Expert Point of View: Anthony T.C. Chan, MD

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All clinical trials should include patient-reported outcomes.
— Anthony T.C. Chan, MD

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These results showed nivolumab (Opdivo) to be the clear winner in this trial from the patients’ perspective, according to formal discussant Anthony T.C. Chan, MD, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Taking the positive results of nivolumab in improving survival in these patients, and considering the patient-reported outcomes we heard [at the 2016 ESMO Congress], nivolumab should be considered standard second-line therapy for recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck,” he stated.

“The standard first-line options for recurrent or metastatic disease include cisplatin, carboplatin, fluorouracil, and cetuximab (Erbitux). Existing second-line options achieve very little clinical benefit, and most patients experience rapid deterioration,” Dr. Chan continued.

“Squamous cell cancer of the head and neck affects patients’ lives. All prospective randomized clinical trials should include patient-reported outcomes,” he concluded. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Chan has received research support, education, and travel grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, Novartis, and Roche.

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