Gene Summary

Gene:MET; MET proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase
Aliases: HGFR, AUTS9, RCCP2, c-Met, DFNB97
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase family of proteins and the product of the proto-oncogene MET. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate alpha and beta subunits that are linked via disulfide bonds to form the mature receptor. Further processing of the beta subunit results in the formation of the M10 peptide, which has been shown to reduce lung fibrosis. Binding of its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor, induces dimerization and activation of the receptor, which plays a role in cellular survival, embryogenesis, and cellular migration and invasion. Mutations in this gene are associated with papillary renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and various head and neck cancers. Amplification and overexpression of this gene are also associated with multiple human cancers. [provided by RefSeq, May 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:hepatocyte growth factor receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (15)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MET (cancer-related)

Al-U'datt DG, Al-Husein BA, Qasaimeh GR
A mini-review of c-Met as a potential therapeutic target in melanoma.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 88:194-202 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma is the third highest rated cancer in prevalence. Surgery, radiotherapy and targeted/biological therapies in addition to chemotherapy are available options for management of this cancer. Met is an appealing target for management of this type of cancer, since it targets many cancer vital processors, such as angiogenesis, cell growth, scattering and differentiation. In this review, we provide an overview about pathway abnormalities associated with melanoma. We also provide a summary about the events involved in Met signaling and related signaling molecules. We also show the evidence of the importance of Met signaling pathway as a target in cancer management. We also summarize clinical evidence about the use of Met signaling in management of cancer and summarize available trials related to targeting Met in other cancers.

Costa R, Shah AN, Santa-Maria CA, et al.
Targeting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in triple negative breast cancer: New discoveries and practical insights for drug development.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2017; 53:111-119 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10-20% of cases in breast cancer. Despite recent advances in the treatment of hormonal receptor+ and HER2+ breast cancers, there are no targeted therapies available for TNBC. Evidence supports that most patients with TNBC express the transmembrane Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). However, early phase clinical trials failed to demonstrate significant activity of EGFR-targeted monoclonal antibodies and/or tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Here, we review the recent discoveries related to the underlying biology of the EGFR pathway in TNBC, clinical progress to date and suggest rational future approaches for investigational therapies in TNBC.

Chen SW, Shen WC, Lin YC, et al.
Correlation of pretreatment (18)F-FDG PET tumor textural features with gene expression in pharyngeal cancer and implications for radiotherapy-based treatment outcomes.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017; 44(4):567-580 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study investigated the correlation of the matrix heterogeneity of tumors on (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) with gene-expression profiling in patients with pharyngeal cancer and determined the prognostic factors for radiotherapy-based treatment outcomes.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 57 patients with stage III-IV oropharyngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer who had completed definitive therapy. Four groups of the textural features as well as 31 indices were studied in addition to maximum standard uptake value, metastatic tumor volume, and total lesion glycolysis. Immunohistochemical data from pretreatment biopsy specimens (Glut1, CAIX, VEGF, HIF-1α, EGFR, Ki-67, Bcl-2, CLAUDIN-4, YAP-1, c-Met, and p16) were analyzed. The relationships between the indices and genomic expression were studied, and the robustness of various textural features relative to cause-specific survival and primary relapse-free survival was analyzed.
RESULTS: The overexpression of VEGF was positively associated with the increased values of the matrix heterogeneity obtained using gray-level nonuniformity for zone (GLNUz) and run-length nonuniformity (RLNU). Advanced T stage (p = 0.01, hazard ratio [HR] = 3.38), a VEGF immunoreactive score of >2 (p = 0.03, HR = 2.79), and a higher GLNUz value (p = 0.04, HR = 2.51) were prognostic factors for low cause-specific survival, whereas advanced T stage, a HIF-1α staining percentage of ≥80%, and a higher GLNUz value were prognostic factors for low primary-relapse free survival.
CONCLUSIONS: The overexpression of VEGF was associated with the increased matrix index of GLNUz and RLNU. For patients with pharyngeal cancer requiring radiotherapy, the treatment outcome can be stratified according to the textural features, T stage, and biomarkers.

Kwak EL, Hong TS, Forcione DG, et al.
Case 35-2016. A 62-Year-Old Man with Dysphagia.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(20):1983-1991 [PubMed] Related Publications

Caldarella C, Annunziata S, Pagano L, et al.
Improved Detection of Minimal Residual Disease by 11C-Methionine PET/CT in a Young Patient With Unusual Extramedullary Presentation of Recurrent Multiple Myeloma.
Clin Nucl Med. 2017; 42(2):e130-e134 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extramedullary relapse of multiple myeloma (MM) is uncommon. A 40-year-old woman with history of MM underwent PET/CT using C-methionine (C-MET) after the detection of a vulvar lesion on MRI, biopsy proven to be extramedullary relapse of MM. The vulvar lesion was negative at the F-FDG PET/CT but showed high uptake of C-MET; focal uptake of both F-FDG and C-MET was shown within the muscles of the left leg, histologically confirmed as extramedullary relapse of MM. F-FDG PET/CT performed after chemotherapy showed no uptake in both sites, whereas posttreatment C-MET PET/CT showed persistence of residual uptake within the vulvar lesion.

