In the past two decades, several molecular targeted inhibitors have been developed and evaluated clinically to improve the survival of patients with cancer. Molecular targeted inhibitors inhibit the activities of pathogenic tyrosine kinases. Particularly, aberrant receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activation is a potential therapeutic target. An increased understanding of genetics, cellular biology and structural biology has led to the development of numerous important therapeutics. Pathogenic RTK mutations, deletions, translocations and amplification/over-expressions have been identified and are currently being examined for their roles in cancers. Therapies targeting RTKs are categorized as small-molecule inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Studies are underway to explore abnormalities in 20 types of RTK subfamilies in patients with cancer or other diseases. In this review, we describe representative RTKs important for developing cancer therapeutics and predicting or evaluated resistance mechanisms.
Keywords: molecular target inhibitors; receptor tyrosine kinase; resistance mechanisms.