Current Colorectal Cancer Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 279–287 | Cite as

Optimization of the Development of Old and New EGFR and MAP Kinase Inhibitors for Colorectal Cancer

  • Erika Martinelli
  • Stefania Napolitano
  • Davide Ciardiello
  • Fortunato Ciardiello
  • Teresa Troiani
Therapeutic Approaches to Metastatic Colorectal Cancers (R Salazar, Section Editor)


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and its downstream signaling pathways are crucially important in the biology of colorectal cancer (CRC). In the past few years, EGFR kinase and its major downstream effector, the RAS/RAF/MAPK/ERK pathway, have been attractive targets for development of new therapy for treatment of metastatic CRC (mCRC). Cetuximab and panitumumab, two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the EGFR, are the first targeted agents approved as personalized medicine for treatment of mCRC. Recently, inhibition of MEK1/2 has been seen as a promising approach for blocking MAPK-mediated proliferation signals. Several compounds with highly selective inhibitory effects on MEK1/2 have been developed and have entered clinical trials. New therapeutic agents have also been used to optimize personalized treatment of mCRC. In this context we discuss recent advances in research on EGFR and MAPK inhibitors.


EGFR inhibitors MAPK pathway Colorectal cancer Nanotechnology Cetuximab Panitumumab Selumetinib Pimasertib 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Erika Martinelli, Stefania Napolitano, Davide Ciardiello, Fortunato Ciardiello, and Teresa Troiani declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika Martinelli
    • 1
  • Stefania Napolitano
    • 1
  • Davide Ciardiello
    • 1
  • Fortunato Ciardiello
    • 1
  • Teresa Troiani
    • 1
  1. 1.Second University of NaplesNaplesItaly

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