Targeting the EGFR and Immune Pathways in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck (SCCHN): Forging a New Alliance

Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Nov;18(11):1909-1915. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-19-0214.


Despite the recent approval of immune-modulatory agents, EGFR inhibition continues to be a cornerstone in the management of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) namely in combination with radiotherapy in the treatment of locoregionally advanced disease as well as in platinum-sensitive recurrent or metastatic disease in the first-line setting. Importantly, recent evidence has emerged supporting also an immune-modulatory effect of EGFR inhibition, and interest has now focused on utilizing these effects in the current treatment approaches for SCCHN. In this report, we review the rationale and evidence supporting the forging of this new alliance in optimizing the treatment of SCCHN.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / therapeutic use*
  • Cetuximab / pharmacology
  • Cetuximab / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck / drug therapy*
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Cetuximab