Epidermal growth factor receptor: a promising target in solid tumours

Cancer Treat Rev. 2004 Feb;30(1):1-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2003.10.002.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is expressed in a wide variety of solid tumours. It has been demonstrated that the EGFR-associated signaling pathway plays an important role in carcinogenesis and cancer progression. In the new therapeutic paradigm of molecular-targeted cancer therapy, interference with intracellular signaling cascades is an appealing treatment approach. Inhibitory strategies under study include monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, EGFR-ligand conjugates, EGFR immunoconjugates, and antisense oligonucleotides. Many of these strategies have demonstrated efficacy against EGFR-expressing tumour cells in preclinical studies, prompting a large number of clinical trials. In particular, clinical studies using monoclonal antibody blockade and EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors have suggested that EGFR blockade is a well-tolerated and effective treatment strategy; however, more trials are needed to precisely define how these agents will fit into modern cancer care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / prevention & control*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases