Target and mechanism of action. This is a small molecule that binds to the EGFR tyrosine kinase by blocking the function of the latter and consequently the signal transduction of cacer cell growth.
Indications: The drug was approved in the U.S. for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in advanced stages that progressed at least one prior line of chemotherapy and advanced pancreatic cancer. Curerently we are investigating other applications of the drug to tumors of the head, neck and ovary.
Mode of administration: it is administered orally as tablets.
Most common side effects: skin reactions (acneiform rash), diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, conjunctivitis, oral mucositis. Although this drug, similar to Gefitinib in very rare cases can lead to interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.
Trade name: Tarceva (Roche pharmaceutical companies, Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals). The drug has received FDA approval on 19/11/2004.