An important part of the immune system is its ability to avoid attacking normal cells in the body. To do this, it uses proteins in immune cells that need to be activated or deactivated to initiate an immune response. Occasionally, cancer cells take advantage of these proteins to avoid being attacked by the immune system, but drugs that target these proteins can help restore the immune response against cancer cells.
One of these drugs is Cemiplimab, which is a fully humanized monoclonal antibody directed to the receptor of PD-1, a protein of checkpoints in T cells, which acts by preventing these cells from attacking other cells in the body. By blocking PD-1, the immune response is reinforced to kill cancer cells. Cemiplimab is currently authorized in the United States for the treatment of patients with metastatic or locally advanced squamous cell skin cancer who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiotherapy. Recently, it was approved in the European Union for the same type of cancer, an approval based on studies with more than 190 patients.
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most frequently diagnosed skin cancers in the world, with an estimated incidence of 40 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which in Europe is twice that of melanoma. And although most patients with this disease have a good prognosis when it is detected early, it can also be complicated to treat when it is in advanced stages.
The approval of Cemiplimab refers to the arrival of a new therapeutic defense since it is a treatment that has been shown to be effective in those cases in which the tumor is metastatic or locally advanced, so in addition to cutaneous squamous cell cancer, Cemiplimab is also being investigated in potential trials for cervical cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, melanoma, colorectal cancer, as well as non-small cell lung cancer. We currently have a study in which Cemiplimab is compared to chemotherapy in patients with advanced or metastatic PD-L1 + non-small cell lung cancer. Contact us for more information regarding our experience with this molecule and other immunotherapies.