Nimotuzumab-cisplatin-radiation versus cisplatin-radiation in HPV negative oropharyngeal cancer

IMAGE: Kaplan Meier estimates of progression-free survival between the 2 arms.
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Credit: Correspondence to – Kumar Prabhash – [email protected]

Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 4: In this study, locally advanced head and neck cancer patients undergoing definitive chemoradiation were randomly allocated to weekly cisplatin – radiation {CRT arm} or nimotuzumab -weekly cisplatin -radiation {NCRT arm}.

An interaction test was performed between the study arms and HPV status prior to doing any HPV specific analysis for each of the studied outcomes.

We had 187 HPV negative oropharyngeal cancers, 91 in the CRT arm and 96 in NCRT arm.

The addition of nimotuzumab to weekly cisplatin-radiation improves outcomes inclusive of OS in HPV negative oropharyngeal cancers.

Dr. Kumar Prabhash from the Department of Medical Oncology at the Tata Memorial Hospital, HBNI in Mumbai India said in their Oncotarget research article, “Locally advanced oropharyngeal cancers possess a unique challenge.”

Patients with HPV positive disease have a favorable prognosis as opposed to HPV negative disease.

They had hypothesized that an improvement in outcomes in our study was seen due to the differential patient population in our study when compared to the RTOG 0552 study.

Another phase 3 study, exploring the role of cetuximab along with carboplatin -5 FU with radiation, reported improvement in outcomes with the addition of cetuximab.

Taking this into consideration, the authors decided to perform a subgroup analysis of the HPV negative oropharyngeal cancer cohort, to study the absolute improvement in 2-year outcomes with the addition of nimotuzumab.

The Prabhash Research Team concluded in their Oncotarget article that an interaction test was performed prior to doing the subgroup analysis, to determine whether nimotuzumab had a differential impact or not.


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Correspondence to – Kumar Prabhash – [email protected]

Keywords – HPV negative, oropharynx, nimotuzumab, weekly, cisplatin

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