PURPOSE - This phase II study evaluated the efficacy and safety of sorafenib plus dacarbazine in patients with advanced melanoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study enrolled chemotherapy-naive patients with stage III (unresectable) or IV melanoma. A total of 101 patients received placebo plus dacarbazine (n = 50) or sorafenib plus dacarbazine (n = 51). On day 1 of a 21-day cycle, patients received intravenous dacarbazine 1,000 mg/m(2) for a maximum of 16 cycles. Oral sorafenib 400 mg or placebo was administered twice a day continuously. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) by independent assessment. Secondary and tertiary end points included time to progression (TTP), response rate, and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS - Median PFS in the sorafenib plus dacarbazine arm was 21.1 weeks versus 11.7 weeks in the placebo plus dacarbazine arm (hazard ratio [HR], 0.665; P = .068). There were statistically significant improvements in PFS rates at 6 and 9 months, and in TTP (median, 21.1 v 11.7 weeks; HR, 0.619) in favor of the sorafenib plus dacarbazine arm. No difference in OS was observed (median, 51.3 v 45.6 weeks in the placebo plus dacarbazine and sorafenib plus dacarbazine arms, respectively; HR, 1.022). The regimen was well tolerated and had a manageable toxicity profile.
CONCLUSION - Sorafenib plus dacarbazine was well tolerated in patients with advanced melanoma and yielded an encouraging improvement in PFS. Based on these findings, additional studies with the combination are warranted in this patient population.