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BACKGROUND: We sought to determine the maximal tolerated dose of the MEK inhibitor trametinib with weekly paclitaxel, with a view to exploring the combination's activity in melanoma lacking a BRAF V600 mutation. METHODS: In this phase 1 study we used a fixed dose of paclitaxel (80 mg/m2 intravenous (IV) on days 1, 8 and 15 of each 4 week cycle) and escalated the dose of trametinib (to a maximum 2mg orally (PO) daily), following a 3+3 design. Eligible patients had advanced melanoma and could have received up to two previous lines of treatment for metastatic disease. FINDINGS: 15 patients were enrolled, all but one of whose melanoma was wild type for BRAF at codon 600. The maximal monotherapy dose of trametinib proved tolerable with weekly paclitaxel. The most frequent adverse events observed were rash and fatigue. Six (40%) partial responses were reported, including four of eight patients with NRAS mutations. Median progression free survival was 5.5 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8-7.8 months) and overall survival, 14.1 months (95% CI 4.6-not reached). INTERPRETATION: Trametinib can safely be given with weekly paclitaxel at the full monotherapy dose. In this small group promising progression free and overall survival were observed in patients with melanoma lacking a V600 BRAF mutation.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cancer

Publication Date





359 - 366


BRAF, MEK, Melanoma, Phase 1, Trametinib, Trial, Administration, Oral, Adult, Aged, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Disease-Free Survival, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drug Administration Schedule, Female, Humans, Male, Maximum Tolerated Dose, Melanoma, Middle Aged, Paclitaxel, Pyridones, Pyrimidinones, Skin Neoplasms