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Cemiplimab: A Review in Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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posted on 2020-04-20, 02:46 authored by Arnold Lee, Sean Duggan, Emma D Deeks
Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.

Conflicts of interest Arnold Lee, Sean Duggan and Emma Deeks are salaried employees of Adis International Ltd/Springer Nature, are responsible for the article content and declare no relevant conflicts of interest.

Additional information about this Adis Drug Review can be found here


Cemiplimab (Libtayo®) is an antibody immunotherapy that stimulates an anti-cancer response via programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) blockade. It is the first approved treatment in the USA and EU for patients with locally advanced (laCSCC) or metastatic (mCSCC) cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiotherapy. Approval was based largely on positive results from the phase II EMPOWER-CSCC 1 trial in this patient population. In this pivotal trial, treatment with intravenous cemiplimab 3 mg/kg once every 2 weeks or 350 mg once every 3 weeks resulted in a clinically significant objective response rate across laCSCC and mCSCC patient groups. Furthermore, responses appear to be durable, as the median duration of response has not yet been reached. Similarly, the median overall survival has also not yet been reached as of the latest data cut-off date. The safety and tolerability profile of cemiplimab was acceptable, with most immune-related adverse events being clinically manageable with appropriate therapy or discontinuation of cemiplimab. Overall, cemiplimab has a durable, clinically significant effect and an acceptable tolerability and safety profile. As the first approved treatment for this indication, cemiplimab represents a welcome therapeutic advance for patients with advanced CSCC.

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020


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