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Dr. Weber on Dabrafenib/Trametinib Approval for Melanoma

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD
Published: Friday, Nov 06, 2015



Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, deputy director, Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, co-director of its Melanoma Program and Head of Experimental Therapeutics, NYU Langone Medical Center, discusses the significance of the FDA approval of the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who harbor a BRAF V600E or V600K mutation.

There are several positive impacts associated with the approval of dabrafenib and trametinib, Weber explains. Patients are living longer, having better quality of life, and have improved performance status.

However, this approval also leads to challenges for physicians. Because many patients are living longer and receiving treatment for more than 5 years, there are more physicians needed in the workforce. Moreover, there is a cost factor, says Weber, explaining that it can cost $150,000 to $200,000 annually to keep a patient on this combination regimen. Though the patients are deriving benefit from the doublet therapy, Weber explains that perhaps duration of treatment can be shortened to lessen costs without reducing benefit.

<<< View more from the 2015 CFS Annual Meeting



Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, deputy director, Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, co-director of its Melanoma Program and Head of Experimental Therapeutics, NYU Langone Medical Center, discusses the significance of the FDA approval of the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who harbor a BRAF V600E or V600K mutation.

There are several positive impacts associated with the approval of dabrafenib and trametinib, Weber explains. Patients are living longer, having better quality of life, and have improved performance status.

However, this approval also leads to challenges for physicians. Because many patients are living longer and receiving treatment for more than 5 years, there are more physicians needed in the workforce. Moreover, there is a cost factor, says Weber, explaining that it can cost $150,000 to $200,000 annually to keep a patient on this combination regimen. Though the patients are deriving benefit from the doublet therapy, Weber explains that perhaps duration of treatment can be shortened to lessen costs without reducing benefit.

<<< View more from the 2015 CFS Annual Meeting




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