BACKGROUND: The present study evaluated the 2-year survival of the Asian population in the CheckMate 141 trial. METHODS: The CheckMate 141 trial included patients with recurrent or metastatic (R/M) squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). In the present study, 34 Asian patients (nivolumab group: 23 patients; investigator's choice of therapy [IC] group: 11 patients) were analyzed. RESULTS: The median overall survival (OS) was 12.1 and 6.2 months for the nivolumab and IC groups, respectively. The estimated 2-year OS rates were 22.7% and 0% for the nivolumab and IC groups, respectively. In the nivolumab group, the patients with any treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs), including skin-related disorders, showed better OS than the patients without any TRAEs. CONCLUSIONS: Nivolumab demonstrated prolonged OS benefits in the Asian population with platinum-refractory R/M SCCHN and a favorable safety profile. TRAEs, including skin-related disorders, may be favorable prognostic factors for nivolumab efficacy. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02105636.