Treatment options for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) include either surgical resection followed by radiation or chemoradiation, or definitive chemoradiation for which single-agent cisplatin is the best studied and established. The increasing understanding of the molecular biology of SCCHN has led to an interest in the development of targeted therapies. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is over-expressed in nearly 80-90% of cases of SCCHN and correlates with poor prognosis and resistance to radiation. Preclinical evidence showed that blocking EGFR restores radiation sensitivity and enhances cytotoxicity. This finding led to clinical trials evaluating this class of agents and the approval of cetuximab in combination with radiation for the treatment of locally advanced SCCHN. This review is focused on the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies and their role either with radiotherapy or chemoradiation in unresectable LA SCCHN.
- Anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies
- Locally advanced head and neck cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology