Drug Resistance to EGFR Inhibitors in Lung Cancer

Cartoon of EGFR signaling

Targeted therapies against EGFR show promise for lung cancer, but drug resistance often occurs.

Tetsu O, Hangauer MJ, Phuchareon J, Eisele DW, McCormick F


February 25, 2016

The discovery of mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has dramatically changed the treatment of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. EGFR-targeted therapies show considerable promise, but drug resistance has become a substantial issue. We reviewed the literature to provide an overview of the drug resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in NSCLC. The mechanisms causing primary, acquired and persistent drug resistance to TKIs vary. Researchers and clinicians, who have used study findings to develop more effective therapeutic approaches, have found that the sequential use of single agents presents a formidable challenge, suggesting that multidrug combinations must be considered. In the era of precision medicine, oncologists should promptly obtain an accurate diagnosis of drug resistance in each patient to be able to design the most relevant combination therapy to overcome patient-specific drug resistance. (Publication Abstract)

Last updated: November 27, 2017