Global results from the study suggested that 9 patients with BRAFV600E mutations exposed to dabrafenib responded similarly to those treated with vemurafenib. A phase 2 trial of dabrafenib monotherapy in BRAFV600E NSCLC resulted in a 33% objective response rate and a 58% disease control rate.6 Later, an additional cohort testing dabrafenib plus trametinib showed improved responses, with 67% of patients having disease response.7

“Moving the combination therapy in the first-line setting, responses and control of the disease were documented at similar rates when compared to the pretreated patients,” Dr Leonetti and colleagues wrote.

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Based on these results, the FDA approved this drug combination in patients with NSCLC with BRAFV600E mutation.

Future Directions

According to the review, future research will need to explore and clarify the role of immunotherapy in patients with BRAF-mutated NSCLC. Checkpoint inhibitors have been shown to be effective in tumors with high mutational burden.

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“Considering that BRAF mutations are often found in smokers, in which a higher mutational load has been reported, immunotherapy could represent a strategy in this population,” they wrote.


  1. Leonetti A, Facchinetti F, Rossi G, et al. BRAF in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Pickaxing another brick in the wall. Cancer Treat Rev. 2018;66:82-94.
  2. Ascierto PA, McArthur GA, Dreno B, et al. Cobimetinib combined with vemurafenib in advanced BRAFV600-mutant melanoma (coBRIM): updated efficacy results from a randomized, double-blind, phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17:1248-1260.
  3. Long GV, Stroyakovskiy D, Gogas H, et al. Dabrafenib and trametinib versus dabrafenib and placebo for Val600 BRAF-mutant melanoma: a multicenter, double-blind, phase 3 randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2015;386:444-451.
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  6. Planchard D, Kim TM, Mazieres J, et al. Dabrafenib in patients with BRAFV600E-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: a single-arm, multicentre, open-label, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17:642-650.
  7. Planchard D, Besse B, Groen HJM, et al. Dabrafenib plus trametinib in patients with previously treated BRAF V600E-mutant metastatic non-small cell lung cancer: an open-label, multicentre phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17:984-993.