Chemotherapy for recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancers
Chemotherapy is the only option of treatment for most patients presenting with a recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The triple association of cisplatin, 5-fluorouracile, and cetuximab is still the current standard for fit patients. Other schemes are currently being compared with this protocol in ongoing trials and the association of cisplatin, docetaxel, and cetuximab appears to be the most efficient. The human papilloma virus is very likely a favorable prognostic factor. Immunotherapy with nivolumab or pembrolizumab is now a new standard of treatment in second line after yielding an improvement in overall survival, but predictive markers of efficacy are needed to refine the selection of patients. The combination of paclitaxel and buparlisib appears to be promising.