The METeoric rise of MET in lung cancer

Lung Cancer

Cancer. 2020 Sep 5. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33159. Online ahead of print.


Over the years, there has been a continuous increase in clinically relevant driver mutations in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Among these, dysregulated activation of the MET tyrosine kinase receptor has gained importance due to the recent development of quite effective treatments. MET dysregulation encompasses a heterogeneous array of alterations leading to the prolonged activation of the cellular MET (c-MET or MET) receptor and downstream proliferation pathways. It can arise

through several mechanisms, including gene amplification, overexpression of the receptor and/or its ligand hepatocyte growth factor, and the acquisition of activating mutations. MET mutations are found in approximately 3% to 5% of patients with NSCLC, mainly adenocarcinoma, and are overrepresented in the sarcomatoid subtype. De novo MET amplifications are found in 1% to 5% of NSCLC cases, also predominantly in adenocarcinoma. In the current review, the authors discussed the biology of MET, how to diagnose clinically relevant alterations, and the rising clinical importance of these alterations in light of the emergence of multiple targeted therapies, both within the context of MET as a driver of resistance and in its own right.