MEK inhibition in the treatment of advanced melanoma.
The RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway is considered to be the most important signal transduction pathway in melanoma, and alterations in this pathway via various genetic mutations, such as BRAF and NRAS mutations, are known to be important drivers of melanomagenesis. As MEK is an essential intermediary kinase protein within this pathway, inhibition of MEK has been of a great interest as a molecular target therapy in melanoma. In fact, trametinib, a selective MEK inhibitor, has been shown to have a survival benefit over cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with V600 BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma, leading to the FDA approval for this patient population. MEK inhibitors may also be useful in treatment of advanced melanoma harboring other genetic mutations, such as NRAS and GNAQ/GNA11 mutations. Here, we review and discuss the preclinical and clinical data regarding MEK inhibitors and their role in the treatment of advanced melanoma.
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