Head and Neck Cancers Coverage from Every Angle
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Head/Neck Cancers Symposium 2020: Adjuvant Everolimus in Locally Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020

Patients with TP53 mutations appear to benefit from therapy with the mTOR inhibitor everolimus, and treatment of locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with everolimus extended progression-free survival in patients regardless of their TP53 status. Cherie-Ann O. Nathan, MD, of Louisiana State University, presented these findings on behalf of her colleagues at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona (Abstract 5).

“These findings indicate that patients [with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma] at high risk for tumor relapse could be given mTOR inhibitors to stall progression and keep any residual cancer cells from growing,” said Dr. Nathan in a press release from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

A total of 52 patients from 13 different institutions with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were enrolled in this study. Patients included were free of disease as a result of definitive curative-intent therapy and were randomly assigned to receive either 10 mg of everolimus or placebo for a maximum of 1 year.

After 1 year, 81.2% of all patients on everolimus were disease-free, whereas 56.9% of patients on the placebo drug were disease-free. The 2-year progression-free survival also favored the everolimus group, but the result was not statistically significant (P = .36). For patients with TP53 mutations, the survival rate remained significantly higher in patients treated with everolimus compared with placebo at 2 years, 70.0% and 22.5%, respectively. This difference was not seen in the TP53 wild-type subset.

Grade 3 or higher adverse events were seen in 16 of the 28 patients treated with everolimus and 7 of the 24 patients who received placebo. There were three serious adverse toxicities reported in the everolimus group and five reported in the placebo group.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit headandnecksymposium.org.

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