[en] Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use ; Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use ; Head and Neck Neoplasms/drug therapy ; Humans ; Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor/antagonists & inhibitors
[en] Monoclonal antibodies are now part of the armamentarium available for the treatment of head and neck cancer. Cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody targeting EGFR, improves overall survival as compared with radiotherapy alone as radical treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer. It is now reimbursed in Belgium after multidisciplinary discussion if cisplatin is contra-indicated. In the metastatic setting adding cetuximab to platinum based chemotherapy improves overall survival as compared with chemotherapy alone, a first-time event over a 30-year period, unfortunately not yet accessible to the Belgian patients. Other monoclonal antibodies targeting EGFR or VEGF are also currently under investigation while cetuximab is being explored in the induction, the maintenance or the post-operative radiotherapy settings.