Melanoma: BRAF mutation test
For higher stage melanomas there is a special test called BRAF mutation testing which analyses the original melanoma specimen to see if the melanoma contains a mutation in the B-Raf gene. About 60% of melanomas contain this gene mutation, and if it does, B-Raf inhibitors can be taken to help to reduce the metastatic disease or slow down the spread of melanoma. Over time resistance can develop and the melanoma can recur or progress.
If you and the doctor decide to have the melanoma tested, a request will be sent to the original pathology laboratory holding the melanoma and they will send the specimen to the lab that carries out the testing. A report will be sent back to the doctor stating if the BRAF mutation is detected and if you are eligible for a BRAF inhibitor.