Background: In many human cancers, c-MET is activated via receptor overexpression, amplification, mutation and/or a ligand-dependent autocrine/paracrine loop. These biochemical and genetic abnormalities have been correlated with poor clinical outcomes and drug resistance in cancer patients. Preclinical studies suggest that targeting aberrant c-MET signaling could be an attractive therapy in cancer, but this notion has only recently been tested in the clinic.
Objectives: To describe the biological aspects of the c-MET signaling pathway and to discuss recent progress and possible future trends in the development of agents that target the c-MET pathway, with an emphasis on small-molecule c-MET kinase inhibitors.
Method: A review of relevant publications, including published articles in literature, reports at scientific meetings, and information available through the Internet.
Results/conclusion: The dysregulated c-MET pathway represents a promising target for cancer drug development. The agents that target the c-MET pathway have demonstrated impressive evidence of early clinical activity and may have a significant therapeutic potential.