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BRAF Inhibitors: Molecular Targeting and Immunomodulatory Actions.


ABSTRACT: The BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib, dabrafenib and encorafenib are used in the treatment of patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma. They selectively target BRAF kinase and thus interfere with the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathway that regulates the proliferation and survival of melanoma cells. In addition to their molecularly targeted activity, BRAF inhibitors have immunomodulatory effects. The MAPK pathway is involved in T-cell receptor signalling, and interference in the pathway by BRAF inhibitors has beneficial effects on the tumour microenvironment and anti-tumour immune response in BRAF-mutant melanoma, including increased immune-stimulatory cytokine levels, decreased immunosuppressive cytokine levels, enhanced melanoma differentiation antigen expression and presentation of tumour antigens by HLA 1, and increased intra-tumoral T-cell infiltration and activity. These effects promote recognition of the tumour by the immune system and enhance anti-tumour T-cell responses. Combining BRAF inhibitors with MEK inhibitors provides more complete blockade of the MAPK pathway. The immunomodulatory effects of BRAF inhibition alone or in combination with MEK inhibition provide a rationale for combining these targeted therapies with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Available data support the synergy between these treatment approaches, indicating such combinations provide an additional beneficial effect on the tumour microenvironment and immune response in BRAF-mutant melanoma.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7408709 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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