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Immunotherapy in head and neck cancer: aiming at EXTREME precision

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, June 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (64th percentile)

Mentioned by

7 tweeters
1 Facebook page


55 Dimensions

Readers on

106 Mendeley
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Immunotherapy in head and neck cancer: aiming at EXTREME precision
Published in
BMC Medicine, June 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12916-017-0879-4
Pubmed ID

Petr Szturz, Jan B. Vermorken


Locoregionally advanced, recurrent, and metastatic squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN) remain difficult to treat disease entities, in which systemic treatment often forms an integral part of their management. Immunotherapy is based on functional restoration of the host immune system, helping to counteract various tumour evasion strategies. Broadly, immunotherapeutic approaches encompass tumour-specific antibodies, cancer vaccines, cytokines, adoptive T-cell transfer, and immune-modulating agents. Until 2015, the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor cetuximab, a tumour-specific antibody, represented the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved targeted therapy for SCCHN. Subsequently, in 2016, the results from two prospective trials employing the immune-modulating antibodies nivolumab and pembrolizumab heralded a new era of anticancer treatment. Nivolumab and pembrolizumab are monoclonal antibodies against programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), an 'immune checkpoint' receptor. Found on the surface of T-cells, PD-1 negatively regulates their activation and can thus be exploited during carcinogenesis. The second-line phase III trial CheckMate-141 randomly assigned 361 patients with recurrent and/or metastatic SCCHN in a 2:1 ratio to receive either single-agent nivolumab (3 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks) or standard monotherapy (methotrexate, docetaxel, or cetuximab). Nivolumab improved the objective response rate (13% versus 6%) and median overall survival (OS; 7.5 versus 5.1 months, p = 0.01) without increasing toxicity. Exploratory biomarker analyses indicated that patients treated with nivolumab had longer OS than those given standard therapy, regardless of tumour PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) expression or p16 status. In the non-randomised, multicohort phase Ib study KEYNOTE-012, treatment with pembrolizumab achieved comparable results. Importantly, most of the responding patients had a long-lasting response. Based on recent results, nivolumab and pembrolizumab have been approved by the FDA as new standard-of-care options for the second-line treatment of recurrent and/or metastatic SCCHN. Generally well tolerated, these novel drugs demonstrated modest response rates, with tumour regressions usually being durable, even in platinum-resistant/refractory cases. The next step will be to extend the observed benefit to first-line treatment, currently dominated by the EXTREME regimen (platinum/5-fluorouracil/cetuximab), and to the locoregionally advanced setting, where concurrent chemoradiation with cisplatin is standard. Regimens combining immunotherapy with other modalities will probably further improve outcomes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 106 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 106 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 15 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 12 11%
Student > Postgraduate 12 11%
Student > Master 12 11%
Other 9 8%
Other 25 24%
Unknown 21 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 44 42%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 9 8%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 8 8%
Nursing and Health Professions 4 4%
Engineering 2 2%
Other 12 11%
Unknown 27 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 September 2017.
All research outputs
of 16,669,654 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medicine
of 2,637 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 275,620 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,669,654 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 68th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,637 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 38.1. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 275,620 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 64% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them