Molecular Genetics of Head and Neck Cancer

Lyon L. Gleich, MD, Frank N. Salamone, MD


Cancer Control. 2002;9(5) 

In This Article

Biologic Therapy

The role of EGFR in head and neck cancer progression has led to the development of drugs to block this receptor. In a study of 16 patients with stage III and IV head and neck cancer, EGFR blocking antibody was combined with radiation therapy, and a complete response was seen in 13 patients.[106] This study was not randomized, so the true efficacy of the antibody cannot be assessed. EGFR blocking antibody in combination with cisplatin was also used in 12 patients with incurable recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer. A complete response was achieved in 2 patients and a partial response in 4.[107] Again, due to the combination with cisplatin the true efficacy of the antibody cannot be assessed. Currently there are ongoing trials of EGFR blocking antibody.


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