Sonidegib and vismodegib in the treatment of patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma: a joint expert opinion

R. Dummer, P. A. Ascierto, N. Basset-Seguin, B. Dréno, C. Garbe, R. Gutzmer, A. Hauschild, R. Krattinger, J. T. Lear, J. Malvehy, D. Schadendorf, R. J.J. Grob

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sonidegib and vismodegib are hedgehog pathway inhibitors (HhIs) approved for the treatment of advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Until recently, vismodegib was the only targeted treatment available for patients with locally advanced BCC (laBCC) in cases where surgery and radiotherapy are inappropriate. Sonidegib has recently been approved and now presents an alternative treatment option. The clinical differences between the two HhIs in patients with laBCC are unclear, as no head-to-head randomized controlled trials are or will be initiated. Moreover, there were important differences in the designs of their pivotal studies, BOLT (sonidegib) and ERIVANCE (vismodegib), and these differences complicate evidence-based analysis of their relative efficacy and safety profiles. In this paper, a group of clinical experts in the management of laBCC summarizes the clinical and pharmacological profiles of sonidegib and vismodegib based on published data and their own clinical experience. One key difference between the two pivotal studies was the criteria used to assess BCC severity. ERIVANCE (a single-arm phase II trial) used the conventional Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), while the more recent double-blind randomized BOLT trial used the stringent modified RECIST. A preplanned analysis adjusted the outcomes from BOLT with RECIST-like criteria, and this enabled the experts to discuss relative efficacy outcomes for the two treatments. Centrally reviewed objective response rate (ORR) for vismodegib was 47.6% (95% CI: 35.5–60.6) at 21-month follow-up using RECIST. After adjusting with RECIST-like criteria, the ORR for sonidegib according to central review at 18-month follow-up was 60.6% (95% CI: 47.8–72.4). Both treatments were associated with similar patterns of adverse events. Sonidegib and vismodegib share the same efficacy and tolerability profiles, but their pharmacokinetic profiles show several differences, such as volume of distribution and half-life. Further studies are needed to understand how these differences may impact clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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