Last updated on February 2018

Window Study of Nivolumab With or Without Ipilimumab in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oral Cavity


Brief description of study

This research study is studying nivolumab, an investigational drug, in combination with ipilimumab, also an investigational drug, as a possible treatment for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the oral cavity.

The following drugs are involved in this study:

  • Nivolumab (Opdivo)
  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy)

Detailed Study Description

This research study is a Phase II clinical trial. Phase II clinical trials test the safety and effectiveness of an investigational intervention to learn whether the intervention works in treating a specific disease. "Investigational" means that the intervention is being studied.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate effectiveness (how well the drug/s work) of Nivolumab or Nivolumab combined with Ipilimumab prior to standard of care surgery.

Nivolumab and Ipilimumab are types of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy works by encouraging the body's own immune system to attack cancer cells. Both nivolumab and Ipilimumab have been demonstrated to activate the immune system to attack cancer cells in laboratory studies and in patients with different types of cancers.

Nivolumab (Opdivo ) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of metastatic melanoma (a type of skin cancer), and specific types of previously treated advanced lung and kidney cancers. Ipilimumab (Yervoy) is approved by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

Because Nivolumab and Ipilimumab help the immune system work in different ways, the combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab was tested in laboratory studies. The data from these studies suggested that giving the two drugs together could be of benefit to patients, and this was indeed found to be the case in patients with melanoma. The combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab is now FDA approved as treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma. However, the use of Nivolumab as well as Ipilimumab alone or in combination for the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer is not approved. Results from clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in patients with head and neck cancer are not available at this time.

In the proposed study, either Nivolumab or the combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab is being tested is being tested prior to surgery to remove cancers of the oral cavity. By stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells, these drugs may cause the cancer to decrease in size prior to surgery and prevent the cancer from coming back.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02919683

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

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Jonathan schoenfeld, MD

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA United States
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