dabrafenib (Tafinlar) + trametinib (Mekinist)

Dabrafenib (Tafinlar) + trametinib (Mekinist)

Dabrafenib (Tafinlar) capsules and trametinib (Mekinist) tablets are prescription medicines that can be used in combination to treat melanoma:

  • That has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable), and
  • That has a certain type of abnormal “BRAF” (V600E or V600K mutation-positive) gene

Dabrafenib (Tafinlar) capsules and trametinib (Mekinist) can be used in combination to help prevent melanoma that has a certain type of abnormal “BRAF” gene from coming back after the cancer has been removed by surgery. Dabrafenib acts as an inhibitor of the BRAF protein and slows down or stops the growth of cancer cells while trametinib acts against the MEK protein. Both BRAF and MEK are key molecules that help regulate cell growth. A BRAF mutation signals cells, via MEK, to develop abnormally and divide out of control and grow into a melanoma tumour.

Side Effects

The most common side effects include: headaches, anemia, changes in eyesight, diarrhea, swelling, and fatigue. Rare but serious side effects can include heart damage, excess bleeding, loss of vision, lung problems, and skin infections.

Always talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about your side effects so they can help you manage them.

Provincial Funding Summary

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Dabrafenib (Tafinlar) in combination with Trametinib (Mekinist) for Metastatic Melanoma (pCODR 10053)
This information is current as of June 13, 2019

Note: Funding criteria as listed on the decision date. Please refer to the provincial drug programs for the most recent funding criteria and program eligibility

Click Here to visit CADTH pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review

Please note: This information is not meant to act as a treatment decision aid, but rather to provide general information about which metastatic melanoma or skin cancer treatments are covered by provincial health care plans in Canada. It is current to the date indicated and may not be currently accurate due to the changing landscape of coverage in Canada. If you have private insurance coverage, you may have access to therapies not covered by the provincial plans in your province.  All information obtained about specific treatments should be further discussed with your physician.

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