Exploring the Impact of Cemiplimab and Pembrolizumab in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma With Shaheer Khan, DO

Recently, Oncology Data Advisor spoke with Dr. Shaheer Khan, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Khan shares the promising results of two recent trials of cemiplimab and pembrolizumab for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, explains future directions in the treatment of patients who are ineligible for immunotherapy, and offers advice for members of the multidisciplinary cancer care team who are treating patients with this disease.  

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Combination of Nivolumab and Relatlimab Approved for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma

The FDA has approved the combination of nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw (Opdualag™, Bristol-Myers Squibb) for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. OpdualagTM is a fixed-dose dual immunotherapy combination of nivolumab, a programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)–blocking antibody, and relatlimab, a first-in-class human lymphocyte–activation gene 3 (LAG-3)–blocking antibody, and is administered as a single intravenous (IV) infusion. "LAG-3 and PD-1 are distinct inhibitory immune checkpoi...

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Glucose Theory Untrue for Squamous Skin Cancer

Squamous skin cancer cells do not require glucose to grow, according to a new study. These promising findings could increase understanding of what cancer cells really need in order to develop and thrive, a discovery which would lead to more effective skin cancer treatments. In most cases, cancerous cells increase glucose uptake and lactate production compared with normal cells; this is known as the Warburg effect. The lactate that is produced increases angiogenesis—the development of new blood v...

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Can Artificial Intelligence Diagnose Skin Lesions? With Philipp Tschandl, MD, PhD

​Philipp Tschandl, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that current artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that use "deep learning"—a type of machine learning that is based on artificial neural networks—outperform humans, even experts, in the classification of pigmented skin lesions. In this interview with i3 Health, Philipp Tschandl, member of the Vienna Dermatologic Imaging Research (ViDIR) Group of the Medical University of Vienna's Department of Dermatology, discusses the significance of the stud...

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Prevalence and Risk Factors for Skin Cancer Revealed

​Information from a new population-based nationwide English dataset has revealed insights concerning the prevalence and risk factors for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), the second most common form of skin cancer. Prior to this point, due to a high diagnosis rate and the challenges associated with accurately accounting for multiple tumors per patient, keratinocyte cancers were seldom recorded in cancer registries. Changes made in 2013 to England's National Cancer Registration and Analys...

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Melanoma: Accurate Diagnosis From Visual Inspection?

Although melanoma is rare, it has one of the most rapidly rising incidence rates of any cancer, and it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths. Prompt and accurate diagnosis is crucial: if surgical excision is delayed, metastasis can result. On the other hand, a false diagnosis can lead to unnecessary tests and surgeries. In conjunction with taking a patient's history, a clinician's visual inspection of a suspicious lesion is usually the first assessment used in the diagnosis of skin cancer, a...

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Oncolytic Herpes Virus Injection for Advanced Melanoma

A recent study has confirmed that talimogene laherparepvec (TVEC) (Imlygic®, Amgen, Inc.), an FDA-approved intralesional injection of an oncolytic herpes virus, is an effective treatment for patients with unresectable stage IIIB-IV melanoma. "Our findings in the real world mimic what the clinical trials have found," commented David W. Ollila, MD, General Surgical Oncologist at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Linebacker Comprehensive Cancer Center and corresponding author of the study, whi...

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Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Pembrolizumab as First-Line Treatment

The second most common cause of skin cancer death, Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and lethal cancer that usually metastasizes quickly. Researchers have discovered that the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), which has already been FDA approved as a second-line treatment for MCC, elicits a better response rate and increased progression-free survival compared with chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for this condition. In this multicenter phase II trial (Cancer Immunotherapy Tr...

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Rigosertib Provides Hope in Patients With Butterfly Disease

For many patients with the genetic disease recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), also known as butterfly disease, developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by early adulthood is inevitable. Researchers teamed together and found a potential targeted treatment for patients with RDEB and SCC. "We hope that the drug will be a cure for the cancer," remarked one of the authors of the study, Andrew South, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology at Tho...

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AI Beats Human Experts in Classifying Skin Lesions

A new study reports that artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of machine-learning algorithms outperforms human experts in the diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions. This web-based study, which was published in The Lancet Oncology, included 511 human readers from 63 countries. Of these, 55.4% were board-certified dermatologists, 23.1% were dermatology residents, and 16.2% were general practitioners. The human readers were asked to diagnose dermatoscopic images that had been randomly selected in...

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Vitamin A Reduces Risk of Skin Cancer

According to a recent study, an increased consumption of vitamin A is associated with a decreased risk of squamous cell carcinoma. The second most common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma arises when an uncontrolled growth occurs in the outermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis. Sun exposure is a huge risk factor of squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer appears as persistent, thick, rough, scaly patches that can bleed. For this study, published in Journal of the American Medica...

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