Dr. Ferris on CheckMate-141 Trial in Head and Neck Cancer

Robert Ferris, MD, PhD, vice chair for Clinical Operations, associate director for Translational Research, and coleader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, discusses the CheckMate-141 trial, which found that treatment with single-agent nivolumab (Opdivo) reduced the risk of death by 30% and doubled 1-year overall survival (OS) rates compared investigator's choice of therapy for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCCHN).

Robert Ferris, MD, PhD, vice chair for Clinical Operations, associate director for Translational Research, and coleader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, discusses the CheckMate-141 trial, which found that treatment with single-agent nivolumab (Opdivo) reduced the risk of death by 30% and doubled 1-year overall survival (OS) rates compared with investigator's choice of therapy for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCCHN).

This marks the first positive phase III randomized trial in head and neck cancer in the past 10 years, Ferris explains. Moreover, this setting of disease has not had effective systemic agents. Therefore, trying to create a new standard of care for this patient population has proven difficult.

Because of the strong survival benefit with the immunotherapy agent, patients in the control arm were also able to cross over to receive nivolumab, he adds.

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