Epidermal growth factor receptor pathway as therapeutic development in head and neck cancers: present and future
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The understanding of the epidermal growth factor pathway in terms of intracellular signaling and its role in proliferation and cell survival has impacted the therapeutic management of many solid tumor malignancies in which this pathway has been dysregulated. Once the receptor is targeted at its cellular membrane level or tyrosine kinase domain, its blockage induces downregulation of oncogenic and tumorigenesis mechanisms which were in place, and thus inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of the malignant cell. Nowadays, we have several monoclonal antibodies as well as small molecules which target the receptor of epidermal growth factor. Although several receptors have been described within the human epidermal receptor family, our discussion will be focused on the impact of human epidermal receptor-1 as a therapeutic option for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.