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Review of cetuximab in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Authors Marco Merlano, Marcella Occelli

Published 15 November 2007 Volume 2007:3(5) Pages 871—876

Marco Merlano1, Marcella Occelli2

1Department of Clinical Oncology, 2Medical Oncology, S. Croce General Hospital, Cuneo, Italy

Abstract: Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody able to inhibit and to degrade the transmembrane receptor Her-1, also known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The inhibition of EGFR is of major importance since the receptor influences many important tumor cell activities including tumor growth, neo-angiogenesis, inhibition of the apoptotic response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Available experimental data suggest that cetuximab may enhance chemotherapy and radiotherapy activity, reverse resistance to some anticancer drugs and has itself anticancer activity. Early clinical data support experimental results. This paper reviews the published experiences on cetuximab in the treatment of advanced head and neck cancer and points out the future objectives of the clinical research on this drug.

Keywords: cetuximab, head and neck neoplasms

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