Electrochemotherapy shows potential for head/neck cancer

OncoSec Medical's electrochemotherapy has shown promising results compared to surgery in the treatment of primary and locally recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC), according to a study presented April 20 at the 5th European Conference on Head and Neck Oncology.

The study includes data from 81 patients in a Phase IV study of HNSCC treated with electrochemotherapy. The primary goal of the study was to assess the ability of the OMS electrochemotherapy to control growth or recurrence of the cancer eight months following treatment.

In this interim analysis, local tumor control was achieved in 46/49 (94%) primary tumors and 12/21 (57%) recurrent tumors, the researchers reported. This meant that there was no recurrence of the tumors during the monitoring period -- results on par with the expected outcomes of surgery, according to OncoSec. In addition, the treatment was safe and well-tolerated by this patient population, with no grade three or higher adverse events related to treatment reported during the study, the company noted.

Treated patients showed a mean overall score of 264 at baseline vs. 249 at eight months (p = 0.3412), indicating no significant difference in quality of life following treatment with electrochemotherapy. If the patient had been treated with surgery, the expectation and historical experience would result in a greater degradation of function and quality of life for these patients, according to OncoSec.

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