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.
Published by Elsevier Inc.