Nimotuzumab Combination Promising for Treatment of Head and Neck Cancers
Nimotuzumab in combination with concurrent radiotherapy and cisplatin provides significant clinical benefits in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
About Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancers include a number of different malignant cancers that develop in or around the throat, larynx (voice box), nose, sinuses and mouth. Globally, head and neck cancers are the seventh most common type of cancer with an estimated 400,000-600,000 diagnoses every year. Head and neck cancers account for about 3 percent of all cancers in the United States. Men are diagnosed with head and neck cancers nearly twice as often as women. These cancers are more likely to be diagnosed in people over age 50.
Nimotuzumab in a humanized antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and inhibits the binding of the ligand, EGF, to EGFR. Several EGFR inhibitors have been developed for use in the treatment of a variety of cancers; you can learn more here:
In the current clinical study doctors evaluated patients with stage III/IV locally advanced SCCHN who were treated with either to nimotuzumab or placebo, and all patients received concurrent radiotherapy and cisplatin chemotherapy.
Overall 536 patients were treated and at a median follow up of 33 the average time to cancer progression was significantly longer in patients receiving nimotuzumab.
Nimotuzumab treated patients survived without cancer progression and average of: 60.3 months compared to only 21 months for patients treated with radiation and cisplatin chemotherapy.
Except for mucositis side effects were similar however the severity and frequency of mucositis was increased with nimotuzumab.
Patil VM, Noronha V, Joshi A, et al. Results of a randomized phase III study of nimotuzumab in combination with concurrent radiotherapy and cisplatin versus radiotherapy and cisplatin alone, in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol. 2018: 36, (suppl; abstr 6000). Presented at 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting; June 1-5, 2018; Chicago, IL.