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01-03-2016 | Head and neck cancers | Book chapter | Article

8. Emerging Molecular Targets in the Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Authors: DDS, PhD, MPH Blake M. Warner, MD Jennifer Grandis

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Abstract

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains an important public health problem in the USA and worldwide. Existing treatments involve surgery for early cancers and a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, depending on the disease, and for more advanced cancers. In 2006, cetuximab was approved for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic (R/M) HNSCC, yet response rates remain modest. A diverse cohort of new targets is emerging for the treatment of HNSCC. Broadly, these targets can be classified as inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinase pathway signaling within malignant epithelial cell signaling, modifiers/inhibitors of cell cycle machinery, or modulators of the tumor microenvironment. Herein we describe the basic molecular biology of each target, supporting preclinical evidence, and published and ongoing clinical trials in the treatment of HNSCC.

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