Hayashi Y, Yamaguchi J, Kokuryo T, et al.
The Complete Loss of Tyrosine Kinase Receptors MET and RON Is a Poor Prognostic Factor in Patients with Extrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6585-6592 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although the survival of patients with cholangiocarcinoma has improved, the prognosis remains unfavorable. The overexpression of mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) and recepteur d'origine nantais (RON) has been considered to be indicative of a poor prognosis in some types of cancer. On the other hand, some studies have shown that the expression of MET and RON is a favorable prognostic factor in certain types of tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Based on the immunohistochemical analysis of MET and RON, 290 patients who underwent resection for extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma were divided into three groups: MET/RON-negative, -intermediate, and -positive. The associations between MET/RON expression and clinicopathological features, including prognosis, were analyzed.
RESULTS: MET/RON-negativity was associated with nodal metastasis and advanced pathological stage. The overall 5-year survival rates were significantly lower in the MET/RON-negative and MET/RON-positive groups than in the MET/RON-intermediate group (28.3%, 32.4% and 48.5%, respectively; p=0.01).
CONCLUSION: The complete loss of one or both MET and RON, as well as their overexpression, is a poor prognostic factor in patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, probably due to the high rate of lymph-node metastasis.

Pazzaglia L, Novello C, Conti A, et al.
miR-152 down-regulation is associated with MET up-regulation in leiomyosarcoma and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2017; 40(1):77-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Highly aggressive adult soft tissue sarcomas (STS), i.e., leiomyosarcomas (LMS) and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas (UPS), present complex genomic anomalies and overall 5-year survival rates of 20 to 40%. Here, we aimed to identify new biomarkers that may be employed to improve the treatment of non-translocation STS patients. We validated 12 miRNAs implicated in tumor development using primary STS samples and selected miR-152 for further analysis in STS-derived cell lines.
METHODS: 59 primary STS samples (27 LMS and 32 UPS) and 10 matched normal control tissues were included in the study, as well as 3 STS-derived cell lines (HT1080, SW872 and SKLMS1) and a normal control mesenchymal cell line (hMSC). miRNA expression analyses were performed using a TaqMan microRNA Array platform and qRT-PCR (miR-152), respectively. The expression levels of the putative miR-152 targets MET and KIT were assessed using qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays, respectively. In addition, various functional analyses were performed before and after miR-152 transfection into SKLMS1 cells.
RESULTS: We found that 12 pre-selected miRNAs were down-regulated in primary STS tumor samples compared to its normal control samples. A statistically significant miR-152 down-regulation was found to be accompanied by high MET and KIT mRNA levels in both the primary samples and the STS-derived cell lines tested. miR-152 transfection in SKLMS1 cells led to a reduction in KIT and MET mRNA and protein levels which, in turn, was associated with a transient down-regulation of the PI3K/AKT pathway, a transient decrease in cell growth, and a transient increase in both apoptotic and S-phase cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that over-expression of MET and KIT in primary STS samples and its derived cell lines is associated with miR-152 down-regulation. This shift may play a role in STS development and, thus, may be used to identify patients at risk. The effect of MET down-regulation on downstream signaling pathways, such as the PI3K/AKT pathway, may provide a basis for the future design of novel STS treatment strategies.

Hochart A, Leblond P, Le Bourhis X, et al.
[MET receptor inhibition: Hope against resistance to targeted therapies?]
Bull Cancer. 2017; 104(2):157-166 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overcoming the drug resistance remains a crucial issue in cancer treatment. For refractory patients, the use of MET receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors seems to be hopeful. Indeed, important mechanisms underlying drug resistance argue for association of MET inhibitors with targeted therapies, both on first-line to prevent a primary resistance and on the second line to overcoming acquired resistance. Indeed, met gene amplification is the second most common alteration involved in acquired resistance to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapies in non-small cells lung cancer (NSCLC). Hypoxia, for its part, can activate MET transcription and amplifies HGF signaling resulting in MET activation, which could be involved in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors escape. In HER2 positive breast cancers, MET amplification may also induce tumor cells a hatch escape, resulting in secondary resistance. Finally, some patients with BRAF mutated melanoma exhibit primary resistance to BRAF inhibition by stromal HGF (ligand of MET) secretion resulting in MET receptor activation. Experimental data highlight the role of MET in primary and secondary resistance and encourage combined treatments including MET inhibitors. In this context, several promising clinical trials are in progress in numerous cancers (NSCLC, melanoma, breast cancer, glioblastoma…) using combination of anti-MET and other specific therapies targeting EGFR, BRAF, VEGF or HER2. This review summarizes the potential benefits that MET inhibition should provide to patients with cancer refractory to targeted therapies.

