Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Case Study Highlights Novel Concurrent Therapy for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A case study published in Molecular and Clinical Oncology detailed the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma with a combination of the EGFR inhibitor cetuximab and the dietary polyphenol curcumin. Carlo Capalbo, MD, PhD, of Sapienza University of Rome, and colleagues analyzed the case of an elderly patient who had no longer responded to conventional therapy.

“To our knowledge, this is the first report of clinical evidence that an anti EGFR targeted therapy with a daily oral dose of curcumin phospholipid is well tolerated and results in a highly effective disease control in a heavily pretreated [cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma] patient,” the authors revealed. They believe further study of this regimen in a clinical trial is warranted.

At the heart of this story is an 83-year-old man with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma who had previously undergone a variety of treatments, including platinum-based chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. Despite these therapies, he suffered a nuchal lesion and a supraclavicular lesion, which had become ulcerated. The tumor had also spread to nearby muscle and gland tissues, and an increase in lymph node size was noted.

A biopsy sample revealed mutations in the FGFR3 and TP53 genes and a likely mutation in the MAP2K1 gene. A regimen of cetuximab plus a daily oral supplement of curcumin phospholipid was attempted. After 4 weeks, the lesion bleeding ceased, and a 5-cm reduction in lesion size was noted. After 12 weeks, magnetic resonance imaging revealed reduction in lesion size of about 50% and regression in lymph nodes. The regimen was well tolerated, with minor skin-related toxicity the only adverse reaction reported. At 11 months, the patient had not experienced recurrence.

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