Targeted therapy for melanoma
Targeted therapy drugs are designed to identify receptors, genes or other specific proteins unique to certain cancer cells. Once these drugs have reached their target, they may act alone to kill cancer cells or help other therapies, such as chemotherapy, work better. Among the drugs used in targeted therapy are so-called kinase inhibitors, which target specific enzymes or mutated genes that help regulate cell growth.
Vemurafenib (Zelboraf®), dabrafenib (Tafinlar®) and trametinib (Mekinist®) are common targeted therapy drugs approved to treat advanced metastatic melanoma that cannot be treated with surgery. Dabrafenib (Tafinlar®) and trametinib (Mekinist®) have been approved to be used in combination to treat unresectable or metastatic melanoma. These drugs target a mutated form of a protein called BRAF, which is involved in the growth of melanoma cells.