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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 986725, 9 pages
Review Article

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

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Ohtawara Red Cross Hospital, 2-7-3, Sumiyoshi-cho, Ohtawara City, Tochigi 324-8686, Japan
2National Institute of Sensory Organs, National Tokyo Medical Center, 2-5-1, Higashigaoka, Meguro, Tokyo 152-8902, Japan
3Department of Oral Function and Molecular Biology, Ohu University, 31-1, Mitsumido, Tomita-machi, Koriyama City, Fukushima 963-8611, Japan

Received 25 November 2011; Accepted 22 January 2012

Academic Editor: M. Roach

Copyright © 2012 Yuh Baba 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.


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.