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Semin Oncol. 2004 Feb;31(1 Suppl 3):9-20.

Targeting the HER-kinase axis in cancer.

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Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


The human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family of receptor tyrosine kinases controls critical pathways involved in the differentiation, growth, division, and motility of normal epithelial cells. Most human solid tumors are of epithelial origin. The process of malignant transformation and progression in many cancers may depend on activation of ligands and receptors that function as part of the HER-kinase pathway. This signaling axis has earned increased attention because of the development of antibodies and small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors that specifically target components of the HER-kinase axis for cancer therapy. This review focuses on the basic biology underlying HER-kinase pathway activation and the current state of development for agents that target this axis. In particular, the importance of pan-HER inhibitors is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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