A trial of dabrafenib and trametinib after surgery to remove melanoma (COMBI-AD)

Cancer type:

Skin cancer




Phase 3

This trial looked at dabrafenib and trametinib for melanoma that had been removed. It was for people whose melanoma cells had a change in a gene Open a glossary item called BRAF.

The trial was open for people to join between 2013 and 2014. The team published the results in 2020. There is a link to more information in the ‘Summary of results’ section below.

More about this trial

The BRAF gene affects how cells divide and grow. About half of people with melanoma have a change (mutation Open a glossary item) in the BRAF gene in their cancer cells. This can mean the cancer is more likely to grow and spread.

The first treatment for melanoma is usually surgery. Doctors wanted to find out if having other treatment after surgery can help stop the melanoma coming back.

In this trial, they looked at dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist). These are both types of targeted treatments called cancer growth blockers. They stop the signals that cancer cells need to divide and grow.

People taking part were put into a treatment group at random:

  • half had dabrafenib capsules and trametinib tablets
  • half had dummy (placebo) capsules and tablets

The main aims of the trial were to find out:

  • if having dabrafenib and trametinib together helps to stop melanoma coming back after surgery
  • more about the side effects of this drug combination

Summary of results

We aim to add a lay summary of results to all the trials on our database. Unfortunately we have not been able to include a summary for this one.

There is more information about the results in the link below.

Please note, the information we link to here is not in plain English. It has been written for healthcare professionals and researchers.

Five-Year Analysis of Adjuvant Dabrafenib plus Trametinib in Stage III Melanoma
Reinhard Dummer and others
New England Journal of Medicine, 2020. Issue 383, pages 1139 – 1148.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Paul Nathan

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 10184

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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