Woo HY, Yoo SY, Heo J
New chemical treatment options in second-line hepatocellular carcinoma: what to do when sorafenib fails?
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2017; 18(1):35-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: There have been no therapies available for patients who experience disease progression after sorafenib treatment. Regorafenib inhibits multiple kinases involved in tumor proliferation and neoangiogenesis, which has produced a survival benefit in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after sorafenib failure. Other active candidate agents are c-Met inhibitors and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Areas covered: This paper presents an updated summary of the preclinical and clinical experience with regorafenib, c-Met inhibitors (tivantinib, cabozantinib and tepotinib), and a checkpoint inhibitor (nivolumab, pembrolizumab) in HCC. The reported data were obtained from abstracts of international conferences and journal articles published up to August 2016 and found in a PubMed search. Expert opinion: Based on favorable data from preclinical and clinical trials, regorafenib, c-Met inhibitor, and checkpoint inhibitors are promising agents for HCC after sorafenib failure. However, further efforts to maximize the survival benefit and minimize adverse events of these drugs in the treatment of HCC are still necessary. Additionally, searching for predictors of good responders could allow these new drugs to be applied in personalized treatments of HCC.

Yang J, Li S, Wang B, et al.
Potential biomarkers for anti-EGFR therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(9):11645-11655 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy has established efficacy in metastatic colorectal cancer, but a significant number of patients do not respond to such treatment. Recently, various biomarkers were reported to be useful in predicting resistance to anti-EGFR. All the potential biomarkers predicting resistance to anti-EGFR are reviewed herein from five aspects. First, upstream molecules, including epiregulin (EREG) and amphiregulin (AREG), might play different roles according to their abnormal levels in tumor tissue and serum. Second, the EGFR amplification and distinct polymorphisms may have roles in identifying patients for initial anti-EGFR mAbs therapy, while rare EGFR mutations have limited predictive values. Third, among the downstream molecularly related factors, rat sarcoma viral oncogene (Ras) has been identified as a successful predictor, while B-Raf proto-oncogene (BRAF) is considered as a prognostic factor rather than a predictor. Fourth, among the molecular bypass pathway components, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) may be potential biomarkers in the future, while activation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met signaling confers resistance to anti-EGFR therapy. Fifth, many microRNAs and additional molecular biomarkers are promising in predicting the efficacy of anti-EGFR therapy. Applications of multiple biomarkers are more effective than the use of a single biomarker in selecting patients who might benefit from cetuximab- or panitumumab-based treatments. Comprehensive molecular analyses of the EGFR signaling pathways should be considered in the future. Subsequent prospective trials will be required to further confirm the clinical utility of these biomarkers.

Imura Y, Nakai T, Yamada S, et al.
Functional and therapeutic relevance of hepatocyte growth factor/c-MET signaling in synovial sarcoma.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(12):1867-1876 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma with a poor prognosis and, thus, novel therapeutic strategies for SS are urgently required. In the present study, we investigated the functional and therapeutic relevance of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-MET signaling in SS. Both HGF and c-MET were highly expressed in Yamato-SS cells, resulting in activation of c-MET and its downstream AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathways, whereas c-MET was expressed but not activated in SYO-1 or HS-SY-II cells. c-MET-activated Yamato-SS cells showed higher anchorage-independent growth ability and less sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents than did c-MET-inactivated SYO-1 or HS-SY-II cells. INC280, a selective c-MET inhibitor, inhibited growth of Yamato-SS cells both in vitro and in vivo but not that of SYO-1 or HS-SY-II cells. INC280 induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, and blocked phosphorylation of c-MET and its downstream effectors in Yamato-SS cells. Co-expression of HGF and c-MET in SS clinical samples correlated with a poor prognosis in patients with SS. Taken together, activation of HGF/c-MET signaling in an autocrine fashion leads to an aggressive phenotype in SS and targeting of this signaling exerts superior antitumor effects on c-MET-activated SS. HGF/c-MET expression status is a potential biomarker for identification of SS patients with a worse prognosis who can benefit from c-MET inhibitors.

Cui SX, Yu XF, Qu XJ
Roles and Signaling Pathways of Des-γ-Carboxyprothrombin in the Progression of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Cancer Invest. 2016; 34(9):459-464 [PubMed] Related Publications
Des-γ-carboxyprothrombin (DCP), an abnormal prothrombin produced in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), plays crucial roles in the progression of HCC. DCP binding to cellular mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (c-Met) is an initial event and consequently stimulates HCC through the increase of c-Met-Janus kinase 1- signal transducers and activators of transcription pathways. DCP stimulates HCC invasion through activation of matrix metalloproteinase via upregulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. DCP stimulates HCC angiogenesis through activation of the DCP-kinase insert domain receptor-phospholipaseC-γ-MAPK pathway. Identification of these pathways is important for designing the therapeutic strategy for HCC.

