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Selumetinib is an oral, potent, selective MEK inhibitor, which has been shown to be effective as monotherapy and in combination with standard chemotherapy regimens in Phase I and Phase II clinical studies across a range of solid tumours, which support the development of selumetinib in patients with MEK-dependent cancers.
MEK is part of the MAPK pathway which is frequently activated in cancer, and is elevated in many different solid tumour types, including those featuring the KRAS mutation, which is present in 20% of human cancers and 20-30% of NSCLC tumours.
AstraZeneca is also investigating the potential for selumetinib in several types of MEK-dependent cancers. A Phase II study assessing the efficacy and tolerability of selumetinib combined with radioactive iodine (RAI) as adjuvant therapy in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer with high risk of recurrence started in August 2013, and a further Phase II study assessing the clinical efficacy and tolerability in combination with dacarbazine in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma is planned to start in late 2013.