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Clin Cancer Res. 2008 May 15;14(10):2895-9. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-2248.

Mechanisms of acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer.

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Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib and erlotinib are effective therapies for non-small cell lung cancer patients whose tumors harbor somatic mutations in EGFR. All patients, however, ultimately develop resistance to these agents. Thus, there is a great need to understand how patients become resistant to develop effective therapies for these cancers. Studies over the last few years have identified two different EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance mechanisms, a secondary mutation in EGFR, EGFR 790M, and amplification of the MET oncogene. These findings have led to clinical trials using newly designed targeted therapies that can overcome these resistance mechanisms and have shown promise in laboratory studies. Ongoing research efforts will likely continue to identify additional resistance mechanisms, and these findings will hopefully translate into effective therapies for non-small cell lung cancer patients.

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