Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD
Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, Professor of Radiation Oncology & Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, said there is “reasonableness to further investigation” of the combination of programmed cell death protein 1 inhibition and radiation therapy. She called the results “interesting and reassuring in the context of other larger trials currently in progress.”
As Dr. Yom noted, these trials include the randomized phase II study GORTEC 2015-01 (“PembroRad”) being run in the Groupe d’Oncologie Radiothérapie Tête Et Cou (GORTEC), which combines radiation with either pembrolizumab or cetuximab. The randomized phase III study NRG-HN004 is being conducted in NRG Oncology and compares radiation with either durvalumab or cetuximab. There is also the randomized phase II study HN.9 being conducted by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, which randomly assigns patients to radiation plus either cisplatin or durvalumab.
“There is clearly interest in developing alternatives to cisplatin and cetuximab, but we will need more trials to clarify which of these alternatives will be advantageous for which subsets of patients,” Dr. Yom concluded.
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Yom has received institutional research funding from BioMimetix, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, and Merck; and holds intellectual property interests in Springer and UpToDate.
The combination of the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab and definitive radiation therapy appears to be a safe and feasible option for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer who are not eligible for cisplatin, according to data presented at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck...