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Gefitinib — a novel targeted approach to treating cancer

Abstract

Twenty years after the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was identified as a potential anticancer target, the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib (Iressa; AstraZeneca) has been approved for the treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer in many countries. Studies have indicated its potential for treating patients with other types of solid tumours. Investigation of gefitinib has not only increased our knowledge about the biology of EGFR signalling, but is contributing to our evolving understanding of which tumours are EGFR dependent.

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Acknowledgements

Our thanks to all of the patients with lung cancer who enrolled in clinical studies with gefitinib and other agents.

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Correspondence to Roy S. Herbst.

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All authors have served as consultants for, and received research support from, AstraZeneca.

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Figure 1: The epidermal growth factor receptor signalling pathway.
Figure 2: The epidermal growth factor receptor.