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ZD1839: targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor in cancer therapy

ZD1839: targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor in cancer therapy

Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 11(6): 837-849

The erbB family of receptors, which includes the epidermal growth factor receptor, has been widely implicated in promoting proliferation of malignant cells. The critical role played by epidermal growth factor receptor in cancer has resulted in extensive research for selective inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor signalling pathway. Selective small molecule epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as ZD1839 (Iressa), block signal transduction pathways implicated in proliferation and survival of cancer cells and other host-dependent processes promoting cancer cell growth. In preclinical studies, ZD1839, alone and in combination with other agents, has demonstrated antitumour activity in a range of tumour types. Results from Phase I trials, in healthy volunteers and in patients with advanced disease, have shown that ZD1839 has excellent bioavailability and an acceptable tolerability profile. In these studies, ZD1839 has also shown promising clinical activity in patients with a variety of tumour types. Furthermore, Phase II studies confirmed clinically meaningful antitumour activity and have demonstrated symptom relief in the second- and third-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Phase III trials are currently evaluating ZD1839 in combination with gemcitabine/cisplatin or paclitaxel/carboplatin as first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and an ongoing clinical trial programme is investigating other tumours (i.e., head and neck, prostate, colon and breast) and other combinations. This article provides an overview of the current profile of ZD1839.

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Accession: 047991600

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PMID: 12036427

DOI: 10.1517/13543784.11.6.837

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