Dabrafenib: a new opportunity for the treatment of BRAF V600-positive melanoma.
Prior to 2011, the 1-year survival rates for patients suffering from advanced or metastatic melanoma was as low as 33%, with a median overall survival of about 9 months. Several chemotherapeutic regimens have been applied, either as monochemotherapy or as polychemotherapy, overall not resulting in an improvement of progression-free or overall survival. Novel insights into the epidemiology and biology of melanoma allowed the development of newer therapies.
The discovery of mutations in BRAF, a part of the mitogen-activated protein kinase, allowed the development of two BRAF inhibitors, vemurafenib and dabrafenib, which significantly improved the outcome of metastatic melanoma treatment. This article reviews the mechanism of action, efficacy, and safety profile of dabrafenib. An in-depth knowledge of this medication will encourage clinicians to select the appropriate therapeutic strategy for each patient, as well as to prevent or adequately manage side effects, optimizing, thus, the drug's applicability.