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J Thorac Oncol. 2011 Dec;6(12):2027-35. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3182307e92.

Clinical implications of high MET gene dosage in non-small cell lung cancer patients without previous tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment.

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Division of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan.



Recently, two studies revealed that MET amplification was associated with secondary epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) resistance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. But it remains uncertain whether MET amplification could be related to primary TKI resistance in NSCLC because of limited data.


MET gene dosage of the tumor tissues from 208 NSCLC patients was investigated by real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and compared with molecular and clinical features, including EGFR mutations, KRAS mutations, EGFR gene copy numbers, and patient survivals. Three copies were used as the cutoff. Among them, 25 patients were also evaluable for EGFR TKI responsiveness.


The proportion of high MET gene dosage was 10.58% (22/208) with higher incidence in squamous cell carcinoma (11.86%) and smokers (16.18%), although the differences with adenocarcinoma and nonsmokers were nonsignificant. Coexisting EGFR mutations were identified, and the incidence (8.54%) was similar to wild type (12.0%). High MET gene dosage was significantly associated with higher tumor stage (stage I + II versus stage III + IV; p = 0.0254) and prior chemotherapy for stage III + IV adenocarcinoma patients (35.71% versus 7.41%; p = 0.0145) but not correlated with primary TKI resistance. Among the 155 surgically resectable patients (stage I to IIIA), high MET gene dosage was significantly associated with shorter median survival (21.0 months versus 47.1 months; p = 0.042) by univariate analysis.


High MET gene dosage was not related to primary TKI resistance and the incidence was increased after chemotherapy, suggesting high MET gene dosage may also be related to chemotherapy resistance.

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