Lance Leopold, MD, Group Vice President, Immuno-Oncology, at Incyte, gives an overview of squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal (SCAC).

As Dr. Leopold explains, SCAC is a rare cancer in which malignant cells form in the cells that line the anus. This is the most common type of anal cancer. Risk factors for SCAC include human papillomavirus infection, a history of sexually transmitted diseases, a history of vulvar or cervical carcinoma, immunosuppression related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or after organ transplantation, hematological or immunological disorders, and smoking. As with many cancers, increased age is also a risk factor.

The current standard of care for SCAC patients is platinum-based chemotherapy; however, Incyte’s retifanlimab, an investigational intravenous anti-PD1 antibody, is currently under evaluation as a monotherapy for patients with SCAC. Recently, the FDA accepted and announced Priority Review on Inctye’s Biologics License Application (BLA) submission based on positive results from the phase 2 PODIUM-202 study. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target date for retifanlimab is July 25, 2021.

For more information about SCAC and other rare cancers, visit