Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors in the treatment of lung cancer: reality and hopes.

Research paper by Paul P Wheatley-Price, Frances A FA Shepherd

Indexed on: 28 Feb '08Published on: 28 Feb '08Published in: Current opinion in oncology


Inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is now an established part of the treatment of nonsmall cell lung cancer. This review summarizes the clinical trials that have been performed with monoclonal antibodies and small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting EGFR in nonsmall cell lung cancer.Erlotinib has established second and third-line efficacy following the BR.21 study. Recently the INTEREST trial showed gefitinib to have an equivalent outcome to docetaxel in the second line setting. Numerous other tyrosine kinase inhibitor drugs and monoclonal antibodies have demonstrated clinical activity in phase I and phase II trials. Novel tyrosine kinase inhibitors may have the ability to overcome resistance to first generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Furthermore there are encouraging studies combining EGFR inhibitors and antiangiogenesis drugs such as bevacizumab.EGFR inhibition, by a range of strategies, remains a central node in the treatment of nonsmall cell lung cancer.