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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2012 Apr;21(4):531-9. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2012.665871. Epub 2012 Mar 7.

Selumetinib (AZD6244; ARRY-142886) in the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

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  • 1The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.



Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and seventh most common in women in the USA, and prognosis for patients with advanced melanoma is poor. The mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling pathway is essential for proliferation and survival of melanoma cells. Effective inhibition of MAP kinase kinase (MEK) protein has been shown to downregulate the MAP kinase pathway, resulting in melanoma cell growth arrest and apoptosis. Selumetinib is an orally available, selective non-ATP-competitive MEK1 and MEK2 inhibitor.


In this review, the authors discuss the rationale for MEK inhibition therapy in melanoma and summarize data from the preclinical and clinical studies of selumetinib for advanced melanoma.


As a majority of advanced melanomas have an activated MAP kinase signal transduction pathway, there is a strong preclinical rationale for investigating selumetinib in patients with metastatic melanoma. The results of early clinical studies of selumetinib suggest that selumetinib may have a role in melanoma therapy, especially in certain subsets of patients, such as those whose tumor harbors a BRAF mutation. Current studies of selumetinib are addressing the efficacy of selumetinib in these patients.

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