Melanoma is a recalcitrant disease. Melanoma patients with the BRAF-V600E mutation have been treated with the drug vemurafenib (VEM) which targets this mutation. However, we previously showed that VEM is not very effective against a BRAF-V600E melanoma mutant in a patient-derived orthotopic xenograft (PDOX) model. In contrast, we demonstrated that recombinant methioninase (rMETase) which targets the general metabolic defect in cancer of methionine dependence, was effective against the BRAF-V600E mutant melanoma PDOX model. In the present study, we demonstrate that rMETase is effective against a BRAF-V600E-negative melanoma PDOX which we established. Forty BRAF-V600E-negative melanoma PDOX mouse models were randomized into four groups of 10 mice each: untreated control (n = 10); temozolomide (TEM) (25 mg/kg, p.o., 14 consecutive days, n = 10); rMETase (100 units, i.p., 14 consecutive days, n = 10); TEM + rMETase (TEM: 25 mg/kg, p.o., rMETase: 100 units, i.p., 14 consecutive days, n = 10). All treatments inhibited tumor growth compared to untreated control (TEM: p = 0.0003, rMETase: p = 0.0006, TEM/ rMETase: p = 0.0002) on day 14 after initiation. Combination therapy of TEM and rMETase was significantly more effective than either mono-therapy (TEM: p = 0.0113, rMETase: p = 0.0173). The present study shows that TEM combined with rMETase is effective for BRAF-V600E-negative melanoma PDOX similar to the BRAF-V600Epositive mutation melanoma. These results suggest rMETase in combination with firstline chemotherapy can be highly effective in both BRAF-V600E-negative as well as BRAF-V600E-positive melanoma and has clinical potential for this recalcitrant disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas