Potential New Treatment for Esophageal Cancer: EGFR Inhibitors

Potential New Treatment for Esophageal Cancer: EGFR Inhibitors

One treatment for esophageal cancer that is being studied is targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses drugs developed to target the specific molecules that cause cells to become cancerous, grow, and spread (metastasize). These drugs might be helpful in some cases when other treatments (such as chemotherapy) are not working. And because of their focus on the specific part of the cancer cell that is causing the problem, they may cause less harm to normal cells than other kinds of treatment. That may mean they don’t cause as many side effects. Treatment for cancer with fewer side effects can lead to an improved quality of life.

For esophageal cancer, some of the drugs used for targeted therapy aim for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). These are small proteins that are found on the surface of all cells. Small proteins called growth factors found in the blood bind to these receptors. In a normal cell, this process promotes growth. However, in many cancer cells, there are either too many EGFRs or the EGFR processes that normally stimulate cell growth are constantly active. This leads to the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells.

New drugs called EGFR inhibitors block the EGFR pathway. They stop excessive cell growth and are a promising new treatment for esophageal and other types of cancer.

Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.