Tyrosine kinase receptors are expressed on the surface of tumor and/or endothelial cells and represent attractive targets for new anti-cancer treatment strategies. The so-called “small molecule” tyrosine kinase inhibitors have been designed to interact with the intracellular ATP binding site of these receptors, subsequently causing arrest of tumor cell proliferation, as well as induction of apoptosis and tumor migration. Furthermore, these molecules can impact on tumor angiogenesis. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors have been evaluated in several clinical trials for various adult malignant tumor entities and are currently being studied in pediatric solid malignancies. In this review, we will address the data available supporting the potential use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in solid malignancies of childhood.
Keywords: Tyrosine kinase, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, imatinib, gefitinib, erlotinib, embryonic tumors, sarcomas, pediatric oncology
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