Highly accurate DNA-based detection and treatment results of MET exon 14 skipping mutations in lung cancer


The oncogenic MET exon 14 skipping mutation (METex14del) is described to drive 1.3 %-5.7 % of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and multiple studies with cMET inhibitors show promising clinical responses. RNA-based analysis seems most optimal for METex14del detection, however, acquiring sufficient RNA material is often problematic. An alternative is DNA-based analysis, but commercially available DNA-based panels only detect up to 63 % of known METex14del alterations. The goal of this study is to describe an optimized DNA-based diagnostic test for METex14del in NSCLC, including clinical features and follow-up of patients treated with cMET-targeted therapy and consequent resistance mechanisms.


Routinely processed diagnostic pathology non-squamous NSCLC specimens were investigated by a custom-made DNA-based targeted amplicon-based next generation sequencing (NGS) panel, which includes 4 amplicons for METex14del detection. Retrospectively, histopathological characteristics and clinical follow up were investigated for advanced non-squamous NSCLC with METex14del.


In silico analysis showed that our NGS panel is able to detect 96 % of reported METex14 alterations. METex14del was found in 2 % of patients with non-squamous NSCLC tested for therapeutic purposes. In total, from May 2015 - Sep 2018, METex14del was found in 46 patients. Thirty-six of these patients had advanced non-squamous NSCLC, they were predominantly elderly (76.5 years [53-90]), male (25/36) and (ex)-smokers (23/36). Five patients received treatment with crizotinib (Pfizer Oncology), in a named patient based program, disease control was achieved for 4/5 patients (3 partial responses, 1 stable disease) and one patient had a mixed response. Two patients developed a MET D1228N mutation during crizotinib treatment, inducing a resistance mechanism to crizotinib.


This study shows that METex14del can be reliably detected by routine DNA NGS analysis. Although a small cohort, patients responded well to targeted treatment, underlining the need for routine testing of METex14del in advanced non-squamous NSCLC to guarantee optimal personalized treatment.

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S1068 Crizotinib (PF-02341066) Crizotinib (PF-02341066) is a potent inhibitor of c-Met and ALK with IC50 of 11 nM and 24 nM in cell-based assays, respectively. It is also a potent ROS1 inhibitor with Ki value less than 0.025 nM. Crizotinib induces autophagy through inhibition of the STAT3 pathway in multiple lung cancer cell lines.

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