Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitors for the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer: A Promise Fulfilled?
April 01, 2004
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is commonly expressedin colorectal cancers but not in most normal tissues, raising the possibilitythat this receptor could serve as a target for highly selective therapy.Based on preclinical studies demonstrating that antagonists of EGFRresulted in the inhibition of tumor growth, the development of clinicalreagents has been aggressively pursued. Early clinical studies demonstratedantitumor activity of EGFR inhibitors in patients with advancedcolorectal cancer, with acceptable toxicity. This early success fueledrapid clinical development. In this article, we will review the currentstatus of EGFR inhibitors in the treatment of patients with colorectalcancer, in an effort to describe both how far we have come as well aswhere we need to go in optimizing this promising therapeutic approach.