Relationship between immune-related adverse events and the long-term outcomes in recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treated with nivolumab

Mioko Matsuo, Ryuji Yasumatsu, Muneyuki Masuda, Satoshi Toh, Takahiro Wakasaki, Kazuki Hashimoto, Masahiko Taura, Ryutaro Uchi, Takashi Nakagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Immune-related adverse events (irAEs) have been shown to be associated with higher antitumor responses and a clinical benefit in non-small cell lung carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, and melanoma patients. However, little is known regarding the association between irAEs and the clinical effect of nivolumab for recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/MHNSCC). Materials and methods: We evaluated 108 patients treated with nivolumab for R/MHNSCC at 2 participating institutions. IrAEs were identified and profiled. We analyzed the association of each immune-related adverse effect with the clinical outcome of the patients. Results: Among 108 patients, the objective response rate (ORR) was 29.6% (32/108 patients), and the disease control rate (DCR) was 50.0% (54/108 patients). IrAEs were observed in 41 patients (38.0%). Patients with irAEs had a significantly higher ORR and DCR than those without irAEs (46.3% vs. 19.4%, P = 0.004 and 75.6% vs. 34.3%, P < 0.001, respectively). The median progression-free and overall survival rates in patients with irAEs were significantly longer than in those without irAEs. Conclusions: There was a significant relationship between irAEs and efficacy in R/MHNSCC patients treated with nivolumab. Our results indicate that the development of irAEs may aid in the earlier prediction of anticancer effects in patients with recurrent or metastatic HNSCC during nivolumab monotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104525
JournalOral Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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