Back to Journals » Biologics: Targets and Therapy » Volume 4

The contribution of cetuximab in the treatment of recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck cancer

Authors Tejani MA, Cohen RB, Mehra R

Published 28 June 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 173—185

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BTT.S3050

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Mohamedtaki A Tejani, Roger B Cohen, Ranee Mehra

Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Abstract: Recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) continues to be a source of significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Agents that target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have demonstrated beneficial effects in this setting. Cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody against the EGFR, improves locoregional control and overall survival when used as a radiation sensitizer in patients with locoregionally advanced HNSCC undergoing definitive radiation therapy with curative intent. Cetuximab is also active as monotherapy in patients whose cancer has progressed on platinum-containing therapy. In the first-line setting for incurable HNSCC, cetuximab added to platinum-based chemotherapy significantly improves overall survival compared with standard chemotherapy alone. These positive results have had a significant impact on the standard of care for advanced HNSCC. In this review, we will discuss the mechanism of action, clinical data and common toxicities that pertain to the use of cetuximab in the treatment of advanced incurable HNSCC.

Keywords: cetuximab, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, epidermal growth factor receptor

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]