What therapies are emerging for squamous cell carcinoma?

What therapies are emerging in the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma?

Deaths from cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas may outnumber deaths from melanoma in both Australia and USA. While great advances have been made in targeted management of advanced melanoma and advanced basal cell carcinoma, targeted treatment of advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma has lagged behind.

Existing treatment for regional metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma consists of regional lymph node dissection and post-operative radiotherapy. Inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor is the most promising targeted treatment so far.

Treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas with epidermal growth factor inhibitors is an emerging field. Cetuximab has shown a limited response rate. Gefitinib is another epidermal growth factor inhibitor being trialled.

Immunotherapy (“taking the breaks off the immune system”) in immunocompetent and solid-organ transplant patients via immune checkpoint inhibition with ipilimumab, pembrolizumab and nivolumab is showing promise.

Read more recent research on squamous cell carcinoma.


Arron, S. Emerging therapies for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. 76th American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting 2018 Conference Review. 16-20 February 2018, San Diego, CA, USA. Page 4.

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