Subbiah V, Holmes O, Gowen K, et al.
Activity of c-Met/ALK Inhibitor Crizotinib and Multi-Kinase VEGF Inhibitor Pazopanib in Metastatic Gastrointestinal Neuroectodermal Tumor Harboring EWSR1-CREB1 Fusion.
Oncology. 2016; 91(6):348-353 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
Malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor (GNET) is an aggressive rare tumor, primarily occurring in young adults with frequent local-regional metastases and recurrence after local control. The tumor is characterized by the presence of EWSR1-ATF1 or EWSR1-CREB1 and immunohistochemical positivity for S-100 protein without melanocytic marker positivity. Due to poor responses to standard sarcoma regimens, GNET has a poor prognosis, and development of effective systemic therapy is desperately needed to treat these patients. Herein, we present a patient with a small bowel GNET who experienced recurrent hepatic and skeletal metastases after a primary resection. Comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) in the course of clinical care with DNA and RNA sequencing demonstrated the presence of an exon 7 to exon 6 EWSR1-CREB1 fusion in the context of a diploid genome with no other genomic alterations. In a clinical trial, the patient received a combination of 250 mg crizotinib with 600 mg pazopanib quaque die and achieved partial response and durable clinical benefit for over 2.8 years, and with minimal toxicity from therapy. Using a CGP database of over 50,000 samples, we identified 11 additional cases that harbor EWSR1-CREB1 and report clinicopathologic characteristics, as these patients may also benefit from such a regimen.

Li S, Zhang H, Wang X, et al.
Direct targeting of HGF by miR-16 regulates proliferation and migration in gastric cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(11):15175-15183 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported to be involved in each stage of tumor development in various types of cancers. We have previously showed that miR-16 is downregulated in cancer and acts as a tumor suppressor. Other studies indicated that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met is implicated in proliferation, migration, and other pathophysiological processes. However, little is known about the relationship between miR-16 and HGF/c-Met in gastric cancer (GC). In the present study, we used bioinformatics tools and related experiments to search for miRNAs targeting HGF. Here, we found that miR-16 suppressed HGF protein expression by directly targeting 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of HGF mRNA. Subsequently, it was illustrated the downregulation of miR-16 promotes, while overexpressed of miR-16 significantly inhibits cell proliferation and migration by negatively regulating HGF/c-Met pathway. Moreover, the biological role of HGF in GC cells was determined by using HGF siRNA and HGF-overexpressing plasmid, respectively. To conclude, our results provide a potential target by using miR-16 for the future clinical treatment of GC.

Tarkkonen A, Rissanen E, Tuokkola T, Airas L
Utilization of PET imaging in differential diagnostics between a tumefactive multiple sclerosis lesion and low-grade glioma.
Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2016; 9:147-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We present a case where a 30-year-old man with a history of combined MS and Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT I) disease was additionally diagnosed and treated for grade II glioma (astrocytoma). Tumefactive MS and gliomas are sometimes difficult to distinguish from one another based on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In our case, positron emission tomography (PET) scans with(11)C-methionine ((11)C-MET) and (11)C-PK11195 radioligands were performed to aid in differential diagnostics. The diagnosis was confirmed finally by brain biopsy. The usefulness of PET imaging in differential diagnostics between tumefactive MS and glioma is discussed.

Yaghmour G, Prouet P, Wiedower E, et al.
Genomic alterations in neuroendocrine cancers of the ovary.
J Ovarian Res. 2016; 9(1):52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: As we have previously reported, small cell carcinoma of the ovary (SCCO) is a rare, aggressive form of ovarian cancer associated with poor outcomes. In an effort to identify new treatment options, we utilized comprehensive genomic profiling to assess the potential for novel therapies in SCCO.
METHODS: Patients with SCCO, SCCO-HT (hypercalcemic type), neuroendocrine tumors of the ovary (NET-O), and small cell carcinoma of the lung (SCLC) profiled by Caris Life Sciences between 2007-2015 were identified. Tumors were assessed with up to 21 IHC stains, in situ hybridization of cMET, EGFR, HER2 and PIK3CA, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) as well as Sanger sequencing of selected genes.
RESULTS: Forty-six patients with SCCO (10 SCCO, 18 SCCO-HT, 18 NET-O) were identified as well as 58 patients with SCLC for comparison. Patients with SCCO and SCCO-HT were younger (median 42 years [range 12-75] and 26 years [range 8-40], respectively) than patients with NET-O 62 [range 13-76] or SCLC 66 [range 36-86]. SCCO patients were more likely to be metastatic (70 %) than SCCO-HT (50 %) or NET-O (33 %) patients, but at a similar rate to SCLC patients (65 %). PD1 expression varied across tumor type with SCCO (100 %), SCCO-HT (60 %), NET-O (33 %) vs SCLC (42 %). PDL1 expression also varied with SCCO (50 %), SCCO-HT (20 %), NET-O (33 %) and SCLC (0 %). No amplifications were identified in cMET, EGFR, or HER2 and only 1 was found in PIK3CA (NET-O). Actionable mutations were rare with 1 patient with SCCO having a BRCA2 mutation and 1 patient with NET-O having a PIK3CA mutation. No other actionable mutations were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: No recurrent actionable mutations or rearrangements were identified using this platform in SCCO. IHC patterns may help guide the use of chemotherapy in these rare tumors.

