Emerging Squamous Cell and Basal Cell Cancer Treatments: Challenges and Promises
Emerging Squamous Cell and Basal Cell Cancer Treatments: Challenges and Promises from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.
What’s the latest in non-melanoma skin cancer treatments? Expert Dr. Silvina Pugliese from Stanford Cancer Center shares updates about immunotherapies, PD-1 inhibitors, hedgehog inhibitors, and anti-PD-1 therapies.
Silvina Pugliese, M.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Attending Physician at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center and Stanford Cancer Institute. Learn more about Dr. Pugliese.
“…if you have an advanced squamous cell or basal cell cancer, to ask your oncologist or your treating dermatologists, whether they are aware of any ongoing clinical trials that are being studied in this realm to answer the question of adjuvant and neoadjuvant use of systemic therapies and the treatment of squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer.”
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Dr. Pugliese, what squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer data or what studies coming out of major medical conferences are you most excited about and speak to the challenges and the promises of emerging treatments in non-melanoma skin cancers?
Dr. Silvina Pugliese:
Well, there’s a lot of excitement in treatment of squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer. Most of what we are studying currently in terms of systemic management of advanced squamous cell cancer or squamous cell cancer that can’t be completely removed with surgery or whether it is metastatic disease away from the area of the primary squamous cell cancer. Most of the treatments that are being looked at now are in the category of immunotherapy.
So the immunotherapeutic agents that are being studied currently, the most common ones are cemiplimab (Libtayo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda). Well, the ones I should say that are being used now. The most common ones are cemiplimab and pembrolizumab, but there are other PD-1 inhibitors being studied for the use of treatment of advanced squamous cell cancer. There are also some studies looking at neoadjuvant treatment. So, treatment in conjunction with surgery, for example, or also, immunotherapy being utilized in conjunction with radiation therapy.
For basal cell cancer, there’s ongoing research in the use of hedgehog inhibitors, including various dosing regimens for two best known hedgehog inhibitors, vismodegib (Erivedge) and sonidegib (Odomzo), as well as the neoadjuvant use of hedgehog inhibitors. And then there are other hedgehog inhibitors being tested, which is important for some patients who do become resistant to vismodegib (Erivedge).
And there’s also ongoing research in the use of immunotherapy to treat basal cell carcinoma. So again, looking at anti-PD-1 therapies, to treat basal cell cancers. My activation tip for this question is that if you have an advanced squamous cell or basal cell cancer, to ask your oncologist or your treating dermatologists, whether they are aware of any ongoing clinical trials that are being studied in this realm to answer the question of adjuvant and neoadjuvant use of systemic therapies and the treatment of squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer.