Use of molecular screening for clinical trials with EGFR inhibitors

Stefania Bartolini, Luca Toschi, Giovanna Finocchiaro, Giulio Metro, Federico Cappuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The EGFR pathway plays an important role in the development and progression of many human malignancies, including non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Several new molecules have been synthesised to inhibit this critical biological pathway and have been tested in clinical trials. These new molecules include small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as gefltinib (Iressa™) and erlotinib (Tarceva™), and monoclonal antibodies, such as cetuximab (Erbitux™). Gefitinib, erlotinib and cetuximab are now approved for clinical use in many countries. TKIs have shown antiturnour activity in some patients with NSCLC. A very important issue is the selection of patients on the basis of clinical and biological characteristics who will be most likely to benefit from these treatments. Recent studies have shown that patients with an increased number of copies of the EGFR gene, or with activating EGFR gene mutations, and who have Akt activation or increased expression of the HER2 gene, have a better outcome than patients without these features. Prospective trials are required to validate criteria for selection of candidates for EGFR-TKI therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Drug Discovery


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