More FDA Approved Treatments are Needed for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers


Valencia D. Thomas, MD, MHCM, discusses the unmet needs which remain in the non-melanoma skin cancer space.

Valencia D. Thomas, MD, MHCM, professor in the Department of Dermatology, Division of Internal Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the unmet needs which remain in the non-melanoma skin cancer space.

The most common types of non-melanoma skin cancers include Basal cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. While these cancer types have been met with many new developments in the last 10 years, a need remains for more FDA approved drugs for patients with rare tumor types.

In a session at National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Annual Meeting 2022, Thomas discussed advanced or aggressive non-melanoma skin cancers that came back after their first treatment as well as those which began in an advanced detection.

While there are various treatment options available for this patient population, including surgical treatments, radiation, and systemic options, Thomas notes that more research needs to focus on treatment which may provide positive opportunities and lead to a cure for these patients.


0:08 | Although we have come a long way over the last 10 years, the needs we have are to further gather information for the rare tumor type, to have FDA approved medications for some of these rare tumor types, and to further expand the use of immunotherapy to rare tumors.

0:33 | We use what is currently available to the best of our abilities. As innovative technologies and therapies become more available, we start with what is most common. Then we must move towards what is less common to get the same body of data and information so that we can give the same outcome to aggressive tumors that may not be as common.

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