The Role of BRAF-Targeted Therapy for Advanced Melanoma in the Immunotherapy Era

Vito Vanella, Lucia Festino, Claudia Trojaniello, Maria Grazia Vitale, Antonio Sorrentino, Miriam Paone, Paolo A. Ascierto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Purpose of Review: The treatment of advanced melanoma has changed dramatically in recent years with several new drugs having been approved for the treatment of melanoma since 2011. This review aims to evaluate the role of BRAF-targeted therapy for advanced melanoma in the immunotherapy era. Recent Findings: Currently, in patients with BRAF wild-type advanced melanoma, anti-PD-1 (nivolumab or pembrolizumab) is the main treatment. The combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4) is also an important option for these patients, resulting in a better outcome, but with less favorable toxicity profile. In patients with BRAF mutations, three regimens of BRAF plus MEK inhibitors are now approved (vemurafenib plus cobimetinib, dabrafenib plus trametinib, and encorafenib plus binimetinib), which achieve rapid antitumor responses and a significant survival benefit. In these patients, as well as in BRAF wild-type patients, immunotherapy can be also effective and is regularly used. Summary: Immunotherapy and targeted therapy have become the new standards of care, substantially improving survival rates. However, many questions still remain unanswered, such as what is the best first- and second-line treatment and the best treatment sequence. New combinations of drugs, targeted therapy combined with immunotherapy, and sequencing approaches are now underway in many ongoing clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Binimetinib
  • Cobimetinib
  • Combination
  • CTLA-4
  • Dabrafenib
  • Encorafenib
  • Immunotherapy
  • Ipilimumab
  • Melanoma
  • Nivolumab
  • PD-1
  • Pembrolizumab
  • Sequencing
  • Targeted therapy
  • Trametinib
  • Vemurafenib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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