STARBOARD: encorafenib + binimetinib + pembrolizumab for first-line metastatic/unresectable BRAF V600-mutant melanoma

Future Oncol. 2022 Jun;18(17):2041-2051. doi: 10.2217/fon-2021-1486. Epub 2022 Mar 11.


Despite the significant progress in the treatment of unresectable or metastatic BRAF V600-mutant melanoma, there remains two primary treatment options: targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Targeted therapy or immunotherapy alone is associated with efficacy limitations including efficacy limited to select patient subsets. With separate mechanisms of action and different response patterns, the combination of targeted agents and immunotherapy to treat patients with BRAF V600-mutant melanoma may further improve patient outcomes. Current treatment guidelines recommend treatment with targeted agents alone, immunotherapy, or the combination of targeted agents and immunotherapy. The randomized, double-blind STARBOARD trial aims to evaluate efficacy and safety of encorafenib, binimetinib and pembrolizumab in treatment-naive patients with metastatic or unresectable locally advanced BRAF V600-mutant melanoma in comparison to pembrolizumab.

Trial registration: NCT04657991.

Keywords: BRAF V600 mutations; advanced melanoma; binimetinib; encorafenib; immunotherapy; pembrolizumab; targeted therapy; triplet combination therapy.

Plain language summary

Targeted therapy, including BRAF- and MEK-inhibitors, and immunotherapies have greatly contributed to advances in the treatment of BRAF-mutant melanoma. Additionally, immunotherapy in combination with targeted therapy has been shown to improve patient outcomes. In this study, the authors assess the efficacy and safety of a combination of a BRAF-inhibitor (encorafenib), an MEK-inhibitor (binimetinib) and an anti-PD-1 (pembrolizumab) in patients with metastatic BRAF-mutant melanoma. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT04657991 (

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Carbamates
  • Humans
  • Melanoma* / drug therapy
  • Melanoma* / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / etiology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Skin Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Sulfonamides


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Carbamates
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Sulfonamides
  • binimetinib
  • encorafenib
  • pembrolizumab
  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf

Associated data


Grant support