Role of cMET expression in non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Research paper by P A PA Zucali, M G MG Ruiz, E E Giovannetti, A A Destro, M M Varella-Garcia, K K Floor, G L GL Ceresoli, J A JA Rodriguez, I I Garassino, P P Comoglio, M M Roncalli, A A Santoro, G G Giaccone

Indexed on: 10 May '08Published on: 10 May '08Published in: Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO


Approximately 10% of unselected non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients responded to the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) treatment. However, resistance mechanisms are not well understood. We evaluated several potential biological markers of intrinsic EGFR-TKIs-resistance in NSCLC.pAKT, pERK, cSRC, E-cadherin, cMET[pY1003], cMET[pY1230/1234/1235], and cMET[pY1349] immunohistochemistry, cMET FISH analysis, and EGFR-, KRAS-, and cMET mutation analysis were carried out on tumor samples from 51 gefitinib-treated NSCLC patients. Biological parameters and survival end points were compared by univariate and multivariate analyses. cMET expression was also investigated in two additional series of patients. The in vitro antiproliferative activity of gefitinib alone or in combination with hepatocyte growth factor and the cMET antibody DN-30 was assessed in NSCLC cells.EGFR19 deletion and pAKT expression were significantly associated with response (P < 0.0001) and longer time to progression (TTP) (P = 0.007), respectively. Strong cMET[pY1003] membrane immunoreactivity was expressed in 6% of 149 tumors analyzed and was significantly associated with progressive disease (P = 0.019) and shorter TTP (P = 0.041). In vitro, the DN-30 combination synergistically (CI < 1) enhanced gefitinib-induced growth inhibition in all cMET[pY1003]-expressing cell lines studied.Activated cMET[pY1003] appears to be a marker of primary gefitinib resistance in NSCLC patients. cMET may be a target in treatment of NSCLC.

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