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Trends Mol Med. 2007 Dec;13(12):527-34. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

The HER family and cancer: emerging molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family of transmembrane tyrosine kinases regulates diverse cellular functions in response to extracellular ligands. The deregulation of HER signaling through gene amplification or mutation is seen in many human tumors and an abundance of experimental evidence supports the etiological role of these events in cancer pathogenesis. In addition, the fact that they are feasible targets for both antibody and small-molecule therapeutics has made them highly pursued targets for the development of rationally designed anticancer drugs. Several HER-targeting agents have entered clinical practice and this has led to novel discoveries regarding the mechanisms of resistance, which has defined a new generation of challenges for targeted cancer therapies. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of HER signaling and targeting in cancer.

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