Low dose immunotherapy helpful against head & neck cancers: Bengaluru docs

Bengaluru: Low dose immunotherapy can be a hope for patients with head and neck cancer by reducing tumours and side effects, according to a pilot study led by doctors at a private hospital here.

The successful pilot study on Low Dose Immunotherapy Nivolumab with neoadjuvant chemotherapy has demonstrated remarkable efficacy and is highly cost-effective, providing an economical therapy option without additional side effects, said doctors at Healthcare Global Cancer Hospital (HCG) Bengaluru on Wednesday.

“Cancer is fast becoming a chronic disease, and a sea change has occurred in how we stage cancer as we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to
treatment,” said Dr B S Ajaikumar, Executive Chairman of HCG, in a statement.

“This study has the potential to be a game-changer in the sphere of head and neck cancer treatment,” he added.

HCG studied twelve patients of the age group 54 to 76 who experienced significant tumour reduction of over 90 per cent, providing an economical
and side-effect-free therapy through low-dose immunotherapy.

During the study, patients were administered with 40 mg doses every two weeks, as opposed to the full dose of 3 mg per kg of body weight with
standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy, combined with low-dose Nivolumab immunotherapy.

“This study presents a cost-effective solution without compromising the quality of care. This approach not only delivers promising clinical results
but also in a manner that is highly economical for patients,” said Dr Satheesh C T, Consultant – Medical and Hemato Oncology, Director of
Clinical Trials, HCG Cancer Hospital Bangalore.

Head and neck cancer typically consists of anatomical sub sites like tongue, mouth, other parts of the pharynx like oropharynx, nasopharynx,
hypopharynx, salivary glands, nasal cavity, larynx (voice box), etc.

It is a global health issue, comprising 4.5 per cent of total worldwide cancer cases with a mortality rate of 4.6 per cent. The burden is
exceptionally high in Asia.

Moreover, India reports nearly 35 per cent of all cancer cases among individuals aged 40-60.

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