Iressa (ZD1839) is an orally active tyrosine kinase inhibitor selective for the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor tyrosine kinase. Iressa is undergoing clinical trials in the treatment of various solid tumors, including head and neck cancer, breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Its antitumor activity is derived from the fact that the EGF receptor and EGF signaling are frequently overactivated in sensitive tumors. The major side effects include diarrhea and skin rash. Bone marrow toxicity has not been a dose-limiting problem.

A summary of the principal clinical uses of most of the drugs mentioned in this chapter can be found in Table 56.2.

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