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Nivolumab increases the survival of patients with head and neck cancer

November 24, 2017 17:10


Recent clinical trials have shown that drugs for immunotherapy significantly reduce the mortality rate of patients suffering from head and neck cancer.

In phase III patients who did not help chemotherapy, were treated using nivolumab medicament.

According to a new study, 36% of patients receiving the drug were alive after one year of treatment. At the same time, among those who have been treated with chemotherapy, survived only 17%.

Currently, there is no affordable way to improve survival in patients with metastatic tumors of the head and neck. Subjects who participated in the study, funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb (Bristol-Myers Squibb), is expected to live for no more than six months.

Of the 361 tested, 240 took nivolumab and 121 underwent a course of chemotherapy. Patients living in the United Kingdom, received the drug of vegetable origin docetaxel. Patients who were treated with drug nivolumab had an average survival rate of 7.5 months, and chemotherapy - 5.1 month.

People with human papilloma virus (HPV), and treated with the drug nivolumab, the survival rate was even higher - an average of 9.1 months (standard therapy in the treatment of the figure is 4.4 months).

Subjects taking nivolumab experienced serious side effects in 13% of cases and patients who were treated with cytostatics, 35%.

Patients in the treatment nivolumab remained stable throughout the treatment period, and those who are undergoing chemotherapy noted that feel bad physically, emotionally and socially.

"The study shows that immunotherapy drug nivolumab actually increases survival and improves the condition of patients," - said researcher Kevin Harrington (Kevin Harrington) from the Institute of Cancer study (The Institute of Cancer Research) in London.

The risk of developing head and neck cancer increases due to environmental factors and lifestyles (excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking and exposure to carcinogens). HPV infection increases the risk of many types of head and neck cancer.

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