Gefitinib is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has not gotten better after treatment with other chemotherapy. It is available only as part of a special program called the Iressa Access Program. Gefitinib is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
Gefitinib is an anilinoquinazoline with antineoplastic activity. Gefitinib inhibits the catalytic activity of numerous tyrosine kinases including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which may result in inhibition of tyrosine kinase-dependent tumor growth. Specifically, this agent competes with the binding of ATP to the tyrosine kinase domain of EGFR, thereby inhibiting receptor autophosphorylation and resulting in inhibition of signal transduction. Gefitinib may also induce cell cycle arrest and inhibit angiogenesis.
Using a virus to purposely mutate genes that produce cancer-driving proteins could shed light on the resistance that inevitably develops to cancer drugs that target them, a new study led by UT Southwestern scientists suggests.