Long-term Outcomes with Nivolumab as First-line Treatment in Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer: Subgroup Analysis of CheckMate 141

Oncologist. 2022 Mar 4;27(2):e194-e198. doi: 10.1093/oncolo/oyab036.


In the randomized, phase 3 CheckMate 141 trial, nivolumab significantly improved overall survival (OS) versus investigator's choice (IC) of chemotherapy at primary analysis among 361 patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (R/M SCCHN) post-platinum therapy. Nivolumab versus IC as first-line treatment also improved OS among patients with R/M SCCHN who progressed on platinum therapy for locally advanced disease in the adjuvant or primary setting at 1-year follow-up. In the present long-term follow-up analysis of patients receiving first-line treatment, OS benefit with nivolumab (n = 50) versus IC (n = 26) was maintained (median: 7.7 months versus 3.3 months; hazard ratio: 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.94) at 2 years. No new safety signals were identified. In summary, this long-term 2-year analysis of CheckMate 141 supports the use of nivolumab as a first-line treatment for patients with platinum-refractory R/M SCCHN.

Keywords: clinical trial; immunotherapy; nivolumab; squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Nivolumab* / therapeutic use
  • Platinum / therapeutic use
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck / drug therapy


  • Nivolumab
  • Platinum