Molecular biology of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: relevance and therapeutic implications

Sandra Schmitz, Jean-Pascal Machiels
2010 Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy  
More than 90% of all head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. Despite advances in the management of patients with this disease, the survival rate has not been significantly improved. Several mechanisms of carcinogenesis have been elucidated and molecular targeted agents seem to be promising therapeutic tools. Cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody inhibitor of the EGF receptor, improves survival rates in association with radiotherapy in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
more » ... SCCHN) or in palliative disease, and is nowadays the only targeted agent approved in this indication. Other targeted agents are also clinically relevant to the treatment of different malignancies, including SCCHN. This article focuses on the major molecular pathways implicated in SCCHN carcinogenesis and provides an overview of their therapeutic implications. KEYWORDS: angiogenesis • clinical implications • epidermal growth factor • hepatocyte growth factor • insulin-like growth factor • molecular pathways • risk factors • squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck • targeted therapy Molecular biology of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: relevance and therapeutic implications
doi:10.1586/era.10.115 pmid:20836682 fatcat:urqal4d6xncetbcwh6h6bsdkou