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Dr. Robert Ferris on Additional Data for a Phase III Study Regarding Nivolumab in Head and Neck Cancer

Robert Ferris, MD, PhD
Published Online:10:37 PM, Fri April 8, 2016

Robert Ferris, MD, PhD, vice chair for Clinical Operations, associate director for Translational Research, and coleader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, discusses the potential impact the CheckMate-141 study could have regarding nivolumab as potential treatment for patients with head and neck cancer.

Ferris says in the phase III trial, patients with cisplatin-refractory head and neck cancer were randomized to either a nivolumab arm or standard chemotherapy arm. Due to a positive endpoint of overall survival in the nivolumab arm, the study was stopped early and its data added immunotherapy as a fourth modality to the treatment landscape of head and neck cancer, Ferris says. 

Ferris adds that before this data is submitted to the FDA, researchers must see results regarding HPV and PD-1 staining, and how these results may enrich or predict response. He says that quality or life data and patient-reported data are also equally important.
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