Dr. Dzienis on Use of Pembrolizumab with Carboplatin and Paclitaxel in HNSCC

Marcin Dzienis, MD, discusses the use of pembrolizumab with carboplatin and paclitaxel in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma .

Marcin Dzienis, MD, medical oncologist, the Gold Coast University Hospital, Queensland Health, discusses the use of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) with carboplatin and paclitaxel in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

The phase 4 KEYNOTE B10 trial (NCT04489888) is evaluating the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab combined with carboplatin and paclitaxel as first-line treatment for patients with recurrent/metastatic HNSCC.

HNSCC is a difficult-to-treat disease with limited treatment options, Dzienis says, adding that standard of care in the first-line setting has changed to pembrolizumab plus platinum-based chemotherapy and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). However, treatment with 5-FU has been associated with unfavorable toxicity, plus the extra costs and inconvenience of infusion, Dzienis explains.

KEYNOTE B10 is investigating an alternative chemotherapy backbone of carboplatin and paclitaxel to combine with pembrolizumab, Dzienis continues. Data presented at the 2022 ESMO Congress from an early report of the efficacy and safety of the combination showed patients experienced an overall response rate of 42.7%, Dzienis notes. No new safety signals were reported, and this chemotherapy backbone with pembrolizumab could be a new option for patients with HNSCC, Dzienis concludes.

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