MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (aCSCC), first-line treatment with nivolumab shows robust antitumor activity and good tolerability, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in Cancer.

Rodrigo R. Munhoz, M.D., from the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues examined the activity of nivolumab in patients with aCSCC. Nivolumab was administered to 24 patients with aCSCC every two weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or 12 months of treatment. The best objective response rate (BORR) as per RECIST 1.1 criteria was measured as the primary end point.

The researchers found that the BORR was 58.3 percent (14 of 24 patients); no complete responses were observed. The median duration of response was not reached with a median follow-up of 17.6 months; the estimated median progression-free survival was 12.7 months and overall survival was 20.7 months. There was an association seen for prior exposure to radiotherapy with worse outcomes. Treatment-related adverse events of any grade occurred in 21 patients and of grade ≥3 occurred in six patients; one patient discontinued nivolumab due to toxicities.

“The results of this study provide further evidence to support the use of immune checkpoint inhibition as the standard treatment option for patients with aCSCC,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol Myers Squibb, which manufactures nivolumab and funded the study.

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