Some patients with non small cell lung cancer respond particularly well to oral anti-EGFR-TKs if they carry "facilitating" mutations in their EGFRs (the letters and numbers indicate which amino acids are mutated).
On these CT scans one can see the enormous tumoral mass on the left, considerably regress on the right, after 6 weeks of treatment with an oral anti EGFR-TK, in a 32 year old patient bearing an EGFR mutation
Biotech & Cancer : the EGF system
These two illustrations (3D reconstruction of mutated zones, CT scan) are reproduced with authorization from the authors (Daniel A. Haber) and from the New England Journal of Medicine : Lynch TJ, Bell DW, Sordella R, et al. Activating Mutations in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Underlying Responsiveness of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer to Gefitinib. N. Engl J Med 2004;350:2129-39. Copyright 2004 Massachussets Medical Society. All rights reserved.
These new Bio-Medicines, inhibiting receptors
(monoclonals) or cascades (oral anti EGFR tyrosine kinases ), devoid of cytotoxic effects of classical anticancer chemotherapies, play a growing part in anti-cancer strategy