Research Papers:

Correlation between PD-L1 expression and MET gene amplification in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and no other actionable oncogenic driver

Marta Domènech, Ana M. Muñoz Marmol, Jose Luis Mate, Anna Estival, Teresa Moran, Marc Cucurull, Maria Saigi, Ainhoa Hernandez, Carolina Sanz, Alba Hernandez-Gallego, Aintzane Urbizu, Anna Martinez-Cardus, Adrià Bernat and Enric Carcereny _

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Oncotarget. 2021; 12:1802-1810. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28045

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Marta Domènech1,3, Ana M. Muñoz Marmol2, Jose Luis Mate2, Anna Estival1,3, Teresa Moran1,3, Marc Cucurull1,3, Maria Saigi1,3, Ainhoa Hernandez1,3, Carolina Sanz2, Alba Hernandez-Gallego2, Aintzane Urbizu2, Anna Martinez-Cardus3, Adrià Bernat3 and Enric Carcereny1,3

1 Medical Oncology Department, Catalan Institute of Oncology Badalona, Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain

2 Pathology Department, Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain

3 Badalona Applied Research Group in Oncology (BARGO), Institut d'Investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), Badalona, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence to:

Enric Carcereny, email: [email protected]

Keywords: non-small cell lung cancer; oncogenic driver; PD-L1; MET amplification; smoking habit

Received: May 31, 2021     Accepted: July 28, 2021     Published: August 31, 2021

Copyright: © 2021 Domènech et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) are the most common type of lung cancer and can be classified according to the presence of mutually exclusive oncogenic drivers. The majority of NSCLC patients present a non-actionable oncogenic driver, and treatment resistance through the amplification of the MET proto-oncogene (MET) or the expression of programmed cell death protein 1 ligand (PD-L1) is common. Herein, we investigated the relation between MET gene amplification and PD-L1 expression in patients with advanced NSCLC and no other actionable oncogenic driver (i.e., EGFR, ALK, ROS1). Our retrospective observational study analyzed data from 48 patients (78% men, median age 66 years) admitted to the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Spain, between July 2015 and February 2019. Patients presenting MET amplification showed a higher proportion of PD-L1 expression (93% vs. 39%; p < 0.001) and overexpression (64% vs. 27%; p = 0.020) than those with non-amplified MET. PD-L1 expression was not significantly different when analyzed by sex (p = 0.624), smoking history (p = 0.429), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (p = 0.597) Overall survival rates were not significantly affected by MET amplification (high and intermediate amplification vs low amplification and non-amplificated) (p = 0.252) nor PD-L1 expression (> vs =< 50%) (p = 0.893). In conclusion, a positive correlation was found between MET gene amplification and PD-L1 expression and highly expressed (above 50%) in patients with NSCLC and no other actionable oncogenic driver. It could be translated as new guided-treatment oportunities for these patients.

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