Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been found in various epithelial malignancies, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and is associated with increased tumor growth, metastasis, resistance to chemotherapeutic agents and poor prognosis. As such, EGFR is a potential target for antitumor therapy and several EGFR inhibitors have been investigated in preclinical or clinical settings. In the present study, we used small interfering RNA (siRNA) to downregulate EGFR expression while evaluating the effect of EGFR siRNA on cell proliferation, and the combined effects with cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and docetaxel in HNSCC. Furthermore, HNSCC xenografts were treated with EGFR siRNA alone or in combination with cisplatin, and tumor growth was examined. EGFR expression, proliferation, angiogenesis and apoptosis index were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The results showed that EGFR siRNA efficiently downregulated EGFR expression and inhibited cell growth of HNSCC. Treatment with EGFR siRNA in combination with cisplatin, 5-FU and docetaxel enhanced chemosensitivity with a significant increase in apoptosis. EGFR siRNA delivered by atelocollagen enhanced the antitumor effect of cisplatin in the HNSCC xenograft model. These cumulative results suggest that EGFR siRNA combined with cisplatin, 5-FU and docetaxel may be a feasible strategy to enhance the effects of chemotherapy in patients with HNSCC.