Published online May 15, 2013. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v5.i5.88
Revised: April 18, 2013
Accepted: May 13, 2013
Published online: May 15, 2013
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.
Core tip: This paper discusses some of these targeted agents in more advanced development in metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinomas, as well as some promising drugs with pre-clinical or initial clinical data in the disease.