Present and Future of EGFR Inhibitors for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer

J Oncol. 2012;2012:986725. doi: 10.1155/2012/986725. Epub 2012 Mar 26.


Although EGFR is expressed at high levels in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) and mutations are extremely rare, monotherapy with EGFR inhibitors has shown limited success. The PI3kinase/Akt pathway is responsible for cellular survival, and inhibition of phosphatidylinositol (PI) synthesis has antiproliferative, anti-invasive, and antiangiogenesis effects on HNSCC. Molecular crosstalk has been observed between EGFR and IGF1R signaling through the PI3kinase/Akt pathway in HNSCC, as has molecular crosstalk between the NFκB and STAT3 signaling pathways. Therefore, the combination of an EGFR antagonist with an agent that inhibits the activation of both Akt and NFκB may overcome resistance to EGFR antagonists in HNSCC.