The role of epidermal growth factor receptor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Curr Oncol Rep. 2003 Mar;5(2):140-6. doi: 10.1007/s11912-003-0101-z.


Growth factor receptors play a crucial role in the cell proliferation pathways involved in the development of cancer. One such receptor, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), is upregulated in many types of human tumors, particularly head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). EGFR overexpression in HNSCC has been the basis for investigation of therapeutic strategies that target EGFR. EGFR-blocking methods under evaluation involve immunotoxins, monoclonal antibodies, EGFR-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and antisense approaches. These molecular targeting tactics have produced a number of agents that are currently in various stages of preclinical investigation, along with clinical trials to assess their potential as anticancer treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • ErbB Receptors / therapeutic use*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Immunotoxins
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases