Epidermal growth factor-related peptides as targets for experimental therapy of human colon carcinoma

Cancer Detect Prev. 1998;22(1):62-7.


Colorectal carcinomas generally show a poor sensitivity to conventional chemotherapeutics. Therefore, novel therapeutic approaches are required to improve the prognosis of colon cancer patients in advanced stage. Several growth factors are involved in the control of colon carcinoma cell proliferation. In particular, the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-related peptides transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha), amphi-regulin (AR), and CRIPTO (CR) are frequently overexpressed in human colon carcinomas. It has also been recently demonstrated that they can function as autocrine growth factors in human colon carcinoma cells. In fact, antisense (AS) retroviral expression vectors or AS oligonucleotides directed against TGF-alpha, AR, or CR are able to inhibit growth and transformation of several human colon carcinoma cell lines. These data suggest that the EGF-like growth factors and their receptors offer potential as targets for experimental therapy of human colon carcinoma. This article reviews the most recent findings in this field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antisense Elements (Genetics) / pharmacology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Growth Substances / metabolism*
  • Humans


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antisense Elements (Genetics)
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Growth Substances
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors