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Targeted therapies for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: Current knowledge and future directions

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    Sandra Schmitz
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    Cancer Center, Department of Medical Oncology and Head and Neck Surgery, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and Institut de Recherche Clinique et Expérimentale (Pole MIRO), Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 10, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
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    Kie Kian Ang
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    Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
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    Jan Vermorken
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    Antwerp University Hospital, Department of Medical Oncology, Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650 Edegem, Belgium
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    Robert Haddad
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    Department of Medical Oncology, Head and Neck Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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    Carlos Suarez
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    Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias Oviedo, Celestino Villamil SN, 33006 Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
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    Gregory T. Wolf
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    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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    Marc Hamoir
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    Cancer Center, Department of Medical Oncology and Head and Neck Surgery, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and Institut de Recherche Clinique et Expérimentale (Pole MIRO), Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 10, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
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  • Jean-Pascal Machiels
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +32 27645470; fax: +32 27645428.
    Affiliations
    Cancer Center, Department of Medical Oncology and Head and Neck Surgery, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and Institut de Recherche Clinique et Expérimentale (Pole MIRO), Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 10, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Tel.: +32 27645470; fax: +32 27645428.
    2 Tel.: +1 713 563 2300; fax: +1 713 563 2331.
    3 Tel.: +32 38 214548; fax: +32 38 251592.
    4 Tel.: +1 617 632 3090; fax: +1 617 632 4448.
    5 Tel.: +34 985 107956; fax: +34 985 108015.
    6 Tel.: +1 734 936 9178.
Published:October 30, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2013.09.007

      Abstract

      Despite progress in the therapeutic management of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), the mortality rate of patients presenting with advanced disease remains high. One approach to improve treatment efficacy is to add novel molecular targeted agents to the classical treatment regimens.
      Monoclonal antibodies targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have shown clinical benefits in palliative and curative settings. However, only a minority of patients presenting with recurrent or metastatic (R/M) SCCHN have meaningful tumor regression with these agents and virtually all who do develop acquired tumor resistance after a few months of treatment. For these reasons, other inhibitors of EGFR or molecules that interfere with known molecular pathways activated in SCCHN are of considerable interest, either as single agents or in combination with other treatment modalities. In this review, we discuss the different molecular therapeutic approaches explored in SCCHN. We also briefly outline new trial designs that could be used to accelerate the investigation of emerging therapeutic agents in this disease.

      Keywords

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