Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck | Unmet Need | US/EU | 2019

Treatment of recurrent or metastatic non-nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) has remained relatively unchanged in the past ten years, and Erbitux-based regimens continue to be the mainstay of treatment. However, the recent (2016 / 2018) approvals of immune checkpoint inhibitors are transforming the treatment algorithm; Merck & Co.’s Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo have become good therapeutic options for previously treated recurrent or metastatic SCCHN. Despite the FDA’s approval in June 2019 to expand Keytruda’s label to recurrent or metastatic SCCHN with or without chemotherapy, more-efficacious first-line treatment options are needed.


  • What are the treatment drivers and goals in medical oncologists’ prescribing decisions for SCCHN? What are the hidden opportunities that developers could leverage?
  • How do key current therapies for SCCHN, such as Keytruda and Opdivo, perform on key clinical attributes for this patient population?
  • What are the greatest unmet needs and most attractive opportunities in treatingtheSCCHN patient population?
  • What trade-offs are surveyed oncologists willing to make across key drug attributes and price when considering hypothetical target product profiles for SCCHN?


Unmet Need supports clinical development decisions by identifying key attributes and assessing areas of unmet need for a specific disease or subpopulation. Based on surveys with U.S. and European physicians, this report provides insight into key treatment drivers and goals, the performance of current therapies, and the remaining commercial opportunities. Two market scenarios are profiled in detail by DRG experts, and additional customized market scenarios can be evaluated with the corresponding TPP simulator.

Markets covered: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany

Primary research: Survey of 60 U.S. and 30 European medical oncologists

Key drugs: Erbitux, Keytruda, Opdivo

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