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Cancer remains one of the most life-threatening diseases to date. Traditionally, chemotherapy treatments for locally advanced or metastatic cancer had little or no efficacy. For example, colon and lung cancers were associated with poor clinical outcomes as recently as a decade ago. However, increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis has spurred focus on the development and incorporation of molecular targeted agents in current therapeutic options for these difficult-to-treat diseases. Such agents have the ability to target a variety of cancer relevant molecules, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor. In addition, protein tyrosine kinases have been proven to be good targets to develop small molecule inhibitors that compete with ATP and inhibit kinase activity. These inhibitors have clinically effective responses. In this review, we describe the current status of targeted therapies in the treatment of advanced colon and lung cancers
focusing on clinical data based on experience with in monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors acting in these pathways.