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World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2013 May 15;5(5):88-96. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v5.i5.88.

Targeted treatments for metastatic esophageal squamous cell cancer.

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Antonia Digklia, Ioannis A Voutsadakis, Centre Pluridisciplinaire d'Oncologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Squamous cell carcinoma, one of the two major sub-types of esophageal carcinomas, constitutes the great majority of tumors in the upper and middle third of the organ. Declining in incidence in western countries, it continues to be a significant public health problem in the far east. Targeted treatments are novel therapies introduced in the clinical therapeutic armamentarium of oncology in the last 10-15 years. They represent a rational way of treating various cancers based on their molecular lesions. Although no such agent has been approved so far for the treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC), several are in clinical trials and several others have displayed pre-clinical activity that would justify the efforts and risks of pursuing their clinical development in this disease. This paper discusses some of these targeted agents in more advanced development in metastatic ESCC, as well as some promising drugs with pre-clinical or initial clinical data in the disease.


Clinical trials; Epidermal growth factor receptor; Esophageal carcinoma; Mammalian target of rapamycin; Squamous; Targeted therapies; Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor

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