Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

ASCO 2021: Cetuximab After Disease Progression With Immunotherapy in Advanced Skin Cancer

By: Cordi Craig, MS
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021

As a second-line therapy, cetuximab may be effective for patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma who have experienced disease progression on previous immunotherapy. Anti–PD-1 monotherapy with cemiplimab-rwlc or pembrolizumab remains the current standard of care as a first-line therapy. However, according to study results presented during the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 9562), cetuximab appeared to yield more durable overall responses when used immediately after disease progression on immunotherapy than when used as a first-line treatment.

“Further exploration into the mechanism of this high efficacy of anti-EGFR therapy post anti–PD-1 therapy is warranted,” Julian Andres Marin-Acevedo, MD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, and colleagues concluded.

The researchers retrospectively reviewed how 13 patients with locally advanced or metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma whose disease progressed on previous immunotherapy responded to cetuximab. Patients were divided into two cohorts. Cohort A included 11 patients who received cetuximab immediately after disease progression with immunotherapy, and cohort B included 2 patients who had additional intervening therapy before receiving cetuximab.

The overall response rate was 54% (n = 7), and the cumulative disease control rate was 77%. The researchers recorded one complete response and six partial responses. Only patients in cohort A achieved responses, whereas both patients in cohort B had progressive disease. Of the seven patients who responded, six patients are still responding, including three who discontinued cetuximab treatment.

The most common adverse events were rash (77%) and hypomagnesemia (54%). No unanticipated toxicities to cetuximab were reported.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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