Amplification of MET may identify a subset of cancers with extreme sensitivity to the selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor PHA-665752

Gromoslaw A. Smolen, Raffaella Sordella, Beth Muir, Gayatry Mohapatra, Anne Barmettler, Heidi Archibald, Woo J. Kim, Ross A. Okimoto, Daphne W. Bell, Dennis C. Sgroi, James G. Christensen, Jeffrey Settleman, Daniel A. Haber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

271 Scopus citations


The success of molecular targeted therapy in cancer may depend on the selection of appropriate tumor types whose survival depends on the drug target, so-called "oncogene addiction." Preclinical approaches to defining drug-responsive subsets are needed if initial clinical trials are to be directed at the most susceptible patient population. Here, we show that gastric cancer cells with high-level stable chromosomal amplification of the growth factor receptor MET are extraordinarily susceptible to the selective inhibitor PHA-665752. Although MET activation has primarily been linked with tumor cell migration and invasiveness, the amplified wild-type MET in these cells is constitutively activated, and its continued signaling is required for cell survival. Treatment with PHA-665752 triggers massive apoptosis in 5 of 5 gastric cancer cell lines with MET amplification but in 0 of 12 without increased gene copy numbers (P = 0.00016). MET amplification may thus identify a subset of epithelial cancers that are uniquely sensitive to disruption of this pathway and define a patient group that is appropriate for clinical trials of targeted therapy using MET inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2316-2321
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 14 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene amplification
  • Molecular marker
  • Oncogene addiction
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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