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Volume 8 (2008), Pages 909-919

EGFR-Targeted Therapeutics: Focus on SCCHN and NSCLC

1Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
2Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
3Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, USA

Received 29 July 2008; Revised 25 August 2008; Accepted 21 September 2008

Academic Editor: Marc Lippman

Copyright © 2008 Martin Sattler et al.


Cancers of the head and neck and of the lung are associated with high morbidity and mortality rates that have remained relatively unchanged for more than 3 decades, despite advances in radiation therapies and chemotherapies over the same time. It is generally believed that the efficacy of standard therapy regimens has reached a plateau for these cancers. The discovery of specific aberrant molecular signaling pathways in solid tumors has afforded promising new directions for newer “targeted” cancer therapeutics. Among these, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) shows promise as a therapeutic target. Clinical studies have demonstrated that this targeted approach provides clinically meaningful benefit. This article reviews EGFR-targeted therapies in use and in development, with a focus on the role of EGFR in the pathophysiology of head and neck and lung cancer, and new concepts being investigated to improve outcomes with these agents.