EGFR-mutated lung cancer: a paradigm of molecular oncology
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Received: September 30, 2010, Accepted: October 25, 2010, Published: October 25, 2010The development of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors for clinical use in non-small cell lung cancer and the subsequent discovery of activating EGFR mutations have led to an explosion of knowledge in the fields of EGFR biology, targeted therapeutics and lung cancer research. EGFR-mutated adenocarcinoma of the lung has clearly emerged as a unique clinical entity necessitating the routine introduction of molecular diagnostics into our current diagnostic algorithms and leading to the evidence-based preferential usage of EGFR-targeted agents for patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancers. This review will summarize our current understanding of the functional role of activating mutations, key downstream signaling pathways and regulatory mechanisms, pivotal primary and acquired resistance mechanisms, structure-function relationships and ultimately the incorporation of molecular diagnostics and small molecule EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors into our current treatment paradigms.
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