Chronic respiratory diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, are the second leading cause of death among Europeans. Despite this, there have been only a few therapeutic advances in these conditions over the past 20 years. In this review we provide evidence that targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling pathway may represent a novel therapeutic panacea for treating chronic lung disease. Using evidence from human patient samples, transgenic animal models, and cell and molecular biology studies we highlight the roles of this signalling pathway in lung development, homeostasis, repair, and disease ontogeny. We identify mechanisms underlying lung EGFR pathway regulation and suggest how targeting these mechanisms using new and existing therapies has the potential to improve future lung cancer, COPD and pulmonary fibrosis patient outcomes.
Bibliographical note©ERS 2014.
- Chronic Disease
- Disease Models, Animal
- ErbB Receptors/antagonists & inhibitors
- Lung Diseases/physiopathology
- Lung Neoplasms/metabolism
- Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/physiopathology
- Pulmonary Fibrosis/physiopathology
- Signal Transduction
- Treatment Outcome