Age and clear eyes are associated with an increased risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas in vemurafenib-treated melanoma patients

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Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is a frequent side-effect of vemurafenib treatment. The main aim of this study was to identify the clinical risk factors associated with the development of cSCC in melanoma patients treated with vemurafenib. We carried out a retrospective study, including 63 consecutive melanoma patients treated with vemurafenib for BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma in an oncodermatological department. Clinical and follow-up data were collected and analysed, and a comparison of the subgroups who did and did not develop cSCC was performed. A total of 42.9% of patients (n=27) treated with vemurafenib developed one or more cSCC. Patients with cSCC were significantly older (P=0.01). Clear eyes were also associated with a higher risk of developing cSCC (odds ratio=3.50; 95% confidence interval: 1.08–12.43). Three patients developed cSCC more than 1 year after the initiation of treatment (12, 16 and 18 months, respectively). Clinicians should be vigilant in older patients undergoing vemurafenib therapy as well as patients with clear eyes as they seem to be at increased risk of developing cSCC, even late after the initiation of treatment.

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