A decade of EGFR inhibition in EGFR-mutated non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Old successes and future perspectives

Alessandro Russo, Tindara Franchina, Giuseppina Rosaria Rita Ricciardi, Antonio Picone, Giuseppa Ferraro, Mariangela Zanghì, Giuseppe Toscano, Antonio Giordano and Vincenzo Adamo _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:26814-26825. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4254

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Alessandro Russo1, Tindara Franchina1, Giuseppina Rosaria Rita Ricciardi1, Antonio Picone1, Giuseppa Ferraro1, Mariangela Zanghì1, Giuseppe Toscano1, Antonio Giordano2, Vincenzo Adamo1

1Medical Oncology Unit AOOR Papardo-Piemonte & Department of Human Pathology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

2Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence to:

Vincenzo Adamo, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: EGFR mutations, third generation EGFR TKIs, non small cell lung cancer, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, targeted therapy

Received: April 25, 2015     Accepted: June 01, 2015     Published: June 12, 2015


The discovery of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) mutations in Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) launched the era of personalized medicine in advanced NSCLC, leading to a dramatic shift in the therapeutic landscape of this disease. After ten years from the individuation of activating mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of the EGFR in NSCLC patients responding to the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) Gefitinib, several progresses have been done and first line treatment with EGFR TKIs is a firmly established option in advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients. During the last decade, different EGFR TKIs have been developed and three inhibitors have been approved so far in these selected patients. However, despite great breakthroughs have been made, treatment of these molecularly selected patients poses novel therapeutic challenges, such as emerging of acquired resistance, brain metastases development or the need to translate these treatments in earlier clinical settings, such as adjuvant therapy.

The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the major progresses reported so far in the EGFR inhibition in this molecularly-selected subgroup of NSCLC patients, from the early successes with first generation EGFR TKIs, Erlotinib and Gefitinib, to the novel irreversible and mutant-selective inhibitors and ultimately the emerging challenges that we, in the next future, are called to deal with.

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