Moving EGFR Targeted Therapy into the Induction Phase of the Management of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck
Keywords:Cetuximab, chemoimmunotherapy, concurrent chemoradiation, epidermal growth factor receptor, head and neck cancer, Human papilloma virus, induction therapy, organ preservation, radiation therapy, sequential approach.
Many advances in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck have occurred in the past few years. Since the advent of cetuximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against epidermal growth factor receptor, the search for other efficacious targeted therapies has awakened the interest and curiosity of researchers and clinicians. Initially, cetuximab demonstrated effectiveness as single agent in heavily pretreated patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer, and has demonstrated to improve locoregional control and survival when combined with radiotherapy. Thesuccess of cetuximab has transitioned to other settings and with different modalities such as in combination with other conventional cytotoxic agents in the metastatic setting, combined with radiation therapy as part of concurrent treatment, and lately, in combination with other agents in the induction phase of the sequential approach. In this review, we discuss all different modalities in combination with cetuximab and how cetuximab has been incorporated into other clinical settings with only one goal in mind: improve the survival rates of our patients.
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