BRAF Mutation Question

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5/31/2011 3:04pm
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Replies: 8

I am one of the "lucky" ones  with the BRAF mutation or so says my ONC.  Anyway my question for some of the more well studied in this group, if you have a gene mutation does that mean it effects you no matter you status (ie NED).  Specifically, is that Gene mutated within your body not just a Melanoma  Tumor?  What got me wondering was when my Onc suggested I have my regular cancer screenings Breast, Colon, etc more frequently.  Then I started reading the BRAF shows in Colon, non small lung, etc.  What I know about genes I can fill on about two lines.

Thanks,

Mary

Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

MichaelFL - (5/31/2011 - 4:10pm)

Very good question.

Yes, you are correct, the BRAF gene is mutated within the body, and can even be inherited as well. Or, the mutation can also appear as we age and cause cancer as what is called a acquired mutations or oncogene, which is a gene that has the potential to cause cancer. In tumor cells, they are often mutated or expressed at high levels.

Many abnormal cells normally undergo a programmed form of death (apoptosis). Activated oncogenes can cause those cells to survive and proliferate instead. Most oncogenes require an additional step, such as mutations in another gene, or environmental factors, such as viral infection, to cause cancer. Since the 1970s, dozens of oncogenes have been identified in human cancer. Many cancer drugs such as PLX4032 (also known as vemurafenib, RG7204 or RO5185426) target those DNA sequences.

Michael

This information is for general patient educational & information purposes only. It should not be used for diagnosing/treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

washoegal - (5/31/2011 - 7:13pm)

Michael, so am I interpreting my Mel Onc statements correctly, that he wants my other screenings more frequently than would otherwise be indicated for my age, etc.  because of the BRAF mutation. That's something I hadn't considered.  Yeah, I get to support more docs! wink

Thanks Micheal.

Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

dawn dion - (5/31/2011 - 7:26pm)

This is a interesting thread - I am BRAF positive - again my onc was over the moon about it.  But the whole thing was never presented to me this way.

I refuse to let this beat me. I WILL NOT LEAVE MY GIRLS! MELANOMA CAN BITE ME!

MichaelFL - (5/31/2011 - 8:33pm)

Yes, I think you are interpreting your oncologists statements correctly as BRAF is expressed in other cancers as well such as thyroid, colorectal, ovarian and more. BUT that does not mean someone will get another type of cancer.

Michael

This information is for general patient educational & information purposes only. It should not be used for diagnosing/treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

MichaelFL - (5/31/2011 - 8:48pm)

After thinking further, let me rephrase as I do not want to cause anyone undue concern. In doctor speak, the chances of having two different cancers are "highly unlikely".

Michael

This information is for general patient educational & information purposes only. It should not be used for diagnosing/treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

nicoli - (5/31/2011 - 8:41pm)

I have not been Braf tested nor do I know much about it.

But one question:  are there more and better medicines for Braf positives than for "regular" melanoma?

 Are the survival rates better for Braf positives?

Nicki, Stage 3b, scalp

Be strong and take heart, all you who HOPE in the Lord. Ps. 31:24

MichaelFL - (5/31/2011 - 9:06pm)

Another hard question. 

About 60% of melanomas contain a mutation in the B-RAF gene

Depending on which study one reads, the BRAF drugs such as plx-4032 (RG7204) offer a good response rate, but the problem is that the melanoma eventually finds a way around the drug through another pathway or pathways and begins to grow again, thus the response is not long lasting.

In one study: 32 patients with melanoma, all with the BRAF V600E mutation were
given 960 mg of PLX4032 twice daily; 26 had a response. The median survival without the melanoma progressing was estimated to be more than 7 months and the estimated median overall survival had not been reached by the time of the study report.

Michael

This information is for general patient educational & information purposes only. It should not be used for diagnosing/treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

nicoli - (5/31/2011 - 9:19pm)

So here we go with "median" again.

Just like the article in hotelmelanoma. Do most cancer statistics use "median",  cuz that's just not right.

And by the way, I do know what median means! Actually passed college stats!

Nicki, Stage 3b, scalp

Be strong and take heart, all you who HOPE in the Lord. Ps. 31:24