Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in oral squamous cell carcinomas: overexpression, localization and therapeutic implications

Indian J Dent Res. Jan-Mar 1997;8(1):9-18.


Dysregulation of oncogenes, overproduction of growth factor receptors and their ligands, and loss of function of tumor suppressor genes are thought to contribute to multi-step process of carcinogenesis. It is suggested that proliferation markers like epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) actively participate in oral carcinogenesis, during initiation or promotion stage of the process. Potent mitogens such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-a) mediate their growth responses through the common transmembrane glycoprotein receptor, EGFR. Current data suggest that a good number of epithelial cancers including oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) overexpress EGFR and that monoclonal antibodies directed against EGFR may provide valuable information that would be useful in planning proper palliative treatment of certain premalignant and malignant lesions derived from squamous epithelium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • ErbB Receptors / immunology
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / therapy


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • ErbB Receptors