Predictive factors for epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors--the bull's-eye hits the arrow

Cancer Cell. 2004 May;5(5):411-5. doi: 10.1016/s1535-6108(04)00122-9.


Studies have shown that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is important to normal development and neoplastic transformation, and that EGFR inhibition reduces cancer cell proliferation. The promising response rates of the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib in patients with chemotherapy-refractory non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) led to its approval for clinical use. However, there was little understanding of why gefitinib was effective in only some NSCLC patients. Two recent studies have identified somatic mutations in EGFR that confer its sensitivity to gefitinib in vitro and correlate strongly with patients' clinical response to the inhibitor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Gefitinib
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Quinazolines
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Gefitinib