Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck – Unmet Need – Detailed, Expanded Analysis: Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck (US/EU) 2022

The angiogenesis inhibitor Erbitux, in combination with platinum-based therapy and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), was the standard treatment option for all squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) patients in the first-line recurrent or metastatic setting. The approval of immune checkpoint inhibitors—Keytruda (Merck & Co.) and Opdivo (Bristol-Myers Squibb)—in the first-line setting over the last decade has changed the treatment paradigm for recurrent or metastatic SCCHN patients as monotherapy and/or in combination with platinum + 5-FU. However, there is a strong need for effective therapies in this patient setting. This report provides a detailed analysis of the factors that influence medical oncologists’ prescribing decisions and reviews the unmet needs that novel therapies should confront.


  • What are the treatment drivers and goals in medical oncologists’ prescribing decisions for non-nasopharyngeal SCCHN?
  • How do current therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, perform on key treatment drivers and goals for this patient population?
  • What are the prevailing areas of unmet need and hidden opportunity that drug developers could leverage in the treatment of non-nasopharyngeal SCCHN?
  • What trade-offs across different clinical attributes and price are acceptable to U.S. and European medical oncologists for a hypothetical target product profile for non-nasopharyngeal SCCHN?


Provides quantitative insight into U.S. and European physician perceptions of key treatment drivers and goals and the current level of unmet need for a specific disease. Commercial opportunities are analyzed, and the extent to which emerging therapies may capitalize on these opportunities is evaluated.

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

Primary research: Survey of 60 U.S. and 33 European medical oncologists fielded in December 2021

Key companies: Merck & Co., Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly

Key drugs: Erbitux, Keytruda, Opdivo

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