Targeted and immunotherapies have transformed melanoma care, extending median survival from ~9 to over 25 months but nevertheless, most patients still die of their disease. The aim of precision medicine is to tailor care for individual patients and improve outcomes. To this end we developed protocols to facilitate individualized treatment decisions for advanced melanoma patients, analyzing 364 samples from 214 patients. Whole exome sequencing (WES) and targeted sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) allowed us to monitor responses to therapy and to identify and then follow mechanisms of resistance. WES of tumors revealed potential hypothesis-driven therapeutic strategies for BRAF wild-type and inhibitor-resistant BRAF mutant tumors, which were then validated in patient-derived xenografts (PDXs). We also developed circulating tumor cell-derived xenografts (CDX) as an alternative to PDXs when tumors were inaccessible or difficult to biopsy. Thus, we describe a powerful technology platform for precision medicine of melanoma patients.
- Received November 9, 2015.
- Revision received December 20, 2015.
- Accepted December 23, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.