Purpose We report the efficacy and safety of dabrafenib (BRAF inhibitor) and trametinib (MEK inhibitor) combination therapy in BRAF V600E-mutated anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare, aggressive, and highly lethal malignancy with poor patient outcomes and no systemic therapies with clinical benefit. Methods In this phase II, open-label trial, patients with predefined BRAF V600E-mutated malignancies received dabrafenib 150 mg twice daily and trametinib 2 mg once daily until unacceptable toxicity, disease progression, or death. The primary end point was investigator-assessed overall response rate. Secondary end points included duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety. Results Sixteen patients with BRAF V600E-mutated anaplastic thyroid cancer were evaluable (median follow-up, 47 weeks; range, 4 to 120 weeks). All patients had received prior radiation treatment and/or surgery, and six had received prior systemic therapy. The confirmed overall response rate was 69% (11 of 16; 95% CI, 41% to 89%), with seven ongoing responses. Median duration of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival were not reached as a result of a lack of events, with 12-month estimates of 90%, 79%, and 80%, respectively. The safety population was composed of 100 patients who were enrolled with seven rare tumor histologies. Common adverse events were fatigue (38%), pyrexia (37%), and nausea (35%). No new safety signals were detected. Conclusion Dabrafenib plus trametinib is the first regimen demonstrated to have robust clinical activity in BRAF V600E-mutated anaplastic thyroid cancer and was well tolerated. These findings represent a meaningful therapeutic advance for this orphan disease.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02034110.