Benjamin P. Levy, MD, discusses the role of the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib in BRAF V600E-mutant non–small cell lung cancer.
Benjamin P. Levy, MD, associate professor of oncology and clinical director of Medical Oncology at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital, discusses the role of the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) in BRAF V600E-mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
About 3% of patients with NSCLC harbor a BRAF V600E mutation, says Levy.
In June 2017, the FDA approved the combination of dabrafenib/trametinib for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600E-positive advanced or metastatic NSCLC. Of note, dabrafenib targets BRAF and trametinib targets MEK1/2, explains Levy.
The regimen has demonstrated response rates of more than 50% with a progression-free survival of 9 to 12 months, Levy says. As such, the combination is considered standard and should be given to all patients with BRAF V600E-positive NSCLC.
However, additional research is warranted as BRAF V600E-mutant patients also respond to chemoimmunotherapy, Levy explains. Additionally, it is not yet known whether dabrafenib/trametinib will play a role in curing patients with NSCLC.
An ongoing Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium trial is evaluating the role of multiple targeted therapies for patients with specific genetic features in the neoadjuvant setting. BRAF V600E mutations are included in the study, so the results will help flesh out the role of dabrafenib/trametinib in the future, concludes Levy.