Watabe T, Ikeda H, Nagamori S, et al.
(18)F-FBPA as a tumor-specific probe of L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1): a comparison study with (18)F-FDG and (11)C-Methionine PET.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017; 44(2):321-331 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of L-4-borono-2-(18)F-fluoro-phenylalanine ((18)F-FBPA) as a tumor-specific probe, in comparison to (18)F-FDG and (11)C-methionine (Met), focusing on its transport selectivity by L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), which is highly upregulated in cancers.
METHODS: Cellular analyses of FBPA were performed to evaluate the transportablity and Km value. PET studies were performed in rat xenograft models of C6 glioma (n = 12) and in rat models of turpentine oil-induced subcutaneous inflammation (n = 9). The kinetic parameters and uptake values on static PET images were compared using the one-tissue compartment model (K1, k2) and maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax).
RESULTS: The cellular analyses showed that FBPA had a lower affinity to a normal cell-type transporter LAT2 and induced less efflux through LAT2 among FBPA, Met, and BPA, while the efflux through LAT1 induced by FBPA was similar among the three compounds. The Km value of (18)F-FBPA for LAT1 (196.8 ± 11.4 μM) was dramatically lower than that for LAT2 (2813.8 ± 574.5 μM), suggesting the higher selectivity of (18)F-FBPA for LAT1. K1 and k2 values were significantly smaller in (18)F-FBPA PET (K1 = 0.04 ± 0.01 ml/ccm/min and k2 = 0.07 ± 0.01 /min) as compared to (11)C-Met PET (0.22 ± 0.09 and 0.52 ± 0.10, respectively) in inflammatory lesions. Static PET analysis based on the SUVmax showed significantly higher accumulation of (18)F-FDG in the tumor and inflammatory lesions (7.2 ± 2.1 and 4.6 ± 0.63, respectively) as compared to both (18)F-FBPA (3.2 ± 0.40 and 1.9 ± 0.19) and (11)C-Met (3.4 ± 0.43 and 1.6 ± 0.11). No significant difference was observed between (18)F-FBPA and (11)C-Met in the static PET images.
CONCLUSION: This study shows the utility of (18)F-FBPA as a tumor-specific probe of LAT1 with low accumulation in the inflammatory lesions.

Zhang Z, Kong Y, Yang W, et al.
Upregulation of microRNA-34a enhances the DDP sensitivity of gastric cancer cells by modulating proliferation and apoptosis via targeting MET.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(4):2391-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cisplatin (DDP) based chemotherapy is still the main strategy of human gastric cancer (GC) treatment. However, drug resistance is a major obstacle for DDP chemotherapy. Recent studies indicated that the resistance could be modulated by the regulation of dysregulated microRNAs (miRs). Previous study also found miR-34a was associated with cell proliferation and apoptosis in human GC; however, the relationship between miR-34a and DDP resistance still remains unexplored. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether miR-34a is associated with DDP resistance in human GC cells. Our study found that the expression of miR-34a was significantly decreased in DDP resistance human GC tissues and DDP resistance human GC SGC7901/DDP cells compared with normal GC tissues and cells. Upregulation of miR-34a enhanced the DDP sensitivity of SGC7901/DDP cells to DDP through the inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of cell apoptosis; on the other hand downregulation of miR-34a could weaken the DDP sensitivity of SGC7901 cells to DDP. Further study found that MET was a direct target of miR-34a and the regulation of MET could affect the DDP sensitivity of SGC7901/DDP cells. Moreover, our study also indicated that up-regulation of miR-34a could decrease the expression of MET in SGC7901/DDP cells. Therefore, our findings suggested miR-34a could modulate human gastric cancer cell DDP sensitivity by regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis via targeting MET, potentially benefiting human GC treatment in the future.

Shali H, Ahmadi M, Kafil HS, et al.
IGF1R and c-met as therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 82:528-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
The type 1 IGF receptor (IGF1R) and mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) are hetrodimeric and transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinases, which are frequently overexpressed by several tumor types, including colorectal cancer (CRC). These receptors bind to their specific ligands, insulin growth factors (IGFs) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), respectively, and promote signaling cascades which mediates many functions such as proliferation and protection against apoptosis, cell scattering, tumor cell motility, invasion and metastasis. In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), IGF1R and c-met expression confer resistance to cetuximab (monoclonal antibodies against EGFR). Therefore, the c-met and IGF1R are now an attractive novel target for anticancer therapy. In this review, we will describe correlation between two receptors and their activation effects in tumor cells, and finally introduce useful and available strategies for their targeting.

