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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2011, Article ID 540148, 7 pages
Review Article

Chemoprevention of Head and Neck Cancer by Green Tea Extract: EGCG—The Role of EGFR Signaling and “Lipid Raft”

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Kyushu Koseinenkin Hospital, 2-1-1, Kishinoura, Nishiku, Kitakyushu 806-8501, Japan
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashiku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
3Department of Gastroenterology/Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1194, Japan
4Deptartment of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1194, Japan

Received 1 October 2010; Accepted 8 November 2010

Academic Editor: Pankaj Chaturvedi

Copyright © 2011 Muneyuki Masuda et al. 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.


Over the past decade dose-intensified chemo-radiotherapy or molecular targeted therapy has been introduced into the treatments of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) to improve the outcomes of this dismal disease. However, these strategies have revealed only limited efficacy so far. Moreover, the frequent occurrences of second primary tumor further worsen the prognosis of patients. In this context, early detection and chemoprevention appear to be a realistic and effective method to improve the prognosis as well as quality of life in patients with HNSCC. In this short paper, we discuss the potential of green tea extract, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-galate (EGCG) in HNSCC chemoprevention, focusing on two aspects that are provided recently: (1) evidence of clinical efficacy and (2) unique biological effects on “lipid raft” that emerged as an important platform of numerous biophysical functions, for example, receptor tyrosin kinases (RTKs) signalings including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which play critical roles in HNSCC carcinogenesis.