Can adjuvant immunotherapy prevent recurrence of high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma?

June 25, 2019

A new phase 3 study open at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute in the Robert W. Franz Cancer Center, will evaluate the curative potential of adjuvant pembrolizumab in patients with high-risk or locally-advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (LA cSCC).

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is a checkpoint inhibitor approved as frontline treatment for several types of cancer. The randomized, double-blind study will compare intravenous pembrolizumb to a placebo in patients with LA cSCC who have completed surgery with curative intent in combination with radiation therapy, and are at-risk for recurrence.

In 2018, the FDA approved another checkpoint inhibitor, cemiplimab, for patients with metastatic or LA cSCC who are not candidates for surgery and radiation. The approval followed two clinical trials demonstrating the effectiveness of checkpoint immunotherapy for advanced cSCC (NEJM, July 26, 2018). Investigators anticipate patients with LA cSCC may also receive a clinical benefit from checkpoint immunotherapy when given as adjuvant therapy following surgery and radiation.

Get the study details here:

A Phase III, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate Pembrolizumab versus Placebo as Adjuvant Therapy Following Surgery and Radiation of High-Risk Locally Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (LA cSCC) (KEYNOTE-630)

More head and neck cancer studies

Providence Cancer Institute currently has six other studies open for patients with head and neck cancer. See all oral, head and neck cancer studies.

New research studies are added frequently. Please visit our website to see all studies in all cancer types currently open at Providence Cancer Institute.

To refer patients to any of these studies, call Providence Cancer Institute’s Clinical Research office at 503-215-2614 or submit a referral form.

Providence Head and Neck Cancer Clinic

Providence Head and Neck Cancer Program offers world-class care for patients with benign and malignant tumors of the oral cavity (mouth), tongue, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), nose, paranasal sinuses, salivary glands and thyroid gland, as well as tumors at the skull base. Our medical and surgical oncology teams work collaboratively to start patients on treatment regimens very quickly.

The clinic’s co-directors – medical oncologist Rom Leidner, M.D., and oncological surgeon R. Bryan Bell, M.D., D.D.S., FACS – are innovative leaders committed to elevating the current standard-of-care for oncology patients by offering advancements such as pre-operative immunotherapy. Their aim is to improve surgical outcomes and reduce the risk of recurrence.