The RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK signaling pathway (ERK pathway) plays a key role in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. Mutations of RAS or B-RAF lead to a constitutive activation of the ERK pathway, which ultimately results in increased cell division, and cell survival. This review article focuses on the recent literature related to ERK pathway inhibitors, with a particular emphasis on RAF kinase inhibitors. Preclinical and clinical data for the RAF kinase inhibitor sorafenib (BAY 43-9006 tosylate), that was recently approved in the US for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, are also outlined.
Keywords: Sorafenib, BAY 43-9006, RAF-1, C-RAF, B-RAF, kinase inhibitor, MAP kinase
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