Epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays an important role in tumor development and maintenance. It is a cell surface molecule that mediates signal transduction from the cell surface to cytoplasm. Elevated expression of EGFR or its ligand correlates with worse prognosis in a variety of human cancers. Therefore, blockade of EGFR activity would provide a novel strategy for the treatment of cancer. Two classes of EGFR inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors, have been described. The preclinical activity of these EGFR inhibitors and phase I clinical data are summarized in this article. A phase II trial of the EGFR inhibitor IMC-C225 in combination with gemcitabine for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer is discussed. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.