MEK inhibitors



The MEK gene works together with the BRAF gene.

MEK mutations are observed in approximately 8% of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma.


MAP2K1 mutations may respond to MEK inhibitors as seen in histiocytic sarcoma, serous ovarian cancer and Langerhans cell histiocytosis.


Drugs that block MEK proteins can also help treat melanomas with BRAF gene changes. 



MEK inhibitors include trametinib (Mekinist), cobimetinib (Cotellic), and binimetinib (Mektovi).



MEK inhibitors can be used to treat metastatic melanoma.



Trametinib can also be used along with dabrafenib after surgery in people with stage III melanoma as adjuvant therapy.



The most common approach is to combine a MEK inhibitor with a BRAF inhibitor in BRAF mutation disease.



Skin cancers are actually less common with the combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors.



MEK inhibitors are pills taken once or twice a day.



Common side effects can include:  rash, nausea, diarrhea, swelling, and sensitivity to sunlight. 



Rare but serious side effects can include heart lung, or liver damage; bleeding or blood clots; vision problems; muscle damage; and skin infections.


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