The future of anti-EGFR therapy

M. R. D'Andrea, Giampietro Gasparini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report here on the state of our knowledge of the target - namely, the epidermal growth factor (EGF) and its receptor - and the challenges related to the methods of determination of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and associated molecular pathways. A critical review of the anti-EGFR therapeutic strategies is also outlined. The chimeric anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody cetuximab has been approved for EGFR-expressing colorectal tumors in patients who progress after irinotecan-based chemotherapy in combination with irinotecan and in squamous cell head and neck carcinomas for patients with locally advanced disease in combination with radiation therapy or after failure of platinum-based chemotherapy in recurrent or metastatic disease (FDA). Cetuximab has the potential to provide an improvement of clinical outcome also in other indications and tumor types, particularly when used as first-line therapy combined with standard chemotherapy for metastatic disease or in the adjuvant setting. Possible strategies to improve the effectiveness of anti-EGFR agents are suggested and include (i) the use of predictive tools capable of making a more rational selection of patients; (ii) the development of standardized predictive biomarkers as surrogates for early monitoring of drug efficacy; and (iii) adequate study design, statistical analysis and proper end points of efficacy to be applied in future prospective trials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Markers
Issue number1 SUPPL. 4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Anticancer treatments
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology


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