Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

ASCO20: Upfront Treatment With Cemiplimab for Locally Advanced Skin Cancer

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2020

According to research presented during the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program (Abstract 10065), cemiplimab may prove to be an appropriate first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The treatment appeared to be well tolerated in a single-institution study, with no new safety signals observed.

“Upfront treatment with cemiplimab in patients with locally advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma obviated need for disfiguring/complex surgery or radiation in [the] majority of patients,” concluded Jennifer Lynn Atlas, MD, of the Levine Cancer Institute–Atrium Health, Charlotte, North Carolina, and colleagues.

The retrospective study included 36 patients with locally advanced disease requiring intervention beyond simple excision or regional disease with nodal involvement who had received two or more doses of cemiplimab between January 1, 2018, and January 17, 2020. Local intervention via surgery and/or radiation therapy was not required for 22 patients (61%), whereas 3 patients (8%) did require local intervention. At the time of the presentation, 11 patients (31%) remained on cemiplimab; no decision had yet been made about their need for local intervention.

The clinical benefit rate was 92%, and the overall response rate was 69%. The median treatment duration was 6 months. Patients received a median of six doses of cemiplimab. A total of 31% of patients experienced adverse events, with dermatitis being the most common.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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