Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 35–42 | Cite as

BRAF plus MEK-targeted drugs: a new standard of treatment for BRAF-mutant advanced melanoma

  • Paola Queirolo
  • Francesco SpagnoloEmail author


BRAF plus MEK-targeted drugs have out-performed BRAF inhibitor monotherapy in three randomized phase 3 studies, and such combinations have become a new standard of treatment for BRAF-mutant advanced melanoma. With an overall response rate of about 70%, no other therapy in melanoma has shown a better response rate in late-phase clinical trials than combined BRAF and MEK inhibitors; the rapid kinetics of response make them the ideal front-line treatment for symptomatic, BRAF-mutant advanced melanoma patients. Nevertheless, the development of mechanisms of resistance limits the duration of response to such treatment in the majority of cases, with only about 20% of patients treated with the combination being progression-free at 3 years. The aim of this review is to report the efficacy and safety outcomes of the combination of BRAF plus MEK inhibitors compared with BRAF inhibitor monotherapy and immunotherapy, as well as to discuss future perspectives to improve outcomes based on current clinical and translational research studies.


Melanoma BRAF MEK Vemurafenib Dabrafenib Trametinib Cobimetinib 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyIRCCS San Martino - IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul CancroGenoaItaly

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