BRAF mutation testing algorithm for vemurafenib treatment in melanoma: recommendations from an expert panel

Br J Dermatol. 2013 Apr;168(4):700-7. doi: 10.1111/bjd.12248.


The incidence of melanoma has increased rapidly over the past 30 years, and the disease is now the sixth most common cancer among men and women in the U.K. Many patients are diagnosed with or develop metastatic disease, and survival is substantially reduced in these patients. Mutations in the BRAF gene have been identified as key drivers of melanoma cells and are found in around 50% of cutaneous melanomas. Vemurafenib (Zelboraf(®) ; Roche Molecular Systems Inc., Pleasanton, CA, U.S.A.) is the first licensed inhibitor of mutated BRAF, and offers a new first-line option for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who harbour BRAF mutations. Vemurafenib was developed in conjunction with a companion diagnostic, the cobas(®) 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test. The purpose of this paper is to make evidence-based recommendations to facilitate the implementation of BRAF mutation testing and targeted therapy in patients with metastatic melanoma in the U.K. The recommendations are the result of a meeting of an expert panel and have been reviewed by melanoma specialists and representatives of the National Cancer Research Network Clinical Study Group on behalf of the wider melanoma community. This article is intended to be a starting point for practical advice and recommendations, which will no doubt be updated as we gain further experience in personalizing therapy for patients with melanoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Evidence-Based Dentistry
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / methods
  • Humans
  • Indoles / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use*
  • Vemurafenib


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Indoles
  • Sulfonamides
  • Vemurafenib
  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf