Combination of an EGFR blocker and a COX-2 inhibitor for the treatment of advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

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Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is expressed at the cell surface by more than 90 % of SCCs and its activation is responsible for cell cycle progression, proliferation, survival, angiogenesis and metastasis. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an enzyme up-regulated through EGFR signaling and responsible for some of the EGFR-dependent biological effects. An 88-year-old man presented with a recurrent, locoregionally meta-static SCC of the right parietal region, which was resistant to radiotherapy. With a combination therapy of an EGFR blocker (cetuximab) and a COX-2 inhibitor (celecoxib), the tumor regressed partially and the patient's Karnofsky index improved. We speculate that the combined use of cetuximab and COX-2 inhibitors can be a new and effective therapy for advanced and recurrent cutaneous SCCs.

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