Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

ASCO 2021: Health-Related Quality of Life With Pembrolizumab for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Åse Bratland, MD, PhD, of Oslo University Hospital, Norway, and colleagues presented their additional 15-month follow-up data from KEYNOTE-629—a single-arm, phase II study of pembrolizumab in patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma—at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 9546). These investigators concluded that health-related quality of life was generally maintained in those with locally advanced or recurrent/metastatic disease and not negatively impacted by tumor progression.

The researchers focused on patients with locally advanced (n = 47) and recurrent or metastatic (n = 199) cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Participants received pembrolizumab intravenously at 200 mg for no more than 35 cycles.

The EORTC QLQ-C30 and EuroQol EQ-5D-5L questionnaires were administered to all individuals at baseline, week 3, week 6; then the questionnaires were given every 6 weeks until 1 year, every 9 weeks until treatment end, and at the 30-day safety follow-up. Quality of life was declared deteriorated or improved based on at least a 10-point change in questionnaire scores.

All individuals with locally advanced disease completed the EORTC QLQ-C30 and EQ-5D-5L questionnaires, and 99 and 100 patients with recurrent or metastatic disease completed each questionnaire, respectively. The compliance rate for patients with locally advanced disease at week 12 was more than 75%, and it was 80% for participants with recurrent or metastatic disease.

The mean change from baseline to week 12 was negligible for all cohorts. Patients with locally advanced disease had a mean EORTC QLQ-C30 global health status score of –0.27, an EORTC QLQ-C30 physical functioning score of –1.29, and an EQ-5D-5L visual analog scale score of 2.06; those with recurrent or metastatic disease had corresponding scores of 4.95, –3.38, and 1.97, respectively. Additionally, these score changes were stable for over 48 weeks in the locally advanced cohort and for over 75 weeks in the recurrent or metastatic cohort.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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