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Anna C. Pavlick, DO, discusses the longer follow-up of the phase 2 EMPOWER-CSCC-1 study with cemiplimab in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
Anna C. Pavlick, DO, an assistant attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, discusses the longer follow-up of the phase 2 EMPOWER-CSCC-1 study with cemiplimab (Libtayo) in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC).
The updated data from the trial focused on a group of patients who were treated with a flat dose of 350 mg of cemiplimab, delivered intravenously every 3 weeks, says Pavlick. With the longer-term follow-up, results showed that the median overall response rate among all patients was approximately 50%, adds Pavlicl. Patients were additionally shown to have durable responses, remaining in remission for long periods of time. The data also indicated that the responses in most of these patients will occur very rapidly, within the first 6 weeks of treatment, according to Pavlick. After 2 cycles of treatment, most patients are already seeing a clinical response.
More importantly, many of these patients have pain, as these tumors have a tendency to track along nerves; this is referred to as perineural invasion, says Pavlick. Quality-of-life data were also presented at the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program and showed that within the first 2 cycles, patients experienced a more rapid resolution of their pain; that was more of an indicator of response, even before the clinical response was observed, concludes Pavlick.