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What is BRAF?

BRAF is the name of both a gene and a protein. The BRAF protein helps control cell growth. When there is a mutation in the BRAF gene, it creates an abnormal protein that sends signals that lead to uncontrolled cell growth and cancer.  The BRAF protein works with another protein called MEK to regulate the growth of cells.


BRAF mutations have been reported in about 3% of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). They are most common in adenocarcinoma non-small cell lung cancer. BRAF V600E mutations specifically occur in about 2% of non-small cell lung cancer patients.

There are different mutations within BRAF, and not all targeted therapy's work the same within the BRAF mutations. This is why getting a biomarker test is so important to your specific treatment options.

A biomarker is something measured by your doctor.  This helps to identify the best treatment options for your cancer.  BRAF targeted therapies can be an additional option. 

  • How do I find out if I have BRAF?
    In order to find out if you have BRAF, you need to do comprehensive biomarker testing. Only your doctor can order a test for you.
  • What is a biomarker?
    A biomarker is a way to tell what kind of mutation is driving the cancer in a patient. When a doctor understands the cancer’s composition, they can help tailor your treatment to your specific composition.
  • How do I know if I’ve had a biomarker test done?
    You can ask your doctor.
  • How do I get the results of my biomarker test?
    The results will be sent to your doctor and your doctor will interpret the test results for you.
  • How common is BRAF?
    BRAF is found in about 3% of lung cancer patients with 2% belonging to BRAF V600e and 1% in the other group.
  • I feel so overwhelmed. Is there a document that tells me what the standard of care is?
    The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is an alliance of 28 leading cancer centers. Their doctors have developed patient guidelines based on the latest research. These documents outline the basics of lung cancer, treatment options, and how to make treatment decisions. Here’s the NCCN Patient’s Guide (early stage) Here’s the NCCN Patient’s Guide (metastatic stage)
  • How do I connect with others who have BRAF?
    BRAF Bombers is here to help you connect with others. We offer support to patients and their loved ones. We also have a private support group on Facebook.

Informational videos

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