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Biomaterials. 2013 Nov;34(34):8690-707. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.07.100. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Epidermal growth factor receptor targeting in cancer: a review of trends and strategies.

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Pharmacy Department, Faculty of Technology & Engineering, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Kalabhavan, Vadodara 390 001, Gujarat, India.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a cell-surface receptor belonging to ErbB family of tyrosine kinase and it plays a vital role in the regulation of cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. However; EGFR is aberrantly activated by various mechanisms like receptor overexpression, mutation, ligand-dependent receptor dimerization, ligand-independent activation and is associated with development of variety of tumors. Therefore, specific EGFR inhibition is one of the key targets for cancer therapy. Two major approaches have been developed and demonstrated benefits in clinical trials for targeting EGFR; monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). EGFR inhibitors like, cetuximab, panitumumab, etc. (mAbs) and gefitinib, erlotinib, lapatinib, etc. (TKIs) are now commercially available for treatment of variety of cancers. Recently, many other agents like peptides, nanobodies, affibodies and antisense oligonucleotide have also shown better efficacy in targeting and inhibiting EGFR. Now a days, efforts are being focused to identify molecular markers that can predict patients more likely to respond to anti-EGFR therapy; to find out combinatorial approaches with EGFR inhibitors and to bring new therapeutic agents with clinical efficacy. In this review we have outlined the role of EGFR in cancer, different types of EGFR inhibitors, preclinical and clinical status of EGFR inhibitors as well as summarized the recent efforts made in the field of molecular EGFR targeting.


Antisense oligonucleotides; Cancer; EGFR; Immunoconjugates; Monoclonal antibodies; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

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