Integrated analysis of a phase 2 study of cemiplimab in advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: Extended follow-up of outcomes and quality of life analysis

Danny Rischin, Nikhil I. Khushalani, Chrysalyne D. Schmults, Alexander Guminski, Anne Lynn S. Chang, Karl D. Lewis, Annette M. Lim, Leonel Hernandez-Aya, Brett G.M. Hughes, DIrk Schadendorf, Axel Hauschild, Alesha A. Thai, Elizabeth Stankevich, Jocelyn Booth, Suk Young Yoo, Siyu Li, Zhen Chen, Emmanuel Okoye, Chieh I. Chen, Vera MasteyMedha Sasane, Israel Lowy, Matthew G. Fury, Michael R. Migden

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40 Scopus citations


Background To provide pooled longer term data from three groups of a phase 2 study of cemiplimab in patients with advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC), and to determine duration of response (DOR) and impact on quality of life (QoL). Methods Patients received cemiplimab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks (group 1, metastatic CSCC [mCSCC], n=59; group 2, locally advanced CSCC, n=78) or cemiplimab 350 mg every 3 weeks (group 3, mCSCC, n=56). Primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) per independent central review (ICR). QoL was repeatedly measured at day 1 of each treatment cycle (groups 1 and 2: 8 weeks; group 3: 9 weeks). Results Median duration of follow-up was 15.7 months. Overall, ORR per ICR was 46.1% (95% CI: 38.9% to 53.4%). Complete response (CR) rates were 20.3%, 12.8%, and 16.1% for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Median time to CR was 11.2 months. Among patients with partial response or CR, the estimated proportion of patients with ongoing response at 12 months from the first objective response was 87.8% (95% CI: 78.5% to 93.3%), with median DOR not reached. Kaplan-Meier estimated probability of overall survival (OS) was 73.3% (95% CI: 66.1% to 79.2%) at 24 months, with median OS not reached. Global Health Status (GHS)/QoL improvements were observed as early as cycle 2 and were significantly improved and durable until last assessment. Kaplan-Meier estimate of median time to first clinically meaningful improvement for pain was 2.1 (95% CI: 2.0 to 3.7) months and was significantly improved in responders versus non-responders (p<0.0001). Conclusions This is the largest (n=193) clinical dataset for a programmed cell death-1 inhibitor against advanced CSCC, confirming the sustained substantial clinical activity of cemiplimab in these patients, including new findings of improved CR rates over time, increasing DOR, and durable pain control and GHS/QoL improvement. Trial registration number Registry (NCT02760498), https://clinicaltrialsgov/ct2/show/NCT02760498.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002757
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - 19 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical trials
  • immunotherapy
  • phase II as topic
  • programmed cell death 1 receptor
  • skin neoplasms


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