Onartuzumab plus erlotinib

Targeting MET in NSCLC: looking for a needle in a haystack

Lorenza Landi, Federico Cappuzzo


Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains the leading cause of cancer related death worldwide, with a median survival that rarely exceeds 12 months in unselected patients with metastatic disease treated with conventional chemotherapy. In the last decade, the identification of key genetic events driving tumor growth and metastatic spread led to postulate the concept of oncogene-addiction. According to this model, the inhibition of certain molecular drivers by targeted agents could be effective in reducing tumor burden and improving patients outcome. In this context, due to its central role in cancer proliferation and metastasis, mesenchymal-epidermal transition (MET) has recently emerged as a potential tumor-driver and also as a promising therapeutic target in several malignancies, particularly in NSCLC where MET is often deregulated by overexpression, gene amplification or mutations (1).