What is EGFR?

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Question from Zaundra: Can you explain what EGFR is? I keep hearing about drugs that go after it in some way.
Answers - Andrew D. Seidman, M.D. This is a very good question. EGFR stands for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor. It's also known as HER1 and is a member of the so-called HER family of receptors or the epidermal growth factor "super-family." The HER family receptors including HER1, HER2, HER3, and HER4 are characterized by partnerships or couplings between individual family members. For example, the HER1/HER2 coupling (dimer) is felt to be the most important stimulus for breast cancer growth in HER2-positive breast cancers. Indeed, the drug Tykerb targets a protein involved in the signals transmitted by this EGFR/HER2 partnership.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Targeted Therapies: What Is Right for You? featured Andrew Seidman, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answering your questions about different kinds of targeted therapies and how they work.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2006.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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