Prognostic significance of MET amplification and expression in gastric cancer: a systematic review with meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2014 Jan 8;9(1):e84502. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084502. eCollection 2014.


Background and aims: MET, the hepatocyte growth factor receptor, is a receptor tyrosine kinase overexpressed and activated in a subset of gastric cancer. Several studies investigated the relationship between MET amplification and expression with the clinical outcome in patients with gastric cancer, but yielded conflicting results. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the influence of MET amplification and expression on prognosis in gastric cancer.

Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for studies that explored the association between MET amplification and expression with survival in patients with gastric cancer up to 1 April, 2013. Data of individual hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for meta-analyses were extracted from the publications and combined in pooled HRs.

Results: Fourteen studies involving 2,258 patients with gastric cancer were included. It was suggested that MET overexpression had an unfavorable impact on survival of patients with gastric cancer, with HRs (95% CIs) of 2.57 (95% CI: 1.97-3.35) overall, 2.82 (95% CI: 1.86-4.27) among studies using amplification for measure scale of MET and 2.42 (95% CI: 1.66-3.54) for expression. The magnitude of association was reduced whereas remained statistically significant in high quality studies or in larger sample size studies and corresponding HRs were 2.18(1.76, 2.70) and 2.35(1.93, 2.87), respectively, without significant heterogeneity.

Conclusion: The findings from present study indicated that higher MET gene amplification and expression in gastric cancer was an indicator of poor prognosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Amplification*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / genetics*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*


  • MET protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met

Grant support

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81172110), National High Technology Research and Development Program (No. 2006AA 02A 402-B02, 2012AA 02A 504), China Postdoctoral Scientific Fund (2013M530494) and Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission Program “Exploring the utilization of molecular markers in the individual treatment of gastric cancer based on the clinical research cohort”. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.