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Correlation of MET-Receptor Overexpression with MET Gene Amplification and Patient Outcome in Malignant Mesothelioma

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Thanks to clinically newly introduced inhibitors of the mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) receptor tyrosine-kinase, MET-gene copy number gain/amplification (MET-GCNG/GA) and increased expression of the MET protein are considered very promising therapeutic targets in lung cancer and other malignancies. However, to which extent these MET alterations occur in malignant mesothelioma (MM) remains unclear. Thus, we investigated by well-established immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization methods, the frequency of these alterations in specimens from 155 consecutive MMs of different subtypes obtained from pleural or peritoneal biopsies and pleurectomies. Thirty-three benign reactive mesothelial proliferations (RMPs) were used as controls. MET-protein upregulation was observed in 35% of all MM-cases, though restricted to predominantly epithelioid MMs. We detected low-/intermediate-level MET-GCNG/GA in 22.2% of MET-overexpressing MMs (7.8% of whole MM-cohort) and no MET-GCNG/GA in the other 77.8%, suggesting other upregulating mechanisms. In contrast, 100% of RMPs exhibited no MET-upregulation or MET-GCNG/-GA. Neither MET exon 14 skipping mutations nor MET-fusions were detected as mechanisms of MET overexpression in MM using RNA next-generation sequencing. Finally, in two cohorts of 30 MM patients with or without MET overexpression (MET-positive/-negative) that were matched for several variables and received the same standard chemotherapy, the MET-positive cases showed a significantly lower response rate, but no significant difference in progression-free or overall survival. Our results imply that MET overexpression occurs in a substantial fraction of predominantly epithelioid MMs, but correlates poorly with MET-amplification status, and may impact the likelihood of response to mesothelioma standard chemotherapy. The predictive significance of MET-IHC and -FISH for possible MET-targeted therapy of MM remains to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12868
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2021

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use, Cohort Studies, Denmark/epidemiology, Female, Gene Amplification, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Male, Mesothelioma, Malignant/drug therapy, Middle Aged, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met/genetics, Young Adult, Immunohistochemistry, Patient outcome, Gene amplification, Malignant mesothelioma, Overexpression, Fluorescence in situ hybridization, MET

ID: 70950041