Purpose: Activation of MET oncogene as the result of amplification or activation mutation represents an emerging molecular target for cancer treatment. We comprehensively studied MET alterations and the clinicopathologic correlations in a large cohort of treatment-naïve non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).
Experimental Design: Six hundred eighty-seven NSCLCs were tested for MET exon 14 splicing site mutation (METΔ14), DNA copy number alterations, and protein expression by Sanger sequencing, FISH, and IHC, respectively.
Results: METΔ14 mutation was detected in 2.62% (18/687) of NSCLC. The mutation rates were 2.6% in adenocarcinoma, 4.8% in adenosquamous carcinoma, and 31.8% in sarcomatoid carcinoma. METΔ14 mutation was not detected in squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma but significantly enriched in sarcomatoid carcinoma (P < 0.001). METΔ14 occurred mutually exclusively with known driver mutations but tended to coexist with MET amplification or copy number gain (P < 0.001). Low-level MET amplification and polysomy might occur in the background of EGFR or KRAS mutation whereas high-level amplification (MET/CEP7 ratio ≥5) was mutually exclusive to the major driver genes except METΔ14. Oncogenic METΔ14 mutation and/or high-level amplification occurred in a total of 3.3% (23/687) of NSCLC and associated with higher MET protein expression. METΔ14 occurred more frequently in older patients whereas amplification was more common in ever-smokers. Both METΔ14 and high-level amplification were independent prognostic factors that predicted poorer survival by multivariable analysis.
Conclusions: The high incidence of METΔ14 mutation in sarcomatoid carcinoma suggested that MET inhibition might benefit this specific subgroup of patients. Clin Cancer Res; 22(12); 3048–56. ©2016 AACR.
See related commentary by Drilon, p. 2832
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received August 25, 2015.
- Revision received January 11, 2016.
- Accepted January 16, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.