Efficacy of paclitaxel-based chemotherapy after progression on nivolumab for head and neck cancer

Yasuyoshi Sato, Naoki Fukuda, Yu Fujiwara, Xiaofei Wang, Tetsuya Urasaki, Akihiro Ohmoto, Kenji Nakano, Makiko Ono, Junichi Tomomatsu, Hiroki Mitani, Shunji Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background/Aim: In the CheckMate-141 trial regarding head and neck cancer (HNC), nivolumab conferred a survival benefit to patients. However, the best treatment sequence of chemotherapy and anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy in these cancers is unclear. Patients and Methods: This was an observational study using data collected prospectively from 97 HNC patients treated with nivolumab at our institutions. Twenty-two HNC patients who received paclitaxel-based chemotherapy before (pre-PTX, n=12) and after (post-PTX, n=10) nivolumab were evaluated. Results: The median follow-up time was 15.9 months (range=6.9-35.9 months). There was a significant difference in the overall response rate (ORR) between pre-PTX (17%) and post-PTX (70%) (p=0.027). Similarly, time to progression (TTP) was significantly longer after nivolumab than before nivolumab (post-PTX, 7.4 months; pre-PTX, 4.9 months, p=0.020). Conclusion: Paclitaxel-based chemotherapy had a better ORR and TTP after nivolumab than before nivolumab for HNC. The sequential administration of anti-PD-1 therapy followed by paclitaxel-based chemotherapy could be a better strategy for HNC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1215
Number of pages5
JournalIn Vivo
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Nivolumab
  • PD-1
  • Salvage chemotherapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Efficacy of paclitaxel-based chemotherapy after progression on nivolumab for head and neck cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this