Background: In a randomized phase III study (BREAK-3), dabrafenib showed prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) (median 5.1 versus 2.7 months; hazard ratio = 0.30; 95% confidence interval 0.18-0.53; P <0.0001) compared with dacarbazine (DTIC) in patients with BRAF V600E metastatic melanoma. Assessing how these results are transformed into a real health benefit for patients is crucial. Methods: The EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire assessed quality of life (QoL) at baseline and follow-up visits. Results: For DTIC, all functional dimensions except role dimension worsened from baseline at follow-up. For dabrafenib, all functionality dimensions remained stable relative to baseline or improved at week 6; mean change in seven symptom dimensions improved from baseline, with appetite loss, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, and pain showing the greatest improvement. In the DTIC arm, symptom dimensions were unchanged or worsened from baseline for all symptoms except pain (week 6), with the greatest exacerbations observed for fatigue and nausea and vomiting. Mixed-model-repeated measures analyses showed significant (P <0.05) and/or clinically meaningful improvements from baseline in favor of dabrafenib for emotional and social functioning, nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, diarrhea, fatigue, dyspnea, and insomnia at weeks 6 and/or 12. After crossing over to dabrafenib upon progression (n = 35), improvements in all QoL dimensions were evident after receiving dabrafenib for 6 (n = 31) to 12 (n = 25) weeks. Conclusions: This first reported QoL analysis for a BRAF inhibitor in metastatic melanoma demonstrates that the high tumor response rates and PFS superiority of dabrafenib over DTIC is not only a theoretical advantage, but also transforms in a rapid functional and symptomatic benefit for the patient. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.