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Cancer Treat Rev. 2009 Jun;35(4):354-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2009.02.001. Epub 2009 Mar 6.

Anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibodies in cancer treatment.

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Medical Oncology Department, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.


Although the prognosis of cancer remains poor recent advances in the diagnostic methods, new approaches in surgical procedures and the development of new therapeutic agents have had a significant impact in the outcome of cancer patients. A better understanding of the molecular pathways that characterize cell growth, apoptosis, angiogenesis and invasion has provided novel targets in cancer therapy. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mediated signal transduction has been one of the most studied pathways in carcinogenesis. The phosphorylation of EGFR activates multiple biological processes including apoptosis, differentiation, cellular proliferation, motility, invasion, adhesion, DNA repair and survival. Several therapies have been developed to inactivate the EGFR pathway including monoclonal antibodies against the extracellular domain of EGFR. In this review, the authors examine the development of monoclonal antibodies against EGFR and the effects of this blockage in cell cycle, as well as the most important trials with these monoclonal antibodies in several tumor types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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