Dr. Vokes on Selecting Nivolumab or Pembrolizumab for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

Everett Vokes, MD
Published: Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016



Everett Vokes, MD, John E. Ultmann Professor of Medicine and Radiation Oncology, physician-in-chief, University of Chicago Medical Center, chair, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medicine, discusses how to choose between nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for second-line treatment for patients with head and neck cancer.

Vokes explains that there is not exactly a rational way to choose between the 2 therapies. There may be other considering factors, he adds, such as scheduling, what the institutions have available, or which treatment the physician has more experience in administering. However, some physicians may be more apt to treating patients with nivolumab if they desire a more evidence-based therapy, as nivolumab was investigated in a randomized trial.

However, Vokes explains, the data between the 2 checkpoint inhibitors are very similar.


Everett Vokes, MD, John E. Ultmann Professor of Medicine and Radiation Oncology, physician-in-chief, University of Chicago Medical Center, chair, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medicine, discusses how to choose between nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for second-line treatment for patients with head and neck cancer.

Vokes explains that there is not exactly a rational way to choose between the 2 therapies. There may be other considering factors, he adds, such as scheduling, what the institutions have available, or which treatment the physician has more experience in administering. However, some physicians may be more apt to treating patients with nivolumab if they desire a more evidence-based therapy, as nivolumab was investigated in a randomized trial.

However, Vokes explains, the data between the 2 checkpoint inhibitors are very similar.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Clinical Interchange™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersOct 31, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections™: Precision Medicine for Community Oncologists: Assessing the Role of Tumor-Testing Technologies in Cancer CareNov 30, 20181.0
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