Stage IIC and stage III melanoma can often be removed with surgery. However, there is a 50 to 85 percent chance of the cancer returning. In this study, researchers want to see if giving these patients the drug vemurafenib can reduce their risk of recurrence after the tumor has been surgically removed. Vemurafenib is currently approved for use in patients with inoperable metastatic melanoma, but its use to prevent recurrence in those with operable disease is considered investigational.
Vemurafenib works by targeting a mutated form of a protein called BRAF, which is found in many melanomas. Therefore, patients in this study will need to have melanoma that contains mutated BRAF.
Patients will be randomly assigned to receive either vemurafenib or a placebo. They should be aware that this study requires participants to visit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center many times. Vemurafenib is a tablet that is taken orally (by mouth).