘A second chance for success with BRAF and MEK inhibitors in Melanoma’.

In this study, advanced metastatic melanoma cancer patients that had become resistant to their BRAF-targeted treatment were successfully given a retreatment with that same therapy following a three months pause after resistance confirmation. This is an important finding that could lead to more routine use of retreatment, especially for patients where no effective standard treatment is available. Biocartis’ liquid biopsy test, the Idylla(TM) ctBRAF Mutation Assay (RUO[2]), was used in this study for the monitoring of the mutational status.

It often happens that patients with advanced melanoma become resistant to their treatments after some time. As a result, some patients can be left without a direct alternative treatment. The close monitoring of cancer treatment effectiveness is therefore essential. Liquid biopsy tests operating on blood plasma with the aim to detect circulating tumour DNA in the blood stream, can be an easy and less invasive monitoring tool for these patients, as demonstrated in the recent clinical study[3] by Prof. Dr. Bart Neyns, Head of Medical Oncology at the University Hospital Brussels (Belgium).

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The study included 25 patients with advanced BRAFV600-mutant melanoma[4] who had become resistant to their treatments[5]. Rechallenging these patients, who previously progressed on BRAF plus MEK inhibition and were off-therapy for at least 12 weeks, with the same combination therapy, showed to be potentially effective and as such represents a potential new treatment option for these patients. The Biocartis’ Idylla(TM) ctBRAF Mutation Assay[6] was used to monitor the BRAFV600 mutations of the patients included in the study.

Prof. Dr. Bart Neyns, Head of Medical Oncology at the University Hospital Brussels (Belgium), reacted:This is an important finding, as these results show that we can restart treatment with reasonable chance of success in cases where we do not have an effective standard treatment.”

Geert Maertens, Chief Scientific Officer of Biocartis, commented: “The study of Prof. Neyns shows for the first time that interruption after progression can restore sensitivity to a targeted therapy. In the study, Biocartis’ Idylla(TM) ctBRAF Mutation Assay2 has been instrumental in identifying patients benefiting from such retreatment. This clearly demonstrates the potential of our liquid biopsy test for use in high precision patient management.”



[1] Schreuer et al., ‘Combination of dabrafenib plus trametinib for BRAF and MEK inhibitor pretreated patients with advanced BRAFV600-mutant melanoma: an open-label, single arm, dual-centre, phase 2 clinical trial’, The Lancet Oncology 2017, published online 3 March 2017.

[2] Research Use Only, not for use in diagnostic procedures.

[3] Combi-Rechallenge: NCT02296996. The study was performed among 25 patients of 18 years and older with advanced BRAFV600-mutant melanoma.

[4] All patients were aged 18 years or older, with BRAFV600-mutant melanoma who had previously progressed on BRAF inhibitors (with or without MEK inhibitors) and were off-treatment for at least 12 weeks, were treated with dabrafenib 150 mg orally twice per day plus trametinib 2 mg orally once per day.

[5] It concerns treatments with dabrafenib and/or trametinib (TafinlarTM and MekinistTM, both products marketed by Novartis).

[6] The Idylla(TM) ctBRAF Mutation Assay is a Research Use Only assay, not for use in diagnostic procedures.


Find out more about Idylla ctBRAF Mutation Assay (RUO)

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