April 29th 2006
Since initial characterization over 40 years ago, strong preclinical and clinical data have clearly established the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as a worthy molecular target for intervention in cancer therapy. The receptor is expressed, overexpressed, or mutated in many human tumors, including head and neck, colorectal, pancreatic, non-small-cell lung, ovarian, esophageal, gastric, breast, prostate, bladder, and renal cancers. Experiments in several model systems have confirmed that EGFR signaling is involved in regulating several key biologic processes, including cell proliferation, epithelial development, organogenesis, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and differentiation. Furthermore, EGFR function has been shown to be altered and/or dysregulated in a variety of spontaneous tumors.