Advances in the systemic treatment of head and neck cancersSpecenier, Pol; Vermorken, Jan BCurrent Opinion in Oncology: May 2010 - Volume 22 - Issue 3 - p 200–205 doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e3283376e15 Head and neck: Edited by Ahmad Awada Abstract Author Information Purpose of review To summarize the recent literature on the treatment of recurrent and metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Recent findings Multiple targeted therapies and novel combinations of chemotherapeutic agents were tested. Summary In a large randomized phase III trial, the addition of cetuximab to platin-based chemotherapy led to a significant prolongation of overall survival. The combination of cetuximab and platin/5-fluorouracil should be considered the current standard first-line regimen. In contrast, the results with oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors and other targeted agents have been disappointing thus far. Antwerp University Hospital, Department of Oncology, Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650 Edegem, Belgium Correspondence to Pol Specenier, Antwerp University Hospital, Department of Oncology, Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650 Edegem, Belgium E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.