Fibroblast growth factor signaling in non-small-cell lung cancer

Clin Lung Cancer. 2012 Mar;13(2):90-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2011.08.001. Epub 2011 Sep 29.


Despite recent progress in the treatment on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), outcomes remain suboptimal. Treatment advances that target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathways highlight the need to understand the multiple convergent growth factor signaling pathways involved in the pathogenesis of NSCLC. Signaling through fibroblast growth factors (FGF), long recognized for its pro-angiogenic activity, has recently emerged as a contributing factor in the pathogenesis and progression of NSCLC through an autocrine signaling loop. In addition, this pathway may function as a mechanism of resistance to anti-EGFR and anti-VEGF treatment. Clinical experience with FGF receptor (FGFR) inhibitors is mounting, and more specific inhibitors of this signaling pathway are in development. This review describes the structure of the FGF signaling pathway, delineates its dual roles in angiogenesis and proliferation in NSCLC, evaluates FGF ligand and receptor expression as prognostic biomarkers in NSCLC, and discusses the development of FGF pathway inhibitors for the treatment of lung malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors