After Decades of Limited Treatment Options, New Treatments Are Showing Promise for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Source: Pharmacy Times, June 2023

In an interview with Pharmacy Times at the Oncology Pharmacists Connect conference, Heather Armbruster, PharmD, BCOP, outpatient clinical pharmacy manager at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed the growing armamentarium of treatment options for non-melanoma skin cancers. With immune checkpoint inhibitors in particular, patients are seeing greater results with fewer adverse effects.

Q: Research on immunotherapy for skin cancer has traditionally focused more on cutaneous carcinoma. Why has there been a more recent shift in attention to non-melanoma skin cancers?

Heather Armbruster, PharmD, BCOP: Yeah, so historically, there have not been great number of treatment options for our non-melanoma skin cancers; those options are very limited. And we know immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in melanoma are very efficacious. They’re efficacious in other disease states as well. So, I think kind of given the similarity from the skin cancer perspective, it makes sense to kind of pivot and start looking at the use of ICIs for those non-melanoma indications as well.