Head and neck cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with squamous cell carcinomas accounting for most head and neck cancers.
The relapsed and/or refractory head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patient population has an overall survival of approximately six to eight months and existing therapeutic options, including new therapies such as immunotherapy, typically show a response rate in the range of 10-20 percent.
Researchers have identified genetic mutations in people with HNSCC. However, it is not yet clear what role most of these mutations play in the development or progression of cancer.
HRAS is a gene implicated in the development and progression of HNSCC. HRAS is a proto-oncogene, which is a normal gene that can become an oncogene due to mutations or increased expression. HRAS is mutated and/or over-expressed in certain HNSCC tumors.
HRAS mutant HNSCC is a disease of high unmet need. Overall response rates for the three therapies approved for treatment of HNSCC in the second liner range from 13-16%, with progression-free survival of approximately two months.