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ASCO 2021: Cemiplimab-rwlc and Quality of Life in Patients With Locally Advanced Skin Cancer

By: Cordi Craig, MS
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2021

Cemiplimab-rwlc is the first immunotherapy to receive full approval in the United States for locally advanced and metastatic basal cell carcinomas. Previous studies have shown clinically meaningful antitumor activity in patients treated with cemiplimab who experienced disease progression or were intolerant of Hedgehog inhibitor therapy. According to a phase II trial presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 9566), health-related quality of life for patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma appeared to improve or remain stable among patients treated with this monoclonal antibody. Alexander J. Stratigos, MD, PhD, of the University of Athens, Greece, and colleagues reported that fatigue was the only significant symptom burden.

Overall, 84 patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma received cemiplimab for up to 9 treatment cycles. Patients completed questionnaires to assess the quality of life, functioning, and disease symptoms at baseline, cycle 2, and cycle 9.

The patient scores at baseline exhibited moderate to high levels of functioning and low symptom burden. The mixed effects model analyses indicated that patient quality of life and all other scales remained stable. However, the study team reported a significant worsening of fatigue (P < .05). Most of the patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements on emotional functioning subscales (P < .05). The results on the symptom and functional subscales remained stable before and after the cemiplimab surveys. Meaningful improvements or stability were reported in approximately 80% of patients at cycle 2 and between 70% and 80% of patients at cycle 9 across all survey subscales.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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