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Memo. 2017;10(4):220-223. doi: 10.1007/s12254-017-0358-9. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Update on squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: ASCO annual meeting 2017.

Magnes T1,2,3, Egle A1,2,3, Greil R1,2,3, Melchardt T1,2,3.

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Third Medical Department with Hematology and Medical Oncology, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Müllner Hauptstraße 48, 5020 Salzburg, Austria.
Salzburg Cancer Research Institute, Salzburg, Austria.
Cancer Cluster Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.


At the annual ASCO meeting clinically relevant data concerning the management of advanced head and neck cancer that will influence clinical practice in the future were presented. Chemoradiation with high-dose cisplatin remains the mainstay of treatment for patients with locally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer. Adjuvant therapy with afatinib following chemoradiation failed to show clinical benefit. The combination of bevacizumab with platinum-based chemotherapy improved progression-free survival but did not lead to a significant difference in overall survival compared to chemotherapy alone. However, the addition of immunotherapy may improve multimodal treatment concepts in locally advanced disease and new treatment combinations might overcome resistance to checkpoint inhibition.


Afatinib; Cisplatin; Epacadostat; IDO1; Immunotherapy

Conflict of interest statement

T. Magnes, A. Egle, R. Greil and T. Melchardt declare that they have no competing interests.

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