For Healthcare Professionals Outside the US
Tafinlar + Mekinist is indicated for adjuvant treatment of adult patients with Stage III melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation, following complete resection; for first-line treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation; for adult patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a BRAF V600 mutation.

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Home > About > BRAF V600+ Melanoma > Mechanism of Action


TAFINLAR® (dabrafenib) + MEKINIST® (trametinib) combines a BRAF inhibitor with a MEK inhibitor1

TAFINLAR + MEKINIST inhibits 2 points in the MAPK pathway, which is constitutively activated in BRAF V600–mutated melanoma1

Tafinlar® (dabrafenib) + Mekinist® (trametinib) BRAF mutated melanoma
Tafinlar® (dabrafenib) + Mekinist® (trametinib) BRAF mutated melanoma

TAFINLAR + MEKINIST Mechanism of Action

  • Blocking MEK, in addition to BRAF, is thought to:
    • Reduce the risk of treatment resistance2
    • Decrease the incidence of some toxicities that may occur with BRAF inhibitor monotherapy (eg, secondary neoplasms); however, increases in other types of toxicities have been seen when TAFINLAR + MEKINIST are used in combination1,2
ERK, extracellular signal–regulated kinase; MAPK, mitogen-activated protein kinase; MEK, MAPK/ERK kinase.
References: 1. Tafinlar Summary of Product Characteristics. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp; 2020. 2. Jang S, Atkins MB. Which drug, and when, for patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma? Lancet Oncol. 2013;14(2):e60-e69.

COVID-19 Update

Novartis is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. For the most recent information on how Novartis is responding, visit the COVID-19 Information Center.

During this time of uncertainty it is important to communicate with your patients about COVID-19 to clarify that they should not stop their treatments except under the direction of the treating physician, and to ensure that patients have sufficient drug to avoid any treatment interruptions.

Reach out to your Novartis representative with any questions related to Novartis products.

04/20  G-ONC-1230566

COMBI-AD was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 trial that compared Tafinlar + Mekinist vs placebo4


  • Resection of histologically confirmed Stage IIIA, B, or C with BRAF V600E or BRAF V600K mutation
  • ECOG performance status ≤1
  • No prior systemic anticancer treatment or radiotherapy for melanoma
2 mg QD (n=438)

Placebo (n=432)


  • Primary endpoint was RFS
  • Secondary endpoints were OS, distant metastasis-free survival, freedom from relapse, and safety
COMBI-d phase 3 study: Tafinlar® (dabrafenib) + Mekinist® (trametinib) vs Tafinlar® monotherapy