BRAF is a gene that is often mutated in melanoma tumors. There are drugs that target the BRAF protein which initially work in many patients, but typically the cancer starts growing again in about six months. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational BRAF inhibitor, called LGX818, given in a “pulsatile” schedule (in which the patient takes short breaks from the drug) to potentially reduce the development of drug resistance.
Prior studies have shown that most patients who received LGX818 experienced tumor shrinkage. In this study, it will be given in patients with inoperable stage III melanoma or metastatic (stage IV) melanoma that contains a BRAF mutation. LGX818 is taken orally (by mouth).