Keytruda and squamous cell skin cancer?

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 04:59

I just finished 2 years of Keytruda (successful in keeping the cancer at bay), and have noticed an increase in squamous cell skin cancers.  I have had 5 this year (two of which required plastic surgery to remove).  My onc said she thought she had heard something about a correlation between immunotherapy and skin cancers, but wasn't sure.  Has anyone heard this, or do you know of any studies?



JanineT Forum …
Posts: 475
Forum Moderator and former caregiver

Hi Chuck,


Welcome to Grace.  I'm so sorry you're going through this.  I hope keytruda was still working and you're just done or taking a break. 


There is no belief in the science community that keytruda causes squamous cell skin cancer aka cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC).  As a matter of fact there is a phase III trial testing keytruda for use in those with cSCC with 19 countries participating.   This is the trials offical page.


I know you'll keep an eye on more of those nasty cSCC.  My brother in law has one or 2 taken off every year.  Other than some plastic surgery to get rid of them he's good. 


All the best,


I joined GRACE as a caregiver for my husband who had a Pancoast tumor, NSCLC stage III in 2009. He had curative chemo/rads then it was believed he had a recurrence in the spine/oligometastasis that was radiated. He's 10 years out from treatment.