Novel IAP Drug Shows Promise in Head and Neck Cancer

An investigational inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) extended survival in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) when added to standard chemoradiotherapy, according to an updated analysis of a phase II study.

With close to 100 patients, all of whom received cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy, median overall survival (OS) was not reached with xevinapant versus 36.1 months with placebo (HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.26-0.92, P=0.0261), with 3-year OS rates of 66% versus 51%, reported Jean Bourhis, MD, of Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland.

“This is probably the first time in 30 years that such an overall survival benefit is seen when compared to cisplatin-radiotherapy in this type of cancer,” he said during a presentation at the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) virtual congress.

As was previously reported, the trial met its primary endpoint, with oral xevinapant significantly increasing the rate of locoregional control at 18 months compared

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