Insights From: Mark Kris, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mark Kris, MD: I think we were very impressed at the ASCO meeting this year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, that the gene target MET—whether MET be amplified or MET be mutated—is another target. The good thing about that target is we have drugs now that can be useful, like crizotinib. But we also have drugs that are being tested. We have a drug called capmatinib, a drug called tepotinib, and a drug called savolitinib. All these are in clinical development, and there are emerging data showing not only are they useful, but they appear at least in the early studies to be better than crizotinib in terms of shrinking the cancer and appear to have fewer adverse effects. So we get exactly what we’re hoping for, more shrinkage and yet fewer adverse effects. So I think this is another target.
And I know in many series, patients with lung cancers have as many or more MET mutations or amplifications as people with the ALK rearrangement. So it’s a very common mutation, and it’s important not just because we find it, but also because we can do something about it. We have drugs now and a lot of very good drugs in development that we’re going to hear more about in the ensuing months.