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Frontline Pembrolizumab Explored in Head and Neck Cancer

Angelica Welch
Published: Friday, Aug 11, 2017

Dr. Jean-Pascal Machiels

Jean-Pascal Machiels, MD
The ongoing phase III KEYNOTE-412 trial is evaluating the efficacy of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with chemoradiation (CRT) versus CRT alone as frontline therapy in patients with newly diagnosed locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-HNSCC).1

during the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, lead author Jean-Pascal Machiels, MD, head of the Department of Medical Oncology, Cliniques Universitaires Sain-Luc, discussed the KEYNOTE-412 trial and the overall potential for pembrolizumab in the head and neck cancer landscape.

OncLive: Please provide some background information on this trial.

Machiels: We have data in the recurrent setting that shows that anti–PD-1 agents improve survival. Nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab are approved by the FDA in this indication, so it is interesting to put this component earlier in the disease course to try to cure more patients— for example, in combination with CRT.
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View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: New Directions in Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Emerging Evidence of ImmunotherapyAug 13, 20191.5
Medical Crossfire®: How Can We Optimize Outcomes in Head and Neck Cancers with Immunotherapeutic Strategies?Oct 31, 20191.5
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