jcortney Member Posts: 503
edited November 2016 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

I'm sure some, if not all of you know that the FDA approved Optivo for H&N.  I didn't see an article on the board so i thought I'd post.  They are in the process of commercializing it (pricing it out) and should be available in early December.  Here's one article on it.




Take care,



  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member
    edited November 2016 #2


    Thanks for the post.

    Some of this stuff appears very promising.


  • Laralyn
    Laralyn Member Posts: 532
    I'm on Opdivo now

    I'm in a clinical trial right now that combines Opdivo and a new agent called epcadostat. One thing to keep in mind: Opdivo alone seems to only be effective in around 20% of patients--the other 80% show no response to it at all. That skews the overall stats. The survival time, for example, is a combination of that 20% for whom it worked, and all the 80% for whom it did absolutely nothing. 

    Combination trials usually have higher response rates. It only goes up to around 30% or so, though. They're doing a lot of research now into how to better predict who will respond, and they're also developing immunotherapy drugs that operate in different ways. We'll see a ton of development in this area over the next several years.

    I'm lucky enough to be in the success percentage. My PET scan after only three treatments showed the nodules and lesions were gone from both lungs (where it had metastasized) with only two lymph nodes lighting up. We'll see how those are doing when I get my next scan in a couple weeks. I have quite a few side effects, though--I seem to have hit some kind of immunotherapy bingo.

    Opdivo doesn't usually work forever because the cancer mutates. Some patients stop responding after 3 months, more after 9 months. A few of the patients from the original trials are still stable on Opdivo after 2-3 years! I'm hoping to be in that latter group... we'll see! :-)

    Right now, Opdivo is only approved for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer... so I hope no one else here ever has to take it!

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    edited November 2016 #4


    It sounds great just hope I never need to try it,