Illustrative cases for monitoring by quantitative analysis of BRAF/NRAS ctDNA mutations in liquid biopsies of metastatic melanoma patients who gained clinical benefits from anti-PD1 antibody therapy

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Abstract

Anti-programmed death 1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibodies improve the survival of metastatic melanoma patients. Predictive or monitoring biomarkers for response to this therapy could improve the clinical management of these patients. To date, no established biomarkers are available for monitoring the response to immunotherapy. Tumor- specific mutations in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) such as BRAF and NRAS mutations for melanoma patients have been proposed for monitoring of immunotherapy response. We present seven illustrative cases for the use of ctDNA BRAF and NRAS mutations’ monitoring in plasma. The cases described exemplify four distinct clinical benefit patterns: rapid and durable complete response (CR), early progression, followed by CR, CR followed by early progression after interrupting treatment and long-term disease stabilization. These representative cases suggest that comprehensive BRAF/NRAS ctDNA monitoring during anti-PD1 therapy is informative and can be of added value for the monitoring of melanoma patients gaining clinical benefit on anti-PD1 treatment. An important advantage of our approach is that using the cartridge system on the Idylla platform for mutation analysis, the results become available the same day 2 h after plasma collection. Therefore, in the future, the ctDNA level can be an element in the clinical management of the patients.

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