Early postoperative epidermal growth factor receptor inhibition: Safety and effectiveness in inhibiting microscopic residual of oral squamous cell carcinoma in vivo.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The local-regional failure of advanced oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) after surgery results from the regrowth of residual tumor cells that may be stimulated by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligands during the wound healing process. METHODS: The level of EGFR ligands in human drain fluids (DFs) from OSCC resection and remote flap donor site were determined. A mouse model of microscopic residual OSCC was established and treated with cetuximab to measure tumor growth, survival, and cervical lymph node metastases. A mouse model of wound healing was also established to assess the effect of an EGFR antibody on the wound healing process. RESULTS: EGFR ligands are found in sites from OSCC resection. EGFR targeted therapy can delay tumor regrowth in a microscopic residual disease model of OSCC without significant effects on local wound healing. CONCLUSION: These results provide a strong rationale for clinical evaluation of this approach to treat patients with local-regionally advanced OSCC. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012.