Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 761518, 13 pages
Review Article

The Use of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Monoclonal Antibodies in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Received 9 April 2012; Accepted 3 September 2012

Academic Editor: Missak Haigentz

Copyright © 2012 Jeffery S. Russell and A. Dimitrios Colevas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Targeting of the EGF receptor (EGFR) has become a standard of care in several tumor types. In squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, monoclonal antibodies directed against EGFR have become a regular component of therapy for curative as well as palliative treatment strategies. These agents have anti-tumor efficacy as a single modality and have demonstrated synergistic tumor killing when combined with radiation and/or chemotherapy. While cetuximab has been the primary anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody used in the US, variant anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies have been used in several clinical studies and shown benefit with improved toxicity profiles. Next generation anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies may demonstrate multi-target epitope recognition, enhanced immune cell stimulation, or conjugation with radioisotopes in order to improve clinical outcomes. Identification of the specific patient subset that would optimally benefit from anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies remains an elusive goal.