The European Commission recently approved the immunotherapy pembrolizumab for use in adult and pediatric patients with Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, two types of skin cancer. Given current limited treatment options, this approval could spark hope for patients and their families.
This May for Skin Cancer Awareness Month, discover new research, new treatments, and progress for a future immune to skin cancer.
At the CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit, Dr. Margaret Callahan of Memorial Sloan Kettering discussed how scientists and physicians are working to extend the benefits of immunotherapy to more skin cancer patients.
Historic Treatment Approval
In March 2022, the U.S. FDA approved a new checkpoint combination therapy for the treatment of melanoma, bringing a new target for cancer treatment into standard care.
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Skin Cancer Patient Story
In 2010, Donna was diagnosed with a rare type of skin cancer—infundibulocystic basal cell carcinoma—and endured various debilitating treatments until immunotherapy offered relief.
Skin Cancer Scientist Spotlight
CRI Fellow Alexandria Wells, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases focuses on how microbes on the skin might aid the immune system against cancer.
Immunotherapy for Skin Cancer
The FDA has expanded approval for pembrolizumab, a checkpoint inhibitor, for use as a therapy for treating patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma that is not curable by surgery or radiation.
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Find a Skin Cancer Clinical Trial
Help speed the development of potentially lifesaving drugs. Discover trials for which you or a loved one may be eligible with the CRI Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder.
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Support Skin Cancer Research
Dr. Ming Li, a CRI CLIP Investigator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, has made important discoveries into a new class of immune cell “soldiers” called killer innate-like T cells that he first discovered in 2016. Recently, Li and three CRI fellows—Chun Chou, Xian Zhang, and Shun Li—utilized single-cell analysis and CRISPR genome editing to investigate their biology further, and found that the cells don’t get exhausted like conventional T cells, can use a much broader range of markers to recognize cancer cells, and are always primed to attack without needing to be alerted in advance by other immune cells. These features make these unique killer innate-like T cells attractive candidates for novel immunotherapy strategies and offer hope for those who don’t respond to current treatments. This Skin Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.
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