Article and Video CATEGORIES

Cancer Journey

Search By

What is EGFR and the EGFR Mutation?
GRACE Videos and Articles
GRACE Cancer Video Library - Lung



Dr. Greg Riely from MSKCC provides an introduction to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), what an EGFR mutation means, and which patients are more likely to have them.

Download Transcript

[ratingwidget post_id=0]

Please feel free to offer comments and raise questions in our Discussion Forums.



EGFR is the epidermal growth factor receptor — this is a protein that’s expressed or found in a variety of tissues in your body. Epidermal refers to epidermis, and was initially described in the skin. It’s also expressed in the colon and a variety of other places. Now, some portion of patients with lung cancer, about 20% of people with lung cancer, have mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor. Importantly, these mutations occur only in the tumor — we don’t see epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in the skin, for instance, but the mutations are in the tumor, and these mutations drive the cancer. We know that the tumors are what we describe as addicted to the signaling from this abnormal, this mutated, epidermal growth factor receptor protein, and this leads to the cancer growth. Since we have drugs that target the epidermal growth factor receptor, we can treat patients with those drugs, and by depriving the tumor of that EGFR signal, those tumor cells die. Now, the first-generation of epidermal growth factor receptor drugs, EGFR drugs, things like erlotinib, gefitinib, and even the second-generation drugs, afatinib, all target regular EGFR, wild-type EGFR, as it’s sometimes called. Importantly, the next generation of drugs that’s currently under development, rociletinib and mereletinib are drugs that are targeted specifically at mutant forms of EGFR, and so they have a different side effect profile, and it spares some of those normal EGFR effects. The normal EGFR effects can include rash, and diarrhea.

Next Previous link

Previous PostNext Post

Related Content

Blood Cancer OncTalk
In this series of videos, Dr. Aaron Goodman chairs the discussion along with speakers Drs. Tycel Phillips, Sridevi Rajeeve, Marco Ruiz and Alankrita Taneja.  Topics include:
View the full Targeted Therapies in Lung Cancer Patient forum from 2023 in YouTube and embedded here! 

Forum Discussions

Hi Blaze,


As much as I hate to say it, Welcome back Blaze.  It sounds like you're otherwise feeling good and enjoying life which is a wonderful place to be. ...

Waiting for my appointment with oncologist this morning. Thank you for the response. It helps. <3

It sounds like you’re thinking of this in a very appropriate way. Specifically, it sounds like the growth of the nodule is rather modest, though keep in mind that the change...

Hi and welcome to GRACE.  I'm sorry your mom is having this difficulty.  An indwelling catheter is used when the pleura space continually fills and the catheter is always there to...

Hi Oaktowngrrl,  Welcome to Grace.  I'm so sorry you're going through this.


 Finding a reputable dedicated thoracic surgeon for lung surgery might be difficult, as it is a complex and...

Recent Comments

Could you
By Maeve785 on
It sounds like you’re…
By Dr West on
Thank you Janine
By blaze100 on
Hi Blaze,


As much as I…
By JanineT GRACE … on