Pharmacogenomics of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors
The EGFR is a validated anticancer target whose successful exploitation has added novel agents to our current treatment protocols. Subsets of patients have shown to benefit the most from these therapies, and though these differential responses have yet to be completely defined, they are mostly of genetic nature. Egfr amplifications have shown to increase sensitivity to both small molecule inhibitors and specific monoclonal antibodies targeting the EGFR. A somatic/germline egfr intron 1 CA repeat sequence polymorphism has shown to have an important role in the control of EGFR protein expression, and has been linked to an increased risk of familial breast cancer, a worse outcome in patients with colorectal cancer, and anti-EGFR treatment efficacy in preclinical models. Egfr activating mutations have been recently described in lung cancer linking a cluster of genotypes with sensitivity to EGFR tyrosine kinase pharmacological inhibition. Despite the initial excitement that this discovery elicited, follow-up reports have not unequivocally confirmed this finding, and these drugs have been solidly efficacious both in individual patients and in diseases generally lacking egfr mutations such as pancreas cancer. We are witnessing exciting developments in the field of the pharmacogenomics of cancer, and this has particularly evolved in the area pertaining EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This review will discuss the background and currently available preclinical and clinical data. © 2006.
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