Research Papers:

Prognostic value of MET protein overexpression and gene amplification in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Yingqin Li _, Wenfei Li, Qingmei He, Yafei Xu, Xianyue Ren, Xinran Tang, Xin Wen, Xiaojing Yang, Ying Sun, Jing Zeng, Jingping Yun, Na Liu and Jun Ma

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:13309-13319. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3751

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Yingqin Li1,*, Wenfei Li1,*, Qingmei He1, Yafei Xu1, Xianyue Ren1, Xinran Tang1, Xin Wen1, Xiaojing Yang1, Ying Sun1, Jing Zeng2, Jingping Yun2, Na Liu1, Jun Ma1

1Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China

2Department of Pathology, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Na Liu, e-mail: liun1@sysucc.org.cn

Jun Ma, e-mail: majun2@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Keywords: MET overexpression, MET amplification, prognosis, locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Received: February 27, 2015     Accepted: April 08, 2015     Published: April 20, 2015


This study assessed the incidence and prognostic value of MET protein overexpression and gene amplification in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Specimens from 376 consecutive patients with locoregionally advanced NPC were subjected to immunohistochemistry to analyze MET protein expression and fluorescence in situ hybridization to assess MET amplification status. In total, 139/376 (37.0%) patients had MET protein overexpression; of whom, 7/139 (5.0%) had MET amplification. MET overexpression was significantly associated with locoregional failure (P = 0.009), distant metastasis (P = 0.006) and death (P < 0.001); MET amplification was significantly associated with death (P = 0.021). A positive correlation was observed between MET copy number status and MET protein expression (r = 0.629, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated MET overexpression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (OS; HR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.38–2.87; P < 0.001) and disease-free survival (DFS; HR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.33–2.57; P < 0.001), and MET amplification was independently associated with poorer OS (HR, 4.24; 95% CI, 1.78-10.08; P < 0.001) and DFS (HR, 5.44; 95% CI, 2.44-12.09; P < 0.001). In conclusion, MET protein overexpression and gene amplification are independent prognostic factors for OS and DFS in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and may provide therapeutic biomarkers to identify patients in whom MET inhibitors may be beneficial.

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