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Neoadjuvant Nivolumab Reduces Tumor Size Regardless of HPV Status in Head and Neck Cancer

Wayne Kuznar
Published: Sunday, Sep 10, 2017

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD
Two doses of nivolumab given about 1 month prior to surgery are well tolerated and reduces tumor size in about half of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Reductions in tumor size occurred in the same proportion of patients with human papilloma virus (HPV)-positive and HPV-negative tumors, according to results from the first global trial of neoadjuvant anti–PD-1 therapy in patients with both HPV-positive and HPV-negative SCCHN.1 There were no surgery delays >4 weeks due to treatment-emergent adverse events.



  1. Ferris R, Gonçalves A, Baxi S, et al. An open-label, multicohort, phase 1/2 study in patients with virus-associated cancers (CheckMate 358): Safety and efficacy of neoadjuvant nivolumab in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Presented at ESMO 2017 Congress; September 8-12, 2017; Madrid, Spain. Abstract LBA46.
  2. Ferris RL, Blumenschein G Jr, Fayette J, et al. Nivolumab for recurrent squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(19):1856-1867.
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