Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month: 2021 Immunotherapy Research Updates

CRI Fellow William H. Hudson, PhD, and colleagues at Emory University are exploring the targeting specificity of the immune system’s B cells within HPV-positive head and neck cancer tumors. This work is not only helping to deepen our understanding of this type of immune response, but also suggests that tumor-infiltrating B cells could be harnessed for the development of new treatments. He’s one of the many scientists moving immunotherapy beyond current T cell-based approaches to other components of the immune system to effectively fight cancer.

This April for Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, we look at new research, new treatments, and how we’re working toward a future immune to head and neck cancer. 

Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Landscape Update

At the 2020 CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit, Dr. Trisha Wise-Draper of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center discussed what patients with head and neck cancer need to know about immunotherapy and answered audience questions about clinical trials, side effects, duration of treatment, and more.

Oral Cancer Survivor

In June 2015, Rikki Rockett visited his primary care doctor with a sore throat. His doctor found a small tumor at the base of his tongue. After failing to respond to traditional treatment, Rikki enrolled in a clinical trial of pembrolizumab (Keytruda). He responded immediately and, today, remains cancer-free.

Scientist Spotlight 

CRI Lloyd J. Old STAR Joshua D. Brody, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is investigating a therapeutic cancer vaccine approach—known as in situ vaccination, or ISV—that induces anti-tumor immunity at the tumor site and can also cause regression of tumors throughout the body. He is currently testing this approach in breast cancer, head and neck cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.

Discover ISV Research 

Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer Information Updated

On June 16, 2020, the U.S. FDA approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda), a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, to treat patients whose advanced solid cancers—including head and neck cancer—have a high tumor mutational burden (TMB-H) and have proven resistant to available treatments. As the research and treatment landscape evolves, we keep our information up to date.

VIEW Head and Neck Cancer UPDATE

Find a Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trial

A variety of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. Help speed the development of potentially lifesaving drugs. Discover trials for which you or a loved one may be eligible with the CRI Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder.

FIND A Cancer Clinical TRIAL

Support Head and Neck Cancer Research

CRI Fellow Katie Campbell, PhD, and team at UCLA recently examined the results of a phase 2 clinical trial for pembrolizumab in HPV-unrelated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. They found that the one-year relapse rate in patients with high-risk of recurrence was lower than the historical rate. This Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.

DONATE to cancer research

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