Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

ESMO 2020: Cemiplimab in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Changes in Pain and Tumor Response

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2020

According to research presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020 (Abstract 1087P), there may be an association between changes in pain and tumor response in patients with non-melanoma skin cancer treated with cemiplimab. Michael R. Migden, MD, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues noted a relationship between initial tumor response and a lessening of pain as well as progression-free survival and worsening of pain.

The phase II study included 193 patients, 115 of whom had metastatic disease, and 78 of whom had locally advanced disease. They received either 3 mg/kg of intravenous cemiplimab every 2 weeks (metastatic disease, n = 59; locally advanced disease, n = 78) or 350 mg every 3 weeks (metastatic disease, n = 56). The time to the first clinically meaningful EORTC QLQ-C30 pain score fluctuation (at least 10 points in either direction) was estimated using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, and the use of pain medication was tracked throughout treatment.

Patients who achieved at least a partial clinical response experienced a median time to the initial clinically meaningful improvement in pain of 2.1 months. This reduction was sustained throughout cycle 5 at minimum and was not associated with the use of opioids for pain relief. In patients achieving a response, the median time to the initial clinically meaningful worsening in pain was 14.8 months. The median overall progression-free survival was 18.4 months.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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