Expert Point of View: Daniel Zips, MD

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Daniel Zips, MD

Formal discussant of the Danish Head and Neck Cancer Group (DAHANCA) 19 trial at the European Cancer Congress, Daniel Zips, MD, University Hospital for Radiation Oncology, Tübingen, Germany, said that the DAHANCA trial program is impressive and conducted with stringent quality assurance.

Unfortunately, he pointed out, the addition of zalutumumab was of no benefit for locoregional control or other outcomes at 3 years. Although p16 status is an important prognostic factor for locoregional control, p16 status did not affect locoregional control in patients treated with zalutumumab, Dr. Zips told listeners.

“In patients with [head and neck squamous cell carcinoma], 3-year locoregional control has increased from 30% to 80% within the past 3 decades. This has been optimized by consecutive trial design, radiobiological knowledge, and translating that into clinical trials,” he continued.

“This trial will not change clinical practice. DAHANCA 19 is the second trial to show that an [epidermal growth factor receptor] antibody added to chemoradiotherapy will not improve outcomes. CONCERT I and II showed that the addition of panitumumab [Vectibix] to radiotherapy did not improve outcome,” he said. “Chemoradiotherapy remains the standard of care for locally advanced squamous cell cancers of the head and neck,” Dr. Zips concluded. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Zips reported no potential conflicts of interest. 

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