Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is one of the six most frequently diagnosed malignancies worldwide. Second/third primary tumors are the main threats to long-term survival once there has been successful treatment of early-stage SCCHN. The anatomy of the head is divided into sites and subsites; tumors at each site have a particular epidemiology, anatomy, natural history, and therapeutic approach. A large number of SCCHN cases arise due to persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Two vaccines against HPV have been approved in the major markets: Merck & Co.’s Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix; however vaccination rates in most markets covered in this report are low with the exception of the United Kingdom. There is currently only one targeted therapy approved for the treatment of SCCHN: cetuximab (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Eli Lilly/Merck KGaA’s Erbitux). Using primary research conducted with expert U.S. and European SCCHN specialists, this report provides a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape and market opportunity for SCCHN. It includes a comprehensive analysis of patient populations, current therapies and medical practices, unmet needs, and emerging therapies.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • SCCHN arises due to several risk factors, such as persistent HPV infection, diet, and environmental factors. What is the size of the U.S. and EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) SCCHN patient population, and how will it change over the next ten years? What are the key SCCHN patient populations?

  • The management and treatment of SCCHN patients can be highly complex because tumor size, location, and growth rate dictate the involvement of certain medical experts and treatment options may involve surgery, radiation treatment, and/or chemotherapy. What type of practitioner assumes care of SCCHN cancer patients, and does it differ depending on the stage of the disease and/or the geographical market? How are physicians currently managing treatment of SCCHN patients?

  • Cetuximab is currently the only targeted therapy approved for treatment of SCCHN. How is cetuximab incorporated into the current treatment algorithm of SCCHN, and does it differ among the markets under study? Do we forecast that this algorithm will change during our ten year forecast period (2013-2023)? What therapies in clinical development, if any, pose a threat to cetuximab’s current positioning?

  • We identified several unmet needs, challenges, and opportunities in the SCCHN landscape. What are the key unmet needs in the treatment of SCCHN according to interviewed thought leaders? Is it likely that these unmet needs will be addressed or partially addressed during our forecast period?

  • There are several different drug classes in late-stage clinical development for SCCHN, such as immunotherapies, vaccines, and small-molecule inhibitors. What do interviewed experts think about the prospects of these emerging therapies? Which agents, if any, do we forecast will launch for treatment of SCCHN, and how will they impact the SCCHN landscape?


Market covered: United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Primary research: Eight country-specific interviews with thought-leaders (medical oncologists).

Epidemiology: Diagnosed incident cases of SCCHN by stage of disease. Clinical- and market-relevant drug-treatable populations.

Emerging Therapies: 16.

Author(s): Kirsha Naicker, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Michael Hughes, M.Sc., Ph.D.

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