Protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) play a pivotal role in signal transduction pathways and in the development and maintenance of various cancers. They are involved in multiple processes such as transcription, cell cycle progression, proliferation, angiogenesis and inhibition of apoptosis. Among the PTKs, the EGFR is one of the most widely studied and has emerged as a promising key target for the treatment of cancer. Indeed, several drugs directed at this receptor are FDAapproved and many others are at various stages of development. However, thus far, the therapeutic outcome of EGFRtargeted therapy is suboptimal and needs to be refined. Quantitative PET molecular imaging coupled with selective labelled biomarkers may facilitate in vivo EGFR-targeted drug efficacy by noninvasively assessing the expression of EGFR in tumor, guiding dose and regime by measuring target drug binding and receptor occupancy as well as potentially detecting the existence of a primary or secondary mutation leading to either drug interaction or failure of EGFR recognition by the drug. This review describes the attempts to develop labelled EGFR molecular imaging agents that are based either on low molecular weight tyrosine kinase inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies directed to the extracellular binding domain of the receptor to be used in nuclear medicine modalities.
Keywords: EGFR, PET, cancer, imaging, tyrosine kinase, cetuximab, gefitinib, `
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