BRAF inhibitor and dual BRAF/MEK inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of BRAF-mutated melanoma.
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma ( cuSCC ) is an adverse event associated with these drugs.
The contribution of BRAF inhibitor and dual BRAF/MEK inhibitors to cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is still unknown.
Researchers have performed a meta-analysis to determine the overall incidence and relative risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in cancer patients treated with these drugs.
A total of 7,442 patients from 24 primary studies were included.
The incidences of all-grade and high-grade cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in cancer patients treated with BRAF inhibitor were 12.5% ( 95% CI: 10.8-14.6% ) and 11.6% ( 95% CI: 9.8-13.8% ), and dual BRAF/MEK inhibitors were 3.0% ( 95% CI: 2.0-4.5% ) and 2.8% ( 95% CI: 1.9-4.0% ), respectively.
On subgroup analysis and meta-regression, the incidence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma did not vary with tumor type, study design and specific drug used.
The use of single agent BRAF inhibitor significantly increased the risk of developing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma comparing with dual BRAF/MEK inhibitors for all-grade ( RR 4.72, 95% CI: 2.42-9.20 ) and high-grade ( RR 4.92, 95% CI: 2.64-9.16 ) in cancer patients.
In conclusion, BRAF inhibitors significantly increase the risk of developing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma compared with dual BRAF/MEK inhibitors in cancer patients.
Clinicians should be aware of the risks of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma with the administration of these drugs in cancer patients. ( Xagena )
Peng L et al, Oncotarget 2017; 8: 83280-83291