Head and neck cancers (thyroid and head and neck squamous cell
carcinoma (HNSCC)) are relatively common malignancies and although often
curable at initial diagnosis, treatment of advanced disease is palliative in intent. There
is a scarcity of treatment options, many of which are traditionally associated with
significant toxicities and poor survival. Translational studies have identified numerous
dysregulated pathways amongst head and neck cancers, including VEGFR and
EGFR, highlighting the potential role for targeted therapies. This review details the
role of VEGFR in both head and neck cancers and discusses recent trials utilizing
axitinib, a multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor with targets including VEGFR-1, -2, and -3.
The article discusses the toxicity data as well as ongoing clinical trials.
Keywords: Axitinib, head and neck cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, tyrosine kinase inhibitor, thyroid cancer.
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