Tafinlar (dabrafenib)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: September 2023 | Last updated: September 2023

Tafinlar® (dabrafenib) is a targeted therapy that is used in combination with trametinib to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has:1

  • Spread to other parts of the body (metastatic)
  • The BRAF V600E gene mutation

Your doctor will perform a genetic test to find out whether your cancer is positive for the BRAF V600E gene mutation. About 1 to 2 percent of people with NSCLC have BRAF V600E. It is most common in people with a history of smoking.1,2

How does Tafinlar work?

The BRAF V600E mutation is a specific change in the BRAF gene that has been found in some types of cancer, including NSCLC, melanoma, and colorectal cancer. The BRAF gene normally makes a protein that is involved in cell growth, and the mutation may increase the growth and spread of cancer cells.2

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Tafinlar is an inhibitor of the BRAF protein. When used in combination with trametinib, the 2 drugs block different proteins along the same pathway that leads to the growth of cancer cells. By blocking these proteins, the drug can slow the growth of the cancer.1

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects of Tafinlar with taken with trametinib in people with NSCLC include:1

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the face, arms, and legs
  • Chills
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rash
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

These are not all the possible side effects of Tafinlar. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Tafinlar. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Tafinlar.

Other things to know

Taflinar, when used alone or with trametinib, may cause skin cancer. Your doctor should check your skin before, during, and after treatment with Taflinar. Contact your doctor if you have any skin changes, including a:1

  • New wart
  • Skin sore or reddish bump that bleeds or does not heal
  • Change in size or color of a mole

Before starting treatment with Tafinlar, tell your doctor if you have:1

  • Bleeding problems
  • Heart problems
  • Eye problems
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Diabetes
  • Plans to have surgery, dental, or other medical procedures
  • Deficiency of the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme

Tafinlar can harm an unborn baby. If you or your partner can become pregnant, you should use birth control during treatment and for some time after the last dose of Tafinlar. You should also not breastfeed during treatment with Tafinlar and for some time after the last dose. Talk to your doctor about your options for birth control and breastfeeding while taking Tafinlar.1

Before beginning treatment for lung cancer, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Taflinlar.