Nivolumab for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer patients with non-squamous cell carcinoma and/or a primary subsite excluded from CheckMate141, a retrospective study

Yuri Ueda, Susumu Okano, Tomohiro Enokida, Takao Fujisawa, Kazue Ito, Masanobu Sato, Hideki Tanaka, Akihisa Wada, Makoto Tahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: In CheckMate 141, nivolumab significantly improved overall survival (OS) in patients with platinum-refractory recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinomas (R/M SCC) of the head and neck. However, reports on nivolumab for patients with non-SCC and/or a primary subsite excluded from CheckMate 141 are limited. Materials and methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of R/M head and neck cancer patients who received nivolumab. The study subject excluded patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx. Results: A total of 59 patients were included, consisting of 40 males and 19 females with a median age of 61 years. Half of the patients had non-SCC histology. The main primary site included the sinonasal cavity (n = 18), salivary gland (n = 15), and nasopharynx (n = 13). Three (6.0%) patients achieved a complete response and 5 (10.0%) a partial response, giving an overall response rate (ORR) of 16.6%. Median time-to-treatment failure (TTF) and OS were 3.7 and 16.2 months, respectively. Salivary gland and nasopharyngeal cancer achieved relatively higher ORR (25.0 and 36.4%, respectively). On analysis by primary site, nasopharyngeal cancer showed a significantly better TTF and OS than the other primary sites. On analysis by histological findings, no significant difference in TTF and OS was observed between non-SCC and SCC. Conclusion: Nivolumab for cancers involving the salivary gland/nasopharynx and non-SCC histology showed comparable efficacy to that in CheckMate 141. This result indicates that nivolumab may be effective even for patients not included in CheckMate 141.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105932
JournalOral Oncology
Volume130
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CheckMate141
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Nivolumab
  • Non-squamous cell carcinoma
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Sinonasal cancer

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