The use of “check point inhibitors” has revolutionized the approach to many advanced malignancies such as advanced melanoma. In fact this years Nobel prize was awarded to scientist who first developed this class of drugs.
These drugs work by allowing the immune-system to see the cancer cells and so initiate an attack against this otherwise hidden enemy. Now a new check point inhibitor, Libtayo (cemiplimab-rwlc) has gained FDA approval for the treatment of advanced squamous cell cancer of the skin.
This is the second most common form of skin cancer, and is usually cured with a relatively simple surgery. But in advanced cases that have metastasized, surgery alone is not adequate. This new check point inhibitor that may make a big difference for these patients. As mentioned in previous blog posts, helping the bodies immune system fight off cancer is likely to be the best chance of cure in many advanced cancers.