Current Status of Anti Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Therapy in the Curative Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck is the most common malignancy of the upper aero digestive tract in the world. In this article, we attempt to summarize the role of antiepidermal growth factor therapy in the treatment of locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Cetuximab plus radiotherapy is a reasonable alternative in patients who cannot tolerate standard concurrent chemoradiotherapy. There is no benefit by adding targeted therapy in addition to standard CTRT. Trials evaluating the role of targeted agents in the adjuvant setting showed no benefit in patients with high risk features; in addition to standard post-operative CTRT.
Role of adjuvant monoclonal antibody in patients with intermediate risk factors is being Single modality treatment either surgery or radiotherapy remains the standard of care for early disease. Majority of the patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma present at an advanced stage and requires surgery followed by adjuvant treatment or concurrent chemoradiation.
Over a period of last two to three decades there is a paradigm shift from surgery to organ preservation strategies to improve the quality of life without compromising the overall survival. The incorporation of induction chemotherapy prior to concurrent chemoradiation has not shown any additional benefit to CTRT alone.
Concurrent chemoradiotherapy is the standard of care in patients with locally advanced HNSCC who are considered for non-surgical approach and is associated with increased toxicity.