UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Emerging Molecular Dependencies of Mutant EGFR-Driven Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Farnsworth, Dylan A.; Chen, Yankuan T.; de Rappard Yuswack, Georgia; Lockwood, William W.


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are the molecular driver of a subset of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC); tumors that harbor these mutations are often dependent on sustained oncogene signaling for survival, a concept known as “oncogene addiction”. Inhibiting EGFR with tyrosine kinase inhibitors has improved clinical outcomes for patients; however, successive generations of inhibitors have failed to prevent the eventual emergence of resistance to targeted agents. Although these tumors have a well-established dependency on EGFR signaling, there remain questions about the underlying genetic mechanisms necessary for EGFR-driven oncogenesis and the factors that allow tumor cells to escape EGFR dependence. In this review, we highlight the latest findings on mutant EGFR dependencies, co-operative drivers, and molecular mechanisms that underlie sensitivity to EGFR inhibitors. Additionally, we offer perspective on how these discoveries may inform novel combination therapies tailored to EGFR mutant NSCLC.

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