Immunotherapy drug a ‘gamechanger’ for head and neck cancer

An immunotherapy drug hailed as a potential gamechanger in the treatment of cancer could soon offer new hope to patients with currently untreatable forms of the disease.

Nivolumab was found to extend the lives of relapsed patients diagnosed with head and neck cancers who had run out of therapy options. After a year of treatment, doctor 36% of trial patients treated with the drug were still alive compared with 17% of those given standard chemotherapy.

Advanced head and neck cancers resistant to chemotherapy are notoriously difficult to treat and patients generally survive for less than six months.

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