Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is over expressed in 80 to 90% of squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC) and plays a role in its pathogenesis and clinical course. Several EGFR-targeted therapies have therefore been developed and tried in clinical trials in the past decade resulting in the approval of cetuximab, an EGFR monoclonal antibody as a treatment agent for HNSCC by US FDA. Even though, EGFR monotherapy so far does not have a significant effect, cetuximab in combination with radiotherapy has enhanced the overall effect of radiotherapy in these patients without enhancing significantly the overall toxicity. Hence, understanding the mechanisms of resistance and exploring new combination treatments with EGFR targeting agents are important.
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