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Novel therapeutic approaches to squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck using biologically targeted agents

Author(s): Harrington K | Kazi R | Bhide S | Newbold K | Nutting C

Journal: Indian Journal of Cancer
ISSN 0019-509X

Volume: 47;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 248;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Biologically targeted agents | epidermal growth factor receptor | EGFR inhibitors | tyrosine kinase inhibitors

Despite significant improvements in the treatment and outcomes of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) that have resulted from technological advances in radiation delivery and the use of cytotoxic chemotherapy, there is still a pressing need for novel therapies. In the last two decades, our understanding of the molecular biological basis of cancer has provided us with a new framework for developing specific targeted therapies. It is likely that the next wave of developments will include active small molecule inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) (and other members of the c-erbB family of receptors), antiangiogenic agents, and drugs that can increase proapoptotic signaling in cancer cells. As with cetuximab, it is most likely that these new agents will first find a niche in the context of combination regimens with standard anticancer therapeutics.
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