Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Pembrolizumab Therapy for Inoperable Case of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019

According to a case study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Case Reports, the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab was an effective treatment option for advanced inoperable cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Mireille L.M. van Baar, MD, of the Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney, and colleagues suggest that further clinical studies of this treatment option is warranted in this patient population.

“This case demonstrates the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to correlate the patient’s treatment history with the clinical and pathologic findings to guarantee the best standard of care,” the investigators concluded.

An 88-year-old woman with recurrent inoperable circumferential squamous cell carcinoma on her left lower leg was the focus of the case report. It was determined that 2 years earlier, she had a tumor and received a graft and excision. A total of 2 months after the excision, she experienced recurrence and ulcers. The initial options for treatment were amputation, infusion, or drug therapy plus immunotherapy. She was given four cycles of pembrolizumab (95 mg intravenously) every 3 weeks.

In response to the therapy, the size of the tumors and the pain diminished. She was treated with betamethasone dipropionate ointment by a dermatologist 6 months after the immunotherapy course. After 12 months, she has shown no recurrence.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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