Tafinlar (dabrafenib) in combination with Mekinist (trametinib) are oral medicines that are approved for the treatment of BRAF V600-positive adult patients with:1,2

 
Image of a torso with spots representing metastatic melanoma with accompanying text 'Metastatic melanoma (skin cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be removed by surgery'.

Metastatic melanoma (skin cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be removed by surgery.

Image of surgical knife with accompanying text 'Stage III melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation, following complete resection'.

Stage III melanoma following complete resection.

Image of lungs with accompanying text 'Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body'.

Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body.

 

What is the importance of the BRAF protein?

Under the title 'How does Tafinlar+ Mekinist work?' image showing the cell signalling pathway- Tafinlar switches of the proteins from the<br />
mutated BRAF gene and Mekinist switches o the MEK proteins, so that they can no longer send signals telling the cancer cells to grow.<br />

BRAF is a protein that acts as a ‘switch’ in normal cells. It is turned on by specific signals when needed and activates other proteins that help regulate the way cells multiply and grow.1,2

Both melanoma and NSCLC can be associated with a particular change or mutation in a gene called BRAF at the position known as V600.1,2

Tafinlar+ Mekinist can only be used in patients where a mutated form of the BRAF protein is present, specifically the V600 mutation.1,2

 

Summary of Product Characteristics

These links will take you to the emc website, which is a non-Novartis website.

SmPC for Tafinlar 

SmPC for Mekinist 

Patient Information Leaflet

These links will take you to the emc website, which is a non-Novartis website.

PIL for Tafinlar 

PIL for Mekinist 

 

BRAF, a human gene that encodes a protein called B-Raf; NSCLC, non-small cell lung cancer.

References

  1. Tafinlar (dabrafenib) Summary of Product Characteristics.
  2. Mekinist (trametinib) Summary of Product Characteristics.
  3. Leonetti A, et al. Cancer Treat Rev 2018;66:82–94.
  4. Merriam-Webster. Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ligand (Accessed June 2021)
  5. Merriam-Webster. Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/receptor (Accessed June 2021) 
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UK | August 2021 | 118708
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Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You should also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.