Drug Resistance to EGFR Inhibitors in Lung Cancer

Osamu Tetsu, Matthew J. Hangauer, Janyaporn Phuchareon, David W. Eisele, Frank McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: The discovery of mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has dramatically changed the treatment of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. EGFR-targeted therapies show considerable promise, but drug resistance has become a substantial issue. Methods: We reviewed the literature to provide an overview of the drug resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in NSCLC. Results: The mechanisms causing primary, acquired and persistent drug resistance to TKIs vary. Researchers and clinicians, who have used study findings to develop more effective therapeutic approaches, have found that the sequential use of single agents presents a formidable challenge, suggesting that multidrug combinations must be considered. Conclusions: In the era of precision medicine, oncologists should promptly obtain an accurate diagnosis of drug resistance in each patient to be able to design the most relevant combination therapy to overcome patient-specific drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-235
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 25 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer dormancy
  • Combination therapy
  • Drug resistance
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Monotherapy
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Persister cells
  • Precision medicine
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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