Promising newer molecular-targeted therapies in head and neck cancer

Lili X. Wang, Mark Agulnik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the fifth most common cancer in the world. In the US alone, HNC accounts for 3-5% of all malignancies annually. Squamous cell carcinoma arising from the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract is the most common type of HNC and accounts for 90% of HNC diagnoses. Despite continued advances in the therapeutic options, the disease-free survival, functional outcome, toxicity of therapy and overall survival have remained less than optimal for patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic disease. Therefore, new approaches for the treatment of patients with HNC, particularly patients with advanced stage, are clearly needed. Among the new therapies, molecular-targeted and biological therapies have gained special attention. While clinical trial data support the use of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition in metastatic and locally advanced HNC, numerous trials are seeking to establish a clear role for new therapies targeting EGFR, the receptor for the type I insulin-like growth factor, as well as anti-angiogenesis agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1619
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008


  • Cediranib, therapeutic use
  • Cetuximab, therapeutic use
  • Erlotinib, therapeutic use
  • Gefitinib, therapeutic use
  • Head and neck cancer, treatment
  • Lapatinib, therapeutic use
  • Panitumumab, therapeutic use
  • Research and development
  • Semaxanib, therapeutic use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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