Dr. Sullivan Discusses Role of Dabrafenib Plus Trametinib in Melanoma

Ryan J. Sullivan, MD
Published: Friday, Nov 22, 2019



Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, associate director of Melanoma at the Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the significance of the BRAF/MEK combination dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist), which was the first BRAF/MEK inhibitor regimen to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600E–positive stage III melanoma following complete resection.

About 70% of patients that receive this combination have major responses, says Sullivan. Based on pooled data from the phase III COMBI-d and COMBI-v trials, dabrafenib plus trametinib demonstrated a 5-year survival in the 30% range and a 5-year progression-free survival around 20%.

These results are not amazing, Sullivan notes, but they demonstrate durable benefit in this patient population. This combination can be the best therapy for select patients with melanoma, so it is a matter of identifying which patients this treatment is right for, concludes Sullivan.


Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, associate director of Melanoma at the Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the significance of the BRAF/MEK combination dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist), which was the first BRAF/MEK inhibitor regimen to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600E–positive stage III melanoma following complete resection.

About 70% of patients that receive this combination have major responses, says Sullivan. Based on pooled data from the phase III COMBI-d and COMBI-v trials, dabrafenib plus trametinib demonstrated a 5-year survival in the 30% range and a 5-year progression-free survival around 20%.

These results are not amazing, Sullivan notes, but they demonstrate durable benefit in this patient population. This combination can be the best therapy for select patients with melanoma, so it is a matter of identifying which patients this treatment is right for, concludes Sullivan.

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