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.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2006, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Targeted Therapies: What is Right for You?Andrew Seidman, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answered your questions about different kinds of targeted therapies and how they work.

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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