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Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2012 Mar;4(2):61-73. doi: 10.1177/1758834011432949.

The potential for BRAF V600 inhibitors in advanced cutaneous melanoma: rationale and latest evidence.

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  • 1Sarah Cannon Research UK, London and University College London, London, UK.


Historically, patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. The discovery of selective v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) V600 mutation as an oncogenic mutation in cutaneous melanoma and the importance of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in its tumourigenesis have changed the treatment paradigm for melanoma. Selective BRAF inhibitors and now MEK inhibitors have demonstrated response rates far higher than standard chemotherapeutic options and we review the phase I-III results for these agents in this article. The understanding of mechanisms of resistance that may occur upstream, downstream, at the BRAF level or bypassing the MAPK pathway provides a platform for rational drug development and combination therapies.


BRAF V600E; BRAF inhibitor; MEK inhibitor; cutaneous melanoma; ipilimumab; resistance; vemurafenib

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