An immunotherapy medication is now approved to another type of cancer treatment.
On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved expanding the use of the immunotherapeutic nivolumab (Opdivo) to include the treatment of certain patients with head and neck cancer. Specifically, the FDA approved nivolumab for treating patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) that has progressed despite treatment with a platinum-containing chemotherapeutic.
With this decision, nivolumab is now approved for treating five types of cancer.
Most head and neck cancers begin in squamous cells—flat cells that form the surface of the skin and line moist surfaces of the body like the lungs and digestive tract—and are referred to as SCCHNs.Head and neck cancer is actually a group of cancers that includes cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, salivary glands, and nose/nasal passages. The National Cancer Institute estimates that it accounts for about 3 percent of all new cases of cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. In 2016, this is predicted to translate into about 50,000 new cases of head and neck cancer.
Read Full Article: Use of Immunotherapeutic Expanded to Fifth Type of Cancer – Insight
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