SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., February 13, 2018 – Analysis of a clinical trial, RTOG Foundation 3504, finds that nivolumab immunotherapy can be administered safely in conjunction with radiation therapy and chemotherapy for patients with newly diagnosed local-regionally advanced head and neck cancers. All patients in the trial were able to complete curative-intent radiation therapy even with the addition of the PD-1 inhibitor to platinum-based chemotherapy, and maintenance immunotherapy to one year was found to be feasible. The study will be presented today in an online news briefing and at the 2018 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“Patients diagnosed with cancers in the mouth and throat often are diagnosed at advanced stages of disease and relapse within two years,” said Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and a professor of thoracic/head and neck medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “We previously found that nivolumab improves survival for patients who experience head and neck cancer relapse after platinum chemotherapy. Thus, we are compelled to evaluate whether adding immunotherapy to the initial treatment of head and neck cancer could prevent these relapses from happening.”
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