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The MDT of Union Hospital has Made New Progress in the Treatment of HNSCC

Time:Jul 19, 2022

The Head and Neck Cancer MDT (multidisciplinary team) of Union Hospital has made new progress in the clinical research of neoadjuvant chemotherapy combined with PD-1 inhibitor in patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus camrelizumab showed higher objective response rate (ORR) of tumor, reduced damage of important organs in patients with HNSCC such as larynx, mouth, oropharynx and other vital sites, providing a new treatment option for them.


HNSCC is the ninth most common cancer in China, the treatment is very complicated. Professor Yang Kunyu, Director of the Clinical Oncology Department, introduced that for patients with locally advanced HNSCC, the treatment strategies recommended by international and domestic guidelines are radical surgery combined with postoperative radiotherapy, or concurrent radical surgery in combination with chemoradiotherapy. The 5-year survival rate is about 40%, and the treatment effect is not satisfactory. What’s more, after radical surgery, the removal of vital organs such as the tongue, pharynx and larynx often results in severe dysfunction and poor quality of life. Head and Neck Cancer MDT of Union Hospital consists of experts from Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Stomatology, Oncology Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy, Radiology and Pathology. The team discussed the conditions of each patient with HNSCC in the hospital and formulated treatment plans. The eligible patients received three courses of neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy before radical surgery. Neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy is designed to reduce the volume of the tumor rapidly or even make it disappear, so that it would be easier to remove the tumor site completely, and to clear microscopic metastatic lesions inside the body of patients.

Research results show that neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy has better efficacy, with an ORR of 96% (historical data 60-70%), a pathological complete response (pCR) rate of 37% (historical data<<10%), a major pathological response (MPR) (pathologic>90% response) rate of 74%. Its imaging and pathological response rates are much higher than historical treatment methods. Side effects are well controlled and 95% of patients are in continuous remission to date. The results of this study have been recently published in "Clinical Cancer Research", recognized by international peers.