Invasive squamous cell carcinoma study presented at AACR annual meeting

[Closeup photo of a needle being injected into a syringe with blue background.]Researchers from the University of Arizona and Texas Oncology found that a cancer drug used for melanoma called talimogene laherparepvec, also known as TVEC, is effective for patients with cutaneous invasive squamous cell carcinoma, or cSCC.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer with nearly 2 million cases estimated to be diagnosed each year, up 200% over the past three decades, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Clara N. Curiel-Lewandrowski, MD, presented their work at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, April 5-10, in San Diego in a plenary session titled “Beyond Immune Checkpoint: Novel Immunotherapy Strategies.”

[Dr. Curiel poses for a headshot wearing a black jacket and red and black blouse.]Dr. Curiel-Lewandrowski is a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Dermatology at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, co-director of the UArizona Skin Cancer Institute, and interim research director for the UArizona Cancer Center.

In the study, TVEC was injected directly into the patients’ cancer lesions. Patients with low- or intermediate-risk cSCC showed a rapid and robust positive response with all tumors achieving a complete resolution as reported by the AACR meeting news. The researchers found that the side effects of TVEC were mild and mostly related to the site of the injection. 

“The challenging landscape of cSCC is highlighted by three main components: … the increased incidence of cSCC that we are observing across multiple populations, the multiplicity of primary tumors within a single individual, and the decreased survival associated with these diagnoses which by recent reports is surpassing the melanoma mortality rates in certain regions,” Dr. Curiel-Lewandrowski said.

They also found that TVEC may decrease the rate of new primary cSCC tumors and may also have a therapeutic effect in other primary cSCC located in close proximity to the treated tumor. The team recommended that further studies evaluating the role of intralesional immunotherapy should be considered in patients with an increased burden of cSCC. 

View earlier work on their study at the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In Other News…

[Cover image of the Journal of European Academic Dermatology and Venereology]University of Arizona skin cancer researcher, Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, MD, as part of the International Skin Imaging Collaboration on Designated Diagnoses, also known as ISIS-DX, was a co-author on a recent paper published by the Journal of European Academic Dermatology and Venereology regarding “Consensus terminology for lesion diagnostic labeling.”

The paper, which posted May 11, looks to improve common terminology for better diagnosis of skin neoplasms and their hierarchical mapping. While it can be alarming to find a growth on your skin, most skin neoplasms are harmless. Of those that do turn out to be malignant, about 60% are basel cell carcinomas and 20% are squamous cell carcinomas. Only 1% are malignant melanomas, which are responsible for 60% of skin cancer deaths. Learn more at WebMD.

Original story link.

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Release Date: 
05/03/2024 - 11:00am
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