Boosting the Immune Response with the Combination of Electrochemotherapy and Immunotherapy: A New Weapon for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck?

Francesco Longo, Francesco Perri, Francesco Caponigro, Giuseppina Della Vittoria Scarpati, Agostino Guida, Ettore Pavone, Corrado Aversa, Paolo Muto, Mario Giuliano, Franco Ionna, Raffaele Solla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (SCCHN) are not rare malignancies and account for 7% of all solid tumors. Prognosis of SCCHN patients strongly depends on tumor extension, site of onset, and genetics. Advanced disease (recurrent/metastatic) is associated with poor prognosis, with a median overall survival of 13 months. In these patients, immunotherapy may represent an interesting option of treatment, given the good results reached by check-point inhibitors in clinical practice. Nevertheless, only a minor number of patients with advanced disease respond to immunotherapy, and, disease progressions/hyper-progressions are common. The latter could be a very difficult issue, especially in patients having a wide and highly symptomatic head/neck mass. Given the potentiality to boost the immune response of some local modalities, such as electrochemotherapy, a possible future approach may take into account the combination of electrochemotherapy and immunotherapy to treat patients affected by SCCHN, suffering from symptomatic lesions that need rapid debulking.
Keywords: electrochemotherapy; immunotherapy; squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; abscopal effect; immunologic cell deat
Original languageEnglish
Article number2781
Number of pages11
JournalCancers
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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