Treatment of advanced BRAF-mutant melanoma has changed dramatically in the past 3 years thanks to the approval of new immunotherapy and targeted therapy agents.
The goal of our survey was to investigate when immunotherapy and targeted therapy are used in the management of advanced melanoma patients and whether differences exist between the types of setting.
Oncologists from academic centers, community-based centers, and private clinics were invited to participate in an online survey. Survey questions addressed the proportion of BRAF-mutant patients per treatment line, proportion of patients on targeted therapy and immunotherapy available in the United States, and reasons for prescribing each drug class.
A total of 101 physicians completed the survey, of which 47 worked in a private clinic, 33 in an academic center, and 21 in a community-based center. Academic center participants tended to see more severe patients (P < .001) and had more patients in second-line treatment than participants from other setting types. In addition, academic center physicians had more patients in clinical trials (P < .001), and they prescribed the ipilimumab and nivolumab combination more frequently. In terms of sequencing, all participants used targeted therapy for severe or rapidly progressing patients and immunotherapy for those who were less severe or slowly progressing.
The findings illustrate the differences in treatment approach per type of setting, with patients in academic centers more likely to receive recently approved products or to be enrolled in clinical trials than those in community-based settings.