Integrating novel therapeutic monoclonal antibodies into the management of head and neck cancer

Julie E. Bauman, Robert L. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is an immunosuppressive malignancy. Interest in developing novel immunotherapies in HNSCC has been reawakened by the success of cetuximab, a therapeutic monoclonal antibody (mAb) against the epidermal growth factor receptor, which likely relies on immune as well as antisignaling mechanisms. This review focuses on novel therapeutic mAbs in current clinical development against established mechanisms of immune evasion in HNSCC, targeting: 1) tumor antigens, with resultant potential to induce antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and T cell activation; 2) immunosuppressive cytokines; 3) costimulatory tumor necrosis factor-family receptors; and 4) coinhibitory immune checkpoint receptors. Clinical trials of immunotherapeutic mAbs as monotherapy, in combination with cytolytic standard therapies exposing tumor antigens or in combination with other immunomodulatory mAbs, are urgently needed in HNSCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-632
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • angiogenesis
  • antibodies
  • cytokines
  • growth factors
  • immune escape
  • immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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