Head and Neck Cancers Coverage From Every Angle
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2019 ASCO-SITC: Tumor Growth Rate and Outcomes With Nivolumab in Head and Neck Cancer

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Findings from a study presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology–Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (ASCO-SITC) Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium in San Francisco (Abstract 68) suggested that patients with a pretreatment ratio of lesion diameters to tumor growth rate higher than 212 may be unsuitable for nivolumab treatment. Hironobu Minami, MD, PhD, of Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan and colleagues found that a pretreatment ratio higher than 212 appeared to be associated with inferior overall and progression-free survival compared with lower ratios.

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 28 consecutive patients with recurrent and metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma for tumor growth rate after nivolumab treatment. Using computed tomography, the authors measured tumor growth rate and the sum of the longest diameters of the target lesions (SumTL) at baseline and prebaseline. Two patients were excluded for unevaluable responses.

Among the 26 eligible patients, median overall survival and progression-free survival were 7.9 months and 3.7 months, respectively. Patients who experienced disease progression within the first 3 months showed significantly worse survival (P = .001) than those who did not. Patients with higher tumor growth rates and higher SumTL values had poorer outcomes. Pretreatment ratios of SumTL to tumor growth rate that exceeded 212 were associated with significantly worse overall (P < .001) and progression-free survival (P = .03) than smaller ratios.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at coi.asco.org.

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