Immunotherapy and Biomarker Testing in Recurrent and Metastatic Head and Neck Cancers: ASCO Guideline

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology




PURPOSE: To provide evidence-based recommendations for practicing physicians and other health care providers on immunotherapy and biomarker testing for head and neck cancers. METHODS: ASCO convened an Expert Panel of medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, pathology, and patient advocacy experts to conduct a literature search, including systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, and prospective and retrospective comparative observational studies published from 2000 through 2022. Outcomes of interest included survival, overall response, and locoregional control. Expert Panel members used available evidence and informal consensus to develop evidence-based guideline recommendations. RESULTS: The literature search identified 28 relevant studies to inform the evidence base for this guideline. RECOMMENDATIONS: When possible, evidence-based recommendations were developed to address biomarker testing, first-line treatment regimens based on programmed death ligand-1 scores, immunotherapy in platinum-refractory recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, immunotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and radiation therapy in combination with immunotherapy for treatment of local recurrence.Additional information is available at