Optimizing Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers: Recurrent/Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Presenter: Robert I. Haddad
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Immunotherapy has changed the game in the treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC). Practice-changing results from the phase III KEYNOTE-048 trial led to the approval of pembrolizumab immunotherapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of recurrent/metastatic HNC in the first-line setting. Testing for combined positive score (CPS) is now part of routine practice, because patients with CPS ≥1 can be started on single-agent immunotherapy in the first-line. Pembrolizumab replaces the “old” standard of care established by the EXTREME study, as trials looking at targets besides immunotherapy have proved “disappointing.” Additionally, nivolumab and pembrolizumab are both approved for use in the second-line.

Disclosures: Dr. Haddad has disclosed that he has received grant/research support from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Genentech, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Loxo Onocology, and Pfizer Inc.; and that he has received consulting fees from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Celgene Corporation, Eisai Inc., Genentech, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Loxo Onocology, and Pfizer Inc.

Correspondence: Robert I. Haddad, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, D2-126, Boston, MA 02215. Email: robert_haddad@dfci.harvard.edu
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