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Table 2 Current molecular pathway based therapies in head and neck cancer

From: Curcumin: A review of anti-cancer properties and therapeutic activity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Agent Molecular target Phase/model of investigation in HNSCC Reference
Erlotinib/Gefitinib/Lapatinib Anti-EGFR receptor kinase Erlotinib: Phase II study in refractory/metastatic HNSCC Gefatinib: PhaseIII vs methotraxate in recurrent HNSCC [205207]
Bevacizumab Anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody Mouse xenograft models: in combination with paclitaxel Phase I/II trial of bevacizumab and erlotinib in recurrent/metastatic HNSCC [208]
Rapamycin derivatives (Everolimus, Deferolimus Temserolimus) Inhibition of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway Mouse xenograft model: Single agent CCI-779 in minimal residual disease Mouse xenograft model: CCI-779 in combination with radiotherapy [210212]
Sorafenib Multikinase inhibitor targeting MAP kinase, VEGFR, PDGFR FLT3, Ret, c-kit Phase II: in chemotherapy-naïve persistent/recurrent HNSCC [213, 214]
Pemetrexed Folate antimetabolite Phase I: in combination with cisplatin in HNSCC Phase II: Pemetrexed plus gemcitabine in recurrent/metastatic HNSCC [215, 216]
Bortezomib Proteosome inhibitor Phase I: Bortezomib with re-irradiation in HNSCC Phase II: Bortezomib with docetaxel in recurrent/metastatic HNSCC in vitro: Synergistic anti-tumor effect of Bortezomib and cisplatin in HNSCC cell lines [217219]
Curcumin Inhibition of NF-kB activation, Suppression of interleukins, Cell cycle inhibition, Suppression of VEGF and other angionegic factors, Up-regulation of cellular adhesion molecules, inhibition of STAT 3 in vitro: Growth suppression of HNSCC cell lines with decreased NF-kB activation [48, 53]
   in vitro: Suppression of IL-6 and IL-8 expression in HNSCC [180]
   in vitro: Growth suppression of immortalized epithelial cells [178, 187]
   Mouse xenograft: Suppression of CAL 27 cell line tumors [48, 53]
   Mouse model: Inhibition of oral carcinogenesis [178, 187]
   in vitro and mouse model: Synergistic anti-tumor effect of Curcumin and cisplatin in CAL 27 and UM-SCC1 cell lines [188]
   in vitro and mouse model: Radiosensitization of SCC-1, SCC-9, A431, and KB HNSCC cell lines with curcumin [189, 190]