BURLINGTON, Mass., March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds in a survey of U.S. and European oncologists, that in contrast to many other oncology indications, incidence of grade 3/4 toxicities and quality of life (QOL) are highly important attributes for making prescribing decisions in recurrent or metastatic non-nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).

Current treatment approaches are aggressive and can have long-lasting impact on a patient's physiological and sensory function, and often result in severe and frequent side effects. The importance of QOL assessments in SCCHN clinical practice and in trial protocols is increasingly being recognized. The high value that surveyed oncologists place on the incidence of grade 3/4 toxicities and QOL is also evident in our conjoint analysis.

In one scenario where we test the sensitivity to grade 3/4 toxicities and QOL, we find that prescribing likelihood is higher for target product profiles (TPPs) that offer a lower incidence of grade 3/4 toxicities and improved QOL. It is striking that surveyed oncologists are willing to trade-off efficacy improvements and accept a therapy with the same efficacy as the current first-line standard of care (EXTREME regimen), even at higher price points, if there are improvements in grade 3/4 toxicities and QOL.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Jennifer Bamford:

  • "The FDA approval of two PD-1 inhibitors, Opdivo and Keytruda, in 2016 are undoubtedly revolutionizing the treatment paradigm for recurrent or metastatic SCCHN patients previously treated with platinum-containing chemotherapy and DRG's research is indicative of these drugs being at the forefront of surveyed oncologists' minds."
  • "Opdivo and Keytruda will address the unmet needs for more efficacious, safer and more tolerable therapies in this indication, at least in part, but there is still room for improvement and much for developers to capitalize upon. Not least, while Opdivo has shown overall survival benefit in the Phase III CheckMate-141 trial the secondary end point of PFS was not met, thus leaving an opportunity for an agent that improves both OS and PFS to penetrate the market."

Other key findings from the Unmet Need report for Recurrent or metastatic non-nasopharyngeal SCCHN:

  • Our derived importance analysis reveals that OS holds a lower derived importance score than progression free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), duration of response, and QOL; therefore, while surveyed oncologists recognize the importance of OS, there are other efficacy attributes that are key influencers of treatment decisions.
  • Frequency of administration is a hidden drug development opportunity, according to to our analysis. Frequent administration of therapy is inconvenient for patients and negatively impacts QOL. While the market impact of focusing on this opportunity may be be low, it could be an important differentiator for emerging therapies with comparable efficacy and tolerability profiles.
  • Surveyed oncologists from the United States perceive the 2016 PD-1 inhibitors entrants, Opdivo and Keytruda, to outperform all other current regimens. Given that the efficacy data for Opdivo and Keytruda are not as numerically high as those of the first-line EXTREME regimen (these agents were evaluated for heavily pretreated patients), our findings are revealing.

To request a demo of this report, please visit our website or email questions@teamdrg.com. To follow DRG experts, and stay up to date on their analysis of the latest industry news, connect with DRG on Twitter @DRGInsights and on LinkedIn and the DRG Blog.

About Decision Resources Group
DRG, a subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises Ltd., is the premier source for global healthcare data and market intelligence. A trusted partner for over 20 years, DRG helps companies competing in the global healthcare industry make informed business decisions. Organizations committed to the developing and delivering life-changing therapies to patients rely on DRG's in-house team of expert healthcare analysts, data scientists, and consultants for critical guidance. DRG products and services, built on extensive data assets and delivered by experts, empower organizations to succeed in complex healthcare markets.

To learn more, visit www.decisionresourcesgroup.com.

Media contact:
Decision Resources Group
Whitney Goldstein

SOURCE Decision Resources Group

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