Uguen A, Andrieu-Key S, Vergne F, et al.
ALK ambiguous-positive non-small cell lung cancers are tumors challenged by diagnostic and therapeutic issues.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(3):1427-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Searching for ALK rearrangements using the approved fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) test and complementary immunohistochemistry (IHC) has become the rule to treat patients with advanced non‑small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with anti‑ALK targeted therapy. The concordance between the two techniques is reported to be strong but imperfect. We report our experience with cases of ALK‑rearranged lung adenocarcinomas pointing out particularly ambiguous cases. FISH and IHC data on ALK but also c‑MET IHC as well as EGFR and KRAS mutation screening are considered, together with response to crizotinib treatment. We classified the 55 FISH ALK‑rearranged tumors into two groups according to the FISH and IHC results: a concordant FISH+IHC+ group (31 tumors) and an ambiguous group (24 tumors). These tumors were considered as 'ambiguous' ALK‑positive due to negative (21 tumors) or non‑contributive (3 tumors) IHC. In addition, the percentage of FISH-positive nuclei was between 15 and 20% in 17 tumors belonging to one or the other group (now called borderline tumors). We discuss the accuracy of the different tests with intent to determine whether ambiguous and borderline tumors are real positive ALK‑rearranged tumors. To conclude, ambiguous ALK‑positive lung cancers are challenging tumors with diagnosis and therapeutic issues that can justify parallel FISH, IHC and molecular screening strategy.

Ciccarese C, Brunelli M, Montironi R, et al.
The prospect of precision therapy for renal cell carcinoma.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2016; 49:37-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The therapeutic landscape of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has greatly expanded in the last decade. From being a malignancy orphan of effective therapies, kidney cancer has become today a tumor with several treatment options. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a metabolic disease, being characterized by the dysregulation of metabolic pathways involved in oxygen sensing (VHL/HIF pathway alterations and the subsequent up-regulation of HIF-responsive genes such as VEGF, PDGF, EGF, and glucose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT4, which justify the RCC reliance on aerobic glycolysis), energy sensing (fumarate hydratase-deficient, succinate dehydrogenase-deficient RCC, mutations of HGF/MET pathway resulting in the metabolic Warburg shift marked by RCC increased dependence on aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate shunt, augmented lipogenesis, and reduced AMPK and Krebs cycle activity) and/or nutrient sensing cascade (deregulation of AMPK-TSC1/2-mTOR and PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathways). In this complex scenario it is important to find prognostic and predictive factors that can help in decision making in the treatment of mRCC.

Bois MC, Mansfield AS, Sukov WR, et al.
c-Met expression and MET amplification in malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2016; 23:1-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
c-Met is a receptor tyrosine kinase shown to be overexpressed in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Whereas MET mutations have been identified in 3%-16% of MPMs, MET amplification has recently been reported in a single epithelioid MPM. We studied c-Met expression and MET amplification in a large MPM cohort and correlated results with morphologic and clinical features. We report the first case of MET amplification in sarcomatoid MPM. MPMs from surgical pathology files (1989-2014) were reviewed. c-Met immunohistochemistry was performed. Staining intensity and distribution were multiplied (H-score). Staining localization (cytoplasmic and/or membranous) was noted. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed using probes for MET and centromere 7. One hundred forty-nine patients (median age, 68.0years; interquartile range, 61-75) had epithelioid (n=97), biphasic (n=18), or sarcomatoid (n=34) MPM. Median follow-up was 10.1months (range, 0.1-222.5). One hundred thirty patients died of disease; 2 were alive with disease. c-Met was expressed in 147 MPMs. c-Met staining intensity, distribution, and H-score differed among the histologic subtypes (P=.015; P=.0001, and P=.0005, respectively), but none were predictive of survival. Epithelioid subtype had greater c-Met expression. MET amplification was identified in 1 sarcomatoid MPM and MET duplication in 1 epithelioid MPM; both had poor outcomes. Chromosome 7 aneusomy was observed in 54 of 144 (37.5%) MPMs and associated with decreased overall survival in sarcomatoid MPMs (hazard ratio=2.81; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-6.51; P=.01). In conclusion, c-Met is expressed in MPM, with significant differences in expression among histologic subtypes. MET amplification is a rare event in MPM, making it an unlikely common pathogenesis for c-Met expression.

Redig AJ, Costa DB, Taibi M, et al.
Prospective Study of Repeated Biopsy Feasibility and Acquired Resistance at Disease Progression in Patients With Advanced EGFR Mutant Lung Cancer Treated With Erlotinib in a Phase 2 Trial.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(9):1240-2 [PubMed] Related Publications

Chatterjee S, Bhattacharya S, Socinski MA, Burns TF
HSP90 inhibitors in lung cancer: promise still unfulfilled.
Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2016; 14(5):346-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite recent advances in the treatment of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and worldwide, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 17%. Analysis of the molecular drivers of NSCLC led to the recognition that NSCLC is a collection of distinct, molecularly driven neoplasms. Several subsets of NSCLC with clinical relevance to targeted therapies are defined based on alterations in EGFR, ALK, and other key oncogenic drivers. However, for many oncogenic drivers-such as mutant KRAS-targeted therapies are lacking. Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent molecular chaperone that is critically required for the stability of its clientele, many of which are driver oncoproteins. Therefore, HSP90 inhibitors could prove to be an effective and alternate approach to treat patients with NSCLC that has a specific molecular background or that has acquired resistance to other drugs. Over the last 2 decades, several HSP90 inhibitors have been developed that produced promising preclinical and clinical results. The quest is far from over, however. In this review, we discuss the development and the preclinical and clinical profiles of some of the HSP90 inhibitors that may help to improve the targeted treatment of NSCLC.

