In 2018, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) looked into whether the combination of binimetinib and encorafenib has any advantages or disadvantages compared with the standard treatments for people who have advanced melanoma and the BRAF V600 mutation.
The manufacturer didn't provide any suitable data regarding patients who have already received treatment. So it remains unclear whether the combination of binimetinib and encorafenib has any advantages or disadvantages compared with the standard treatment for patients who have already received treatment.
The manufacturer provided data suitable for an indirect comparison in patients who haven't yet received treatment.
In scientific research, a direct comparison is a comparison made between two medications in a single study. Half of the participants in the study are given medication A, and the other half receive the standard treatment. After the study is completed, the number of certain events in each group – such as deaths, occurrences of symptoms or side effects – are compared.
Indirect comparisons, on the other hand, involve two different studies (in the simplest case): One study compares medication A with medication X. The other compares medication X with the standard treatment. Then the results for medication A from the first study are compared with the results for the standard treatment from the second study. The results of this kind of comparison are generally less reliable than a direct comparison.
In this case, one study compared binimetinib plus encorafenib with vemurafenib, and the other compared vemurafenib with the standard treatment of vemurafenib plus cobimetinib.
What advantages or disadvantages does binimetinib plus encorafenib have?
The combination of binimetinib plus encorafenib wasn't found to have any advantages or disadvantages compared to the standard treatment of vemurafenib plus cobimetinib.
Life expectancy: There was no difference between binimetinib plus encorafenib and the standard treatment here.
What remains unanswered?
The manufacturer did not provide any suitable data concerning:
- symptoms of the disease
- general health
- quality of life
- severe side effects
- treatment stopped due to severe side effects