STAT signaling in head and neck cancer

Oncogene. 2000 May 15;19(21):2489-95. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1203483.


The upper aerodigestive tract is predisposed to the formation of multiple primary tumors due to field cancerization. TGF-alpha/EGFR autocrine signaling appears to play an important role in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and upregulation of TGF-alpha and EGFR is an early event in SCCHN carcinogenesis. STAT proteins, including Stat3, are activated by TGF-alpha and EGFR and strategies that downmodulate TGF-alpha or EGFR inhibit SCCHN cell proliferation and abrogate Stat3 activation. Targeting Stat3 leads to SCCHN growth inhibition, increases apoptosis and a downmodulation of Bcl-xL expression in head and neck tumors. These studies support the role of Stat3 as an oncogene, which is activated early in SCCHN carcinogenesis, and efforts to understand EGFR-mediated Stat3 signaling could facilitate novel strategies that will interfere with this growth promoting pathway. Oncogene (2000).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Cell Division
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • RNA, Antisense / genetics
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / physiology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Antisense
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • ErbB Receptors