Tasaki T, Fujita M, Okuda T, et al.
MET Expressed in Glioma Stem Cells Is a Potent Therapeutic Target for Glioblastoma Multiforme.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(7):3571-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and the most malignant tumor among adult brain tumors. Previous reports led us to hypothesize that the proto-oncogene mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) expressed in glioma stem cell-like cells (GSCs) would be a potent therapeutic target for GBM.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: To address this question, we analyzed 113 original samples of tumors from patients based on immunohistochemistry. During this process, we were able to establish GSC lines from patients with GBM that were MET-positive and MET-negative. Using these cells, we tested the therapeutic impact of a MET inhibitor, crizotinib, both in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: Patients with MET-positive GBM exhibited poor survival. GSC-based experiments revealed that treatment with crizotinib, both in vitro and in vivo, exhibited therapeutic efficacy particularly against MET-positive GSCs.
CONCLUSION: Based on these findings, we conclude that MET expressed in GSCs might be a potent therapeutic target for GBM.

Qu J, Qu X
The predictors of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced gastric cancer.
Cancer Biomark. 2016; 17(1):49-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-sensitivity test is crucial to screen out patients who are insensitive to the treatment and to avoid unnecessary preoperative chemotherapy.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the predictors for the response to mFOLFOX7 neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in advanced gastric cancer.
METHODS: The expression of C-met, EGFR, HER2, Ki-67, MMP7, P53 and TOPOII in tumor tissue from 53 locally advanced gastric cancer patients (AGC) was detected by immunohistochemistry. The relationship between tumor marker expression and the efficacy of NACT was determined by chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression analysis. The relationship between the combined expression of HER2 and P53 and the efficacy of NACT was further analyzed by chi-square test.
RESULTS: The overall response rate was 52.8% (28/53). There were no significant differences of tumor markers' expression before and after chemotherapy (P> 0.05). The response rate in HER2-positive patients (83.33%) was significantly higher than that in HER2-negative patients (43.90%, P= 0.016), whereas the response rate in P53-positive patients (35.71%) was significantly lower than that in P53-negative patients (72.0%, P= 0.008). Moreover, the response rate was the highest in the patients who were positive for HER2 but negative for P53.
CONCLUSION: HER2 and P53 were identified as independent predictors for the response to mFOLFOX7 NACT in AGC.

Powles T, Sarwar N, Stockdale A, et al.
Safety and Efficacy of Pazopanib Therapy Prior to Planned Nephrectomy in Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cancer.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(10):1303-1309 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: The role of cytoreductive nephrectomy in patients with metastatic renal cancer in the era of targeted therapy is uncertain.
Objective: To establish the safety and efficacy of upfront pazopanib therapy prior to cytoreductive nephrectomy in previously untreated patients with metastatic clear cell renal cancer.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Single-arm phase 2 study of 104 previously untreated patients with metastatic clear cell renal cancer recruited between June 2008 and October 2012 at cancer treatment centers with access to nephrectomy services. The minimum follow-up was 30 months.
Interventions: Patients received 12 to 14 weeks of preoperative pazopanib therapy prior to planned cytoreductive nephrectomy and continued pazopanib therapy after surgery. Treatment was stopped at disease progression.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was clinical benefit (using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1) prior to surgery (at 12-14 weeks). Secondary end points included surgical complications, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and biomarker analysis.
Results: Of 104 patients recruited, 100 patients were assessable for clinical benefit prior to planned nephrectomy; 80 of 104 (76.9%) were men; median [interquartile range] age, 64 [56-71] years). Overall, 84 of 100 (84% [95% CI, 75%-91%]) gained clinical benefit before planned nephrectomy. The median reduction in the size of the primary tumor was 14.4% (interquartile range, 1.4%-21.1%). No patients were unable to undergo surgery as a result of local progression of disease. Nephrectomy was performed in 63 (61%) of patients; 14 (22%) reported surgical complications. The 2 most common reasons for not undergoing surgery were progression of disease (n = 13) and patient choice (n = 9). There was 1 postoperative surgical death. The median PFS and OS for the whole cohort were 7.1 (95% CI, 6.0-9.2) and 22.7 (95% CI, 14.3-not estimable) months, respectively. Patients with MSKCC poor-risk disease or progressive disease prior to surgery had a poor outcome (median OS, 5.7 [95% CI, 2.6-10.8] and 3.9 [95% CI, 0.5-9.1] months, respectively). Surgical complications were observed in 14 (22%) of the nephrectomies. Biomarker analysis from sequential tissue samples revealed a decrease in CD8 expression (20.00 vs 13.75; P = .05) and significant reduction in expression of von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (100 vs 40; P < .001) and C-MET (300 vs 100; P < .001) and increased programmed cell death ligand 1 expression (0 vs 1.5; P < .001) in the immune component. No on-treatment biomarker correlated with response.
Conclusions and Relevance: Nephrectomy after upfront pazopanib therapy could be performed safely and was associated with good outcomes in patients with intermediate-risk metastatic clear cell renal cancer.

