Affordable Access

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck cancer: its role and treatment implications

BioMed Central
Publication Date
  • Review
  • Medicine


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the ErbB family of receptors. Its stimulation by endogenous ligands, EGF or transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-α) results in activation of intracellular tyrosine kinase, therefore, cell cycle progression. High levels of EGFR expression are correlated with poor prognosis and resistance to radiation therapy in a variety of cancers, mostly in squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Blocking the EGFR by a monoclonal antibody results in inhibition of the stimulation of the receptor, therefore, in inhibition of cell proliferation, enhanced apoptosis, and reduced angiogenesis, invasiveness and metastases. The EGFR is a prime target for new anticancer therapy in SCCHN, and other agents in development include small molecular tyrosine kinase inhibitors and antisense therapies.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.