Utility of circulating B-RAF DNA mutation in serum for monitoring melanoma patients receiving biochemotherapy

Masaru Shinozaki, Steven J. O'Day, Minoru Kitago, Farin Amersi, Christine Kuo, Joseph Kim, He Jing Wang, Dave S.B. Hoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Somatic B-RAF gene mutation has been identified in many malignancies and detected at a high frequency in cutaneous malignant melanoma. However, the significance of the B-RAF mutation (B-RAFmt) in terms of its prognostic and predictive capabilities for treatment response or disease outcome is not known. We hypothesized that circulating serum B-RAFmt (B-RAFsmt) at V600E, detected in serum, predicts response in melanoma patients receiving concurrent biochemotherapy. Experimental Design: A real-time clamp quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assay was designed to assess B-RAFsmt by peptide nucleic acid clamping and a locked nucleic acid hybrid probe. Normal (n = 18) and American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I to IV melanoma patients (n = 103) were evaluated. These included stage IV patients (n = 48) with blood drawn before and after biochemotherapy. Patients were classified as biochemotherapy responders or nonresponders. Responders (n = 24) had a complete or partial response following biochemotherapy; nonresponders (n = 24) developed progressive disease. Results: Of the 103 melanoma patients, 38 (37%) had B-RAFsmt DNA, of which 11 of 34 (32%) were stage I or II, and 27 of 69 (39%) were stage III or IV. Of the 48 biochemotherapy patients, 10 of 24 (42%) patients were positive for the B-RAFsmt in the respective responder and nonresponder groups before treatment. After biochemotherapy, B-RAFsmt was detected in only 1 of 10 patients (10%) in the responder group and 7 of 10 patients (70%) in the nonresponder group. B-RAFsmt is associated with significantly worse (P = 0.039) overall survival in patients receiving biochemotherapy. Conclusion: These studies show the presence and utility of circulating B-RAFsmt DNA in melanoma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2068-2074
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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