RAF and MEK Inhibitors in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Christos Adamopoulos, Kostas A. Papavassiliou, Poulikos I. Poulikakos, Athanasios G. Papavassiliou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Lung cancer, despite recent advancements in survival rates, represents a significant global health burden. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most prevalent type, is driven largely by activating mutations in Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homologue (KRAS) and receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), and less in v-RAF murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF) and mitogen-activated protein-kinase kinase (MEK), all key components of the RTK-RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Learning from melanoma, the identification of BRAFV600E substitution in NSCLC provided the rationale for the investigation of RAF and MEK inhibition as a therapeutic strategy. The regulatory approval of two RAF-MEK inhibitor combinations, dabrafenib–trametinib, in 2017, and encorafenib–binimetinib, in 2023, signifies a breakthrough for the management of BRAFV600E-mutant NSCLC patients. However, the almost universal emergence of acquired resistance limits their clinical benefit. New RAF and MEK inhibitors, with distinct biochemical characteristics, are in preclinical and clinical development. In this review, we aim to provide valuable insights into the current state of RAF and MEK inhibition in the management of NSCLC, fostering a deeper understanding of the potential impact on patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4633
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2024


  • BRAF inhibitors
  • BRAFV600E
  • MAPK pathway
  • MEK inhibitors
  • lung cancer
  • non-small cell lung cancer
  • targeted therapies


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