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Kevin Harrington, BSc, MBBS, PhD, MRCP, FRCP, FRCR, discusses the randomized phase 3 KEYNOTE-048 trial in recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Kevin Harrington, BSc, MBBS, PhD, MRCP, FRCP, FRCR, professor of biological cancer therapies, Institute of Cancer Research, joint head, Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging, consultant clinical oncologist, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, discusses the randomized phase 3 KEYNOTE-048 trial in recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
In the KEYNOTE-048 trial, patients were randomized to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) monotherapy, pembrolizumab plus platinum-based chemotherapy and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), or the EXTREME regimen consisting of cetuximab (Erbitux) plus platinum-based chemotherapy and 5-FU.
Findings from the study, which were presented during the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program, revealed that pembrolizumab alone or in combination with chemotherapy led to an improvement in overall survival (OS) versus the EXTREME regimen in patients with a PD-L1 combined positive score (CPS) greater than or equal to 20 and CPS greater than or equal to 1.
In the overall patient population, OS was noninferior with pembrolizumab versus the EXTREME regimen, Harrington explains.
As such, the practice-changing data support the use of pembrolizumab with or without chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with recurrent/metastatic HNSCC, concludes Harrington.