Frequent overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) makes EGFR as a new therapeutic target. Two specific EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), Gefitinib (ZD1839, Iressa) and Erlotibib (OSI-774, Tarceva) have been developed and approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for second- and third-line treatment of advanced NSCLC. The following clinical trials have revealed significant viability in the response rate among different NSCLC patients, which leads to the discovery of somatic EGFR activating mutations. This brief review summarizes the discovery and functional consequences of the mutations, their clinicopathological features, and significant implication in NSCLC treatment and prognosis.
- non-small cell lung cancer
- somatic mutation
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