Tafinlar® + Mekinist® Demonstrates Long Term Survival Benefit for BRAF Mutation-Positive Metastatic Melanoma

CancerConnect News: Metastatic melanoma patients with the BRAF V600 mutation treated with the combination of Tafinlar® (dabrafenib) + Mekinist® (trametinib) can experience long term cancer free survival according to results presented at the 53rdAnnual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.1

About Melanoma 

Metastatic melanoma refers to skin cancer that has spread from its site of origin to distant and/or several locations in the body. Historically, advanced melanoma has had a poor outlook and only few patients achieve long-term survival. However, recent treatments that have been targeted towards specific genetic mutations, as well as those that stimulate the immune system have resulted in significantly improved outcomes for many patients with this disease.  There are about 200,000 individuals with advanced melanoma diagnosed worldwide each year, approximately half of which have the BRAF mutation, a key target in the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

About Tafinlar + Mekinist Combination

Tafinlar and Mekinist are both precision cancer medicines referred to as kinase inhibitors. They block the action of certain biochemical pathways involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells.  Treatment with tafinlar targets the BRAF V600E mutation and mekinst targets the BRAF V600E or V600K mutations. When tafinlar is used with mekinist, the combination has been shown to slow tumor growth more than either drug alone. The combination of Tafinlar + Mekinist was approved for the treatment of melanoma by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2014.2

The COMBI-d clinical trial was a comparative clinical study that included 423 patients with advanced melanoma who had the BRAFV600E/K mutation(s). Approximately half of the patients were treated initially with tafinlar as a single agent, while the other half was treated with tafinlar + mekinist. The results of the clinical trial have been previously documented and the study authors provided an update now that patients have been evaluated for over 5 years from initiation of treatment.

  • Survival was 28% for patients treated with the combination versus 21% for those treated with tafinlar alone.
  • Survival without progression of cancer was 13% for patients treated with the combination compared to only 3% for those treated with tafinlar.
  • No new safety concerns from treatment were identified.


  1. Long GV, Eroglu Z, Infante J, et al. 5-year overall survival (OS) update from a phase 2, open-label trial of dabrafenib (D) and trametinib (T) in patients (pts) with BRAF V600-mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma (MM). Abstract #9505. 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, June 2-6, 2017, Chicago, IL, USA.
  2. http://news.cancerconnect.com/fda-approves-mekinist-in-combination-with-tafinlar-for-advanced-melanoma/

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