MET Inhibitors in Cancer Therapy

Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD
Published: Friday, Jun 08, 2012
Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD Corresponding Author:

Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD

Department of Medicine,

Roswell Park Cancer Institute,

Buffalo, NY;


alex.adjei@roswellpark.org

Abstract

The MET signaling pathway is abnormal in a wide variety of cancers and stimulates cell growth, invasion, and metastasis, as well as promoting resistance to apoptosis. Because of its ubiquitous role in cancer cells, the MET axis has been seen as an attractive target for cancer therapy. Over the last four years, more than 10 anticancer agents targeting different aspects of MET signaling via different mechanisms have been introduced into the clinic. The majority of MET inhibitors are still in late phase I and phase II trials, but at least three compounds, tivantinib, onartuzumab, and cabozantinib, are in phase III trials in lung cancer and medullary thyroid cancer. Ongoing research is aimed at identifying predictive biomarkers that can help identify patients most likely to respond to these compounds. The terminology for this pathway can be confusing. The gene is c-MET, the protein product of the gene is MET.
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