Publication: Immune Resistance and EGFR Antagonists in Colorectal Cancer
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Targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) either alone or in combination with chemotherapy in patients with RAS wild type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has revolutionized the treatment of CRC, but with less results than initially envisaged. In recent years, the discovery of multiple pathways leading to the escape from anti-EGFR therapy has revealed an enormous complexity and heterogeneity of human CRC due to the intrinsic genomic instability and immune/cancer cell interaction. Therefore, understanding the mechanistic basis of acquired resistance to targeted therapies represents a major challenge to improve the clinical outcomes of patients with CRC. The latest findings strongly suggest that complex molecular alterations coupled with changes of the immune tumor microenvironment may substantially contribute to the clinical efficacy of EGFR antagonist. In this review, we discuss the most recent findings that contribute to both primary and acquired anti-EGFR therapy resistance. In addition, we analyze how strategies aiming to enhance the favorable effects in the tumor microenvironment may contribute to overcome resistance to EGFR therapies.