Background: We have previously reported the effectiveness and safety of nivolumab in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) in real-world clinical practice in Japan. Here, we report long-term outcomes from this study in the overall population and subgroups stratified by subsequent chemotherapy. Methods: In this multicenter, retrospective observational study, Japanese patients with recurrent or metastatic (R/M) HNC receiving nivolumab were followed up for 2 years. Effectiveness endpoints included overall survival (OS), OS rate, progression-free survival (PFS), and PFS rate. Safety endpoints included the incidence of immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Results: Overall, 256 patients received a median of 6.0 doses (range: 1–52) of nivolumab over a median duration of 72.5 days (range: 1–736). Median OS was 9.5 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 8.2–12.0] and median PFS was 2.1 months (95% CI 1.8–2.7). A significant difference between 2-year survivors (n = 62) and non-2-year survivors was observed by median age (P = 0.0227) and ECOG PS (P = 0.0001). Of 95 patients who received subsequent chemotherapy, 54.7% received paclitaxel ± cetuximab. The median OS and PFS from the start of paclitaxel ± cetuximab were 6.9 months (95% CI 5.9–11.9) and 3.5 months (95% CI 2.3–5.5), respectively. IrAEs were reported in 17.2% of patients. Endocrine (7.0%) and lung (4.3%) disorders were the most common irAEs; kidney disorder (n = 1) was newly identified in this follow-up analysis. Conclusions: Results demonstrated the long-term effectiveness of nivolumab and potential effectiveness of subsequent chemotherapy in patients with R/M HNC in the real-world setting. Safety was consistent with that over the 1-year follow-up.
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