Background: In the field of immunotherapy of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), a high level of study activity can still be observed. The results of the Keynote-048 study on first-line therapy with pembrolizumab were a highlight at this year’s meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Materials and methods: All abstracts and presentations on immunotherapy of head and neck tumors presented at ASCO 2019 were evaluated for relevance and the most interesting studies were summarized. Results: The Keynote-048 study showed an improvement in overall survival with pembrolizumab monotherapy for patients with measurable programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression according to the combined positive score (CPS), and for the whole cohort with the combination of pembrolizumab and platin/5-fluorouracil (FU). The EAGLE study on durvalumab ± tremelimumab in second-line therapy did not demonstrate any improvement in response rates or overall survival compared to standard therapy. In addition, several new immunotherapeutic approaches and combinations were presented. Conclusion: The results of the Keynote-048 study have already led to the approval of pembrolizumab in the first line for platin-sensitive HNSCC in the USA and the expected approval in Europe will presumably change the therapeutic landscape in the long term. In the future, effective therapies for patients without a response to programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/PD-L1 inhibition will be needed.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Immunotherapy for head and neck cancer: Highlights of the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting
|Number of pages
|Published - 01.12.2019
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)