MET Amplification a Viable Screen for NSCLC, Study Claims

A study published in Clinical Cancer Research found that 33% of lung cancer biopsies evaluated had a gain of function amplification in the MET receptor tyrosine kinase.

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A third of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) show low- to high-level amplification of the gene, according to a German study, with no significant difference in frequency across different types of cancer and genetic backgrounds.

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Hans-Ulrich Schildhaus, from University Hospital Göttingen, and colleagues explain that alterations in the expression levels of the MET receptor tyrosine kinase, a potential therapeutic target in lung cancer, can be caused by various mechanisms, of which gene amplification is one.

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Highlighting the “controversial” nature of amplification in NSCLC, they used fluorescence in situ hybridisation to assess its prevalence in 693 treatment-naive NSCLC patients, of whom 519 had adenocarcinomas and 174 had squamous cell carcinomas.

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Thirty-three percent of the samples included in the study had gains of any level in copy number. Of these 22 (3%) tumours had high-level amplification, defined as fulfilling one of the following criteria:/centromere 7 ratio of at least 2.0; average gene copy number per cell of 6.0 or higher; and/or at least 10% of tumour cells containing 15 or more copies of the gene.

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