Jiang S, Zhao C, Yang X, et al.
miR-1 suppresses the growth of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in vivo and in vitro through the downregulation of MET, cyclin D1 and CDK4 expression.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 38(1):113-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
Several aberrant microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) have been implicated in esophageal cancer (EC), which is widely prevalent in China. However, their role in EC tumorigenesis has not yet been fully elucidated. In the present study, we determined that miR‑1 was downregulated in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues compared with adjacent non-neoplastic tissues using RT-qPCR, and confirmed this using an ESCC cell line. Using a nude mouse xenograft model, we confirmed that the re-expression of miR‑1 significantly inhibited ESCC tumor growth. A tetrazolium assay and a trypan blue exclusion assay revealed that miR‑1 suppressed ESCC cell proliferation and increased apoptosis, whereas the silencing of miR‑1 promoted cell proliferation and decreased apoptosis, suggesting that miR‑1 is a novel tumor suppressor. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of action of miR‑1 in ESCC, we investigated putative targets using bioinformatics tools. MET, cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), which are involved in the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET signaling pathway, were found to be targets of miR‑1. miR‑1 expression inversely correlated with MET, cyclin D1 and CDK4 expression in ESCC cells. miR‑1 directly targeted MET, cyclin D1 and CDK4, suppressing ESCC cell growth. The newly identified miR‑1/MET/cyclin D1/CDK4 axis provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms of ESCC pathogenesis and indicates a novel strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of ESCC.

Sim DY, Sohng JK, Jung HJ
Anticancer activity of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone in melanoma cells via downregulation of α-MSH/cAMP/MITF pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(1):528-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant melanoma is one of the most aggressive skin cancer and highly resistant to most conventional treatment. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the anticancer effects and mechanisms of action of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a monophenolic flavone, in melanoma cells. At concentrations not exhibiting cytotoxicity, 7,8-DHF potently inhibited growth and clonogenic survival of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-stimulated B16F10 melanoma cells. Furthermore, it significantly blocked migration and invasion of the metastatic melanoma cells. We also observed that 7,8-DHF exhibits anti-melanogenic activity through inhibition of tyrosinase activity in α-MSH-stimulating condition. Notably, the suppressive activities of 7,8-DHF on melanoma progression were associated with the downregulation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and its main downstream transcription targets, including hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) and c-MET, by a decrease in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) level. In addition, combination treatment with 7,8-DHF and resveratrol, a known therapeutic agent against melanoma, had greater anticancer activities and MITF inhibition than treatment with each single agent in α-MSH-treated B16F10 cells. Collectively, these findings may contribute to the potential application of 7,8-DHF in the prevention and treatment of malignant melanoma.

Leo F, Bartels S, Mägel L, et al.
Prognostic factors in the myoepithelial-like spindle cell type of metaplastic breast cancer.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(2):191-201 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/10/2017 Related Publications
Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) comprises a heterogeneous group of tumors with difficult to predict biological behavior. A subset of MBC, characterized by spindle-shaped tumor cells with a myoepithelial-like immunophenotype, was entered into a retrospective study (n = 42, median follow-up time 43 months). Molecular parameters (DNA sequences of mutation hot spots in AKT1, ALK, APC, BRAF, CDH1, CTNNB1, EGFR, ERBB2, FBXW7, FGFR2, FOXL2, GNAQ, GNAS, KIT, KRAS, MAP2K1, MET, MSH6, NRAS, PDGFRA, PIK3CA, PTEN, SF3B1, SMAD4, SRC, SRSF2, STK11, TP53, and U2AF1; copy numbers for EGFR, c-myc, FGFR, PLAG, c-met) were assessed. None of the patients had axillary lymph node involvement. In 13 cases, local recurrence developed after surgery (30.9 %). Distant metastasis occurred in seven patients (17 %; four after local recurrence). The most frequent genetic alteration was PIK3CA mutation (50 % of cases). None of the pathological parameters (size, grade, stage, Ki-67 labeling index) was significantly associated with disease-free survival (DFS) or overall survival (OS). PIK3CA mutation, especially the H1047R type, tended to adversely affect OS. Type of resection (mastectomy vs. breast-conserving therapy, width of margins) or adjuvant radiotherapy had no influence on DFS or OS, whereas in the group treated with radio-/chemotherapy, no local recurrence or metastasis and no death occurred. We conclude that the spindle cell type of MBC with myoepithelial features exhibits a higher frequency of PIK3CA mutation than other types of metaplastic or basal-like breast cancer and may benefit from combined radio-/chemotherapy. Classical pathological parameters are not helpful in identifying the high-risk tumors among this subgroup